A new pup is always a pleasure to welcome into your household. These cute little scamps are friendly, funny, curious and mischievous, but just like kids, they've got to be taught the ground rules right away. Training your dog may sound like an overwhelming prospect – where do you begin? Don't worry – training your dog can actually be a lot of fun.
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Your pup comes complete with his own attitude and his own simple dog-brain, for the most part, he'll be pretty predictable, once you know how to communicate with him, and read his signals when he tries to communicate with you. Just train often and for short durations, and be consistent in your praise and punishment. Here are a few tips to help you start teaching your pup the uncomplicated way.
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When you first bring your puppy home, he's bound to be excited and curious. Everything is new to him. Before you bring him in the house, lay a few sheets of newspaper down around the house. In his excitement, don't be surprised if there's an accident deposited on the floor somewhere. Treating carpets with a water repellent spray, prior to bringing your new family member home, may be a good investment!
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If a potty accident occurs, don't flip out and shriek at the poor little puppy … he doesn't know this is undesirable behavior. Instead, use a low, firm voice, saying “No, no…”, and get him over to the newspaper. Granted, the deed is already done, but if you don't scare him with shrill chastisements and excessive hand-wringing, your puppy will soon come to the party, associating the act with the newspaper as a people-pleaser.
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One of the nice things about dogs that makes them easy to live with is that they have an in-built desire to please you, which is certainly not the case with kitties! Keep this fact in mind as you start teaching your puppy. He or she intuitively regards you as the master in this relationship unless you give your puppy reason to think otherwise! Never use a heavy-handed approach when training your puppy. In the event you do, he may well dig in his heels or merely become afraid of you and less willing to go along together with your program.
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Being patient while you are housebreaking your dog may make things easier for you down the road when you start teaching the 'sit', 'stay' and 'heel' commands. When he is given praise for doing the right behavior and a correction when he is wrong, he'll soon learn what you expect of him. Eager to please, he'll learn the 'correct' behavior and bask happily in your praise. If he seems a little slow for the uptake, continue being patient. He'll get it, eventually.
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At first, let the puppy to explore your house or apartment, so he becomes familiar with your home. You'll have to keep a sharp eye on him so if he does have an accident or do something naughty, you can catch him in the act and correct him. Chewing on furniture and your daughter's favorite sweater should be discouraged! The key to success lies in you keeping your cool, interacting with your pup in calm and measured tones and demonstrating consistent behavior.
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Once you've mastered potty instruction, teaching your puppy to obey basic commands can be a piece of cake. Now, your puppy knows all about the worst offenses. Teaching him to sit becomes effortless. With a small biscuit or other treat in hand, push his behind down as you say “Sit!”. Sitting is natural to a dog, but he'll undoubtedly love you all the additional when he gets a treat for performing something that quick! Training your puppy is easy, when you exercise patience and give him a lot of love!
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