Puppies are extremely impressionable. How you train your new pet will have dramatic and long lasting effects. You can make your puppy a better pet and prevent behavior problems by following these guidelines:
• Keep the pup’s meals regularly scheduled to encourage more predictable elimination patterns.
• Take your pup out every two hours during the day and as needed at night.
• Select one toilet area.
• Take your pup to the toilet area five minutes after feeding, awakening, riding in a car, greeting new people, or chewing on toys. Also when you see him circling or sniffing around.
• When your pup relieves himself in the appropriate spot, immediately reward him with a food treat and verbal praise.
• See HOUSEBREAKING YOUR PUPPY for more information,
• Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, are pack hunters. Efficient hunting in a pack requires a high degree of social organization. Dogs relate to people as pack members. It’s up to your family to become “pack leaders” by performing simple exercises and stopping aggressive play. Failure to do so may cause other problems.
• Introduce your pup to a variety of positive experiences. Visit three new places a week (AFTER THE INITIAL VACCINATION SERIES IS COMPLETED) and introduces him to five new people at each place.
• Take your pup in regular car rides–use a carrier to insure safer driving.
• Brush your pup daily. At the same time, handle your pup’s feet and ears and open his mouth for inspection. Massage him all over. If the pup fusses, say “no” firmly. When he is quiet, talk to him in a soft, pleasant voice.
• Expose your pup to various types of people, places and experiences. Take care he has a good experience.
• Gradually acquaint him to very loud noises, like that of a vacuum cleaner turn it on and off from a distance.
Prevent Bad Habits:
• Provide appropriate objects for chewing (NYLA-BONE products) and praise the puppy for chewing on these objects. It is best to rotate toys to prevent boredom. Gently punish inappropriate chewing (clap hands, shout) while directing the puppy to appropriate objects. Put your pup in a crate when you are unable to supervise. See CHEWING for more information.
• Don’t allow aggressive behavior: Mouthing hands, tug-of-war, jumping up, growling, guarding food, and nipping.
• Competition between dog and owner should never be developed, even when it is playful. To handle aggressive play, stand perfectly still, cross your arms, and close your eyes to tell your puppy you are not interested in playing “rough.” When the puppy gives up, go and get an appropriate toy and praise your puppy for playing with it.
• Don’t allow jumping up. Never pet or talk sweetly to a dog that has only two feet on the ground. Turn away and ignore him! Kneeing, hitting the dog under the chin, and squeezing the dog’s paws may actually lead to increased jumping.
• Make definite decisions about manners. Will the new dog be allowed on the furniture? Are any rooms “off-limits?” When you tell your dog “no,” you must be prepared to enforce your decision immediately.
Nothing is Free:
• The “nothing is free” technique helps you establish leadership. The concept is to teach your dog “nothing in life is free.”
• Your pup must obey a command before he or she gets anything he or she likes.
• No food rewards are used.
• The reward is what the dog wants in the particular situation, be it love, praise, pats, going out, etc.
• Don’t allow your pup to be demanding in obnoxious ways. The only way your dog should get what he or she wants is by behaving.
Additional training can begin as young as 8 weeks of age. Your dog should learn to:
• Sit and stay on command
• Come when called
• Walk on a leash
• See TEACHING OBEDIENCE for more information
MORE PUPPY TRAINING INFORMATION
• THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY, by the Monks of New Skete (Little, Brown, & Co., 1991)
• HOW TO RAISE A PUPPY YOU CAN LIVE WITH, by C. Rutherford and D. Neil (Alpine Publications, 1981)
• THE SIRIUS PUPPY TRAINING MANUAL AND VIDEO (“SIRIUS PUPPY TRAINING) by Ian Dunbar, available from Center For Applied Animal Behavior, 2140 Shattuck Ave., Suite 2406, Berkeley, CA 94704 (415) 658-8588
• SUPERPUPPY TRAINING MANUAL, by Peter Vollmer Super puppy Publications, Box 3589, Escondido, CA 92033
• HOW TO PLAY WITH YOUR DOG, by Peter Vollmer Super puppy Publications, Box 3589, Escondido, CA 92033
• PUPPY TRAINING GUIDE, by Brian Kilcommons Carnation, 5045 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
• A PET OWNER’S GUIDE TO THE DOG CRATE Nicki Meyer Educational Effort Inc., Dept. H, 31 Davis Hill Rd., Weston, CT 06883
• THE PROMISE SYSTEM, a behavior system that includes a training harness and a booklet addressing a variety of behavior problems and behavior-shaping techniques. 1-800-333-1231.
• DON’T SHOOT THE DOG, by Karen Pryor (Bantam Books, 1985)
• GOOD MANNERS FOR THE MODERN DOG, Gwen Bohnenkamp Perfect Paws, Box 5214, San Francisco, CA 94188
• HOW TO BE YOUR DOG’S BEST FRIEND, by the Monks of New Skete Little, Brown, & Co., 1978
• GAINES CLIENT EDUCATION SERIES OF BOOKLETS Gaines, Box 8177, Kankakee, IL 60902