Having a puppy is filled with challenges. As fun as they are, they can be destructive machines. But there are ways to simplify the problem and save you and family grief.
The first rule of puppy training is safety. That means for you and your home, as well as the dog.
Most owners have their first wake-up call when they return home and the dog has chewed a shoe, eaten a Persian rug, or munched on the wall. That is what puppies are hard-wired to do. Not only does that cause destruction; it can also make a sick little doggie.
The best way to leave a puppy unchaperoned is to place him or her in a crate.
Before you argue that it is cruel, think like a dog. Dogs are den animals, and a crate represents a safe place for them. It is small and manageable. They are not required to secure or mark the perimeter. They can go inside and experience downtime. As sentries, they are permanently on guard duty; this is the exemption.
For you, it is a place where you and your dog will be safe. You needn't worry that he got into trouble, ate poisonous plants or escaped from the yard.
For more on crates and crate training, please visit the web for any number of sites. I like the Idaho Humane Society at http://www.idahohumanesociety.com/caretrain/crate.html
Chew Toys, Not Me!
Puppies are lovely to play with but it is annoying and painful when they bite people and dangerous with elderly and small children. It is a habit that needs to be discouraged instantly.
First, allow your dog a few toys; make sure that NONE of them is a shoe or sock, or any other item that can be confused with some like article that you would not want him to chew on. Keep them in a box in the family room that is all his. Let him know that any article in that box is okay.
And when he begins to chew on something or someone inappropriately, you can gently offer him a safe and approved alternative from his box. Then praise him for taking the toy.
Praise is the best tool in your arsenal. Dogs respond well to praise. It makes the difference in the same way that it insures that a child will repeat positive behavior.
After performing this little exchange and repeatedly taking him to the box of toys, you will eliminate much of the unwanted behavior. Teach all members of the household this trick. Consistently rewarding the good behavior after exchanging the one item or person for the toy is key!
Training is Communicating with your Pet
A sensible training program which does not involve clicks or treats is essential. Don't end up unhappy; do this! More disappointed owners drop their scorned pets off at shelters because they fail to take the necessary classes. Treats make fat animals. Clicks - where is there a click in nature? Praise and correction, along with consistent messages, are the most successful training there is.
In one ten-week, comprehensive class, you can achieve off-leash success with your dog. You can do this! Check the Dog Obedience club in your area to find a really good class at a good price. That is the best way to learn to communicate with your dog.
One of the first things new owners do with their pets is tell them to sit down. Which is it? Sit or down?
Training is choreography mixed with verbal cues. This is a relationship you will have for 12-15 years, so why not enjoy it for all its worth? Your relationship with a trained dog that can go everywhere with you is going to be so much more rewarding. Don't leave your pet neglected in the backyard because he is not trained.
As a new pet owner, you have a great future relationship in your hands.