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Training Your New Puppy: How to Teach a Young Dog Basic Commands

April 7, 2019

There are some basic behaviors that need to be taught to a new puppy and reinforced throughout the first few months they are settling into a new home. The most important of these is house-training, especially if you plan on keeping you puppy in an apartment.

Training Basics

The first thing you need to do is teach the puppy its name. Have a name picked out when you bring the puppy home and call it by its name all the time, rewarding it with attention and praise when it responds. Training needs to start as soon as the puppy is settled. You can decide to train the puppy yourself, or go to an obedience training school. If your puppy is not house broken, you will need to do so yourself. The only thing you need for training is time, about fifteen minutes a day, consistency and something to treat the puppy with when it does something right.

Reward and Punishment

Dogs can be trained to obey multiple commands and perform tricks too. The only reason they will do so, however, is because they want to. You can’t force a dog to learn a command, so figure out early how to make it worth his or her while to put up with training. Most trainers will have small food pellets (cat or dog) that the dog will be given when it obeys a command, but you can also train using a toy instead.

Make sure you nip bag behavior in the bud, since bad habits are very hard to break. Be consistent in your methods, and make sure the same person is training the puppy every day. Don’t mistreat or hit the puppy when it does something wrong, that will only make it scared of you and is not an effective way to train a puppy.

House-Training

If your puppy is not house-trained make sure that is the first training you do. The puppy will have a small bowel and bladder and needs to “go” every few hours. Be prepared for a few accidents before the training catches on.

To start with, take the puppy out after every meal, and every time it wakes up or finishes playing. If you see the puppy sniffing the ground and/or pawing it, take it out immediately. Over time, the puppy will start telling you when it needs to go outside by standing in front of the door.

To stop the puppy from eliminating in the house at night, confine it to a pen that is just large enough for it to stand and turn around in. The puppy won’t eliminate in such a small area since it has to sleep there too. Just make sure someone lets the puppy out early in the morning.

Behavioral Problems

Some owners allow bad habits to form, and then put the dog up for adoption as they can’t deal with it. While it may be cute to allow a puppy to jump all over you, or sit on your favorite couch, you have to remember that this puppy is going to grow into a full-sized dog. Do not allow your puppy to pick up any habits you don’t want it to have when it’s older.

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