Training your puppy: general principles
Your puppy learns in two ways. By making connections between two events, or by doing something itself and getting a reward for it. Attention plays an important role in this upbringing. If you can get your baby's attention, you can teach your dog a lot.
It's important to give a lot of encouragement, praise and rewards (positive reinforcement) in your puppy's training. Keep your puppy training sessions short and consistent and always create a pleasant environment.
You train a puppy on the basis of trust and mutual respect, not according to old-school methods based on punishment, avoidance and tough corrections. You will notice that your puppy loves his training and his confidence grows with each session. So, how do you teach your puppy something or make it unlearn something?
Three ways to learn or unlearn something
- Reward: If your pup is good, you should reward her. For example, when she's calm, when she pees in the right place, when she chews toys that she is allowed to chew. Even when she just looks at you and gives you attention, you not only melt for those cute puppy-dog eyes, but also reward her. How do you reward your dog? Easy. The way to a dog's heart is through its stomach! A small, tasty snack is therefore the ideal treat! However, because you cannot always reward her this way, you can also just give her positive attention, by stroking her or by using positive words: “Yes” or “Good Girl” or "Atta Girl".
- Prevention: Prevent your puppy from doing something wrong because even your negative reaction is attention that he considers as confirmation. And that is enough for your puppy to repeat his wrong behaviour! Make sure that he cannot access objects or toys that he should not touch at first. After a few months, when your dog is a more trained, you can take those objects out again and teach him that they are off limits.
- Ignore: Ignore your puppy's misbehavior so she doesn't get the attention she's hoping for. Don't give it to her when she barks, jumps or scratches. Just ignore the behaviour and turn around. Raising your voice has no effect, because this is also how you give your puppy attention. You can say "no" briefly and loudly and then immediately turn your back to her so that she associates "no" with bad behaviour.