Training a Puppy Can be Overwhelming
My family is in the process of training a puppy for the very first time. We have never had a puppy before because our older dog was adopted when she was a year old. She is the most relaxed and calm dog ever. Enter our little Cavapoo puppy named Molly, who is adorable and cuddly, but crazy and stubborn. How is it possible that this little pup can sometimes outsmart us? Help!
As a novice puppy parent, I am going to share the top things that worked for our puppy.
1. Clicker Training
Reward-based training works amazingly well for Molly. She loves food and praise! Always have a clicker handy. Clicking is a distinct sound to mark the desired behavior. Follow this with a treat. It is good to have multiple treat bags filled with different treats within reach to quickly reward after the click.
2.Using a Local Dog Trainer
I contacted a Professional Dog Trainer for a general overview of how to train our puppy. Luckily, my husband and I own a pet training supply company and have some great resources in the industry. I cannot believe how much a trainer helped. Our trainer didn’t do the work for us, rather she gave us the tools and methods most effective for our particular puppy.
3. Training Consistency
To me, this is the hardest thing, but if your training is not consistent your puppy will be confused and not know what you expect of them. Don’t allow your puppy to sprawl out on the couch one day but make them get off the next. Also, all family members need to adhere to the same training rules. This is a constant work in progress in our home.
4. Get Your Dog to Love Their Crate
Don’t make it a place for your dog to go as a punishment, instead make it a place they can go to get away and rest. We leave the door open to Molly’s crate and she will actually go in and sleep. Our older dog also uses the crate to get away from Molly. Additionally, use the crate as a place to keep your puppy when you cannot watch them. Turn your back for a minute and your adorable puppy will be not so adorable sitting on the table or having potty accidents in your house!
5. Walk, Walk, Walk
Exercise and stimulation are important to a dog’s health. A tired dog equals a calm dog in our home. It is also another opportunity for training. Bring your clicker and treat bag to mark (click) and reward (treat) good behavior.
January is Train Your Dog Month
What exactly is this? Train Your Dog Month is a campaign that was started by The Association of Professional Dog Trainers in January 2010 as a way to impress upon dog owners the importance of proper pet training.
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