If you want a well-behaved, happy dog, it’s important to get into a structured training
routine. Many dogs respond very well to training, and they thrive under the
routine. With a few tasty treats, a solid plan, and plenty of consistency and
perseverance, you should be able to help your puppy grow into a disciplined,
well-trained adult dog.
Start lead training early. One of the first tricks you should
teach your dog is how to walk politely on a lead. This is especially important
if you have a puppy that’s going to grow into a large, strong dog. For example,
bullmastiff puppies may be easy to handle when they’re
little, but they’ll be tough to handle on a lead once they grow up if you don’t
teach them how to heel from an early age. Large breeds can be a wonderful
addition to your home, and proper training will make the experience even
Use treats. Most dogs won’t perform tricks
unless there’s an incentive in it for them. Pick small, easy to chew treats
that your dog loves, and give them out sparingly so that they’re truly a reward
rather than a constant feature of their lives. Use simple, small treats for
minor tricks that your dog has already performed well, and more impressive
rewards for novel, more difficult tricks.
Aim for consistency. Dogs thrive under a consistent
master, so make sure you stick to the same set of command words and rules
throughout the training process.
Be positive. Dogs respond well to being praised
and shown affection. They love to know that they’ve done the right thing, so
make it clear that you’re happy with them when they do something well. Use a
positive tone of voice and smile at them to show them that you’re pleased. Lots
of head rubs and pats will help them learn that responding to training makes
you happy, so they’ll be more likely to keep putting the effort in.
Include reminders. Once your pup has learned a new
training trick, try to incorporate into your day-to-day lives so that they have
a chance to keep at it. This will help solidify the command in their mind, and
stop them from forgetting it as they grow.
Reward good behaviour. If a dog is mostly ignored and only
acknowledged when they do something naughty, they’re more likely to become
destructive and badly behaved. Reward good behaviour like sitting quietly or
socialising well by giving them plenty of love and acknowledgement.
Prepare for separation anxiety. Puppies that get used to constant
human companionship can develop separation anxiety, which leads to big problems
when you have to go to work or head out to the store and can’t bring your dog
with you. Let them get comfortable alone by giving them solitary crate time throughout
the puppy months.
Choose your timing wisely. When it comes to younger, more
energetic dogs, there are certain times of the day when training will be most
successful. Plan to schedule your training times when your dog is relatively
calm but not too sleepy, and when they are able to focus on the task rather
than being surrounded by distractions. The dog park probably won’t be the best place to