Just adopted a puppy? That's great! You must be so happy to have this little ball of fur at home. It's true that puppies are cute, no matter what the breed.
It looks like a stuffed animal, it's tiny, soft and you love to cuddle it. So I don't want to break this atmosphere, but adopting a puppy is a big responsibility that goes through the training.
So of course we don't start teaching him a basic command the day after his arrival, but you should know that it is an essential step and that you should start thinking about the training method you prefer! Need some help? OK I'll give you some tips, when and how to start, why train your puppy, etc.
Why train your puppy?
It's true that puppies are fun and cute and that we want to enjoy them as much as possible and put off the training stage. But a well-trained puppy is an animal that will grow up to be a nice dog. If you don't train him, when he is an adult, you will have problems (especially when walking) and the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.
A dog with little or no training is a dog that goes anywhere in the house, that barks when you are away, that pulls on its leash, that does not come back when you let it go, that crosses the street at any time and so on. In short, a real hassle for the master and a real danger for both of them.
It is not necessary either that you have a quasi military authority, but for your puppy, it is important that he can count on a reassuring master, who takes the good decisions and that there is no concern in the hierarchy. The master is the dominant, the dog the dominated. I reassure you that this is not pejorative and dogs find this hierarchy normal when they are educated. The rules will be clear as it is the case in a pack of dogs.
I once met a lady who told me "oh your dog is very well trained. I was afraid that mine would resent me so I let him do what he wanted from the beginning. I then asked her if she regretted it. She said she did. All this to say that a trained dog is not a dog that will resent you or with whom you will be less complicit. On the contrary. The relationship will go much better believe me and a dog will not resent you because you trained him.
Training your puppy step by step
As you might expect, you're not going to teach him everything at once. Your puppy may be the cutest thing in the world, but he's not a war machine. You have to take it one step at a time and teach him certain skills, one after the other.
Cleanliness: the first training
When you adopt a dog, he's rarely housebroken, and you'd better do something about it soon if you don't want to have a mop in your hand from morning till night. Potty training a puppy is not the hardest part. You'll find that there are much more complicated trainings. Speaking of which, while I'm on the subject, I recommend this effective method. It will be your ally for the training of your puppy.
So otherwise I was saying for potty training, the best and most effective method is to take him out as often as possible. Every two hours is perfect. You'll see that he'll understand that the bathroom for dogs is outside. Another piece of advice, if he does his business inside, never clean up in front of him. It is now time to move on to another training.
Impose territory limits
You don't want your dog to sleep in your room, on your bed, on the couch, etc.? You'll have to make him understand very quickly. If you let him do it, it will be more complicated to impose these limits of territory when he will be adult. Everyone in his place, it's the basis of dog training.
Getting your puppy used to being alone
It's true that it's tempting to take him everywhere because he's so cute. But think about the future. Will you do the same when he's an adult? No ? Then he won't understand why you leave him alone for hours on end and .......... he'll bark all day. You may have problems with your neighbors.
The basic orders
Here we are at last! This is where it gets a little more complicated. But they're mandatory if you want a smooth future between you and your dog. If this is your first puppy, you may not know what basic commands are. So it's all about teaching him the "sit, down, don't pull on his leash, come back, don't move, drop it, make the coffee" uh not the last one.
I repeat, we teach him one command at a time. The sessions should not last more than 10/15 minutes. Be patient and consistent. Choose a method that you are comfortable with. This can be with the clicker for example or the natural method. It's up to you.
Don't forget the rewards, especially with a puppy. At the beginning a small treat with a kind word and a caress, then you remove the treat, but you keep the caress and the "it's good my dog".
Having a puppy is a big responsibility and the whole training part is YOUR responsibility. It's up to you to have the right gestures, the right attitudes and the right methods for the training to succeed. So I'm going to give you some tips on how to train with your paws in your nose.
I already told you, but as it is important I will repeat it: do not make sessions too long. A puppy gets tired quickly and if you see that he is losing focus, that he is not listening, stop or take a break. Continuing is useless. But really nothing, because it will block and that is the opposite of what you want.
Whatever training you want to teach him and whatever method you use, never hit your dog. Even with a newspaper, as you may read on some websites. Ignore your dog, don't give him rewards, don't pet him, leave him, that's punishment. But hitting him, shaking him, putting his nose in his poop and so on, believe me this is not the right solution.
Make sure you know what breed your dog is. It is important. Some methods are more adapted to certain breeds than others. And it allows you to know everything about your puppy, so it's great!
Never change your method midstream. Once you've decided on a particular method, stick with it. Changing the type of training will confuse your dog and that's not good.
When you teach a command, you will use a word or phrase. I'm thinking of "don't move" for example. If you have taught him to stay in a certain place with these words, don't say "stay here" for example. He won't understand the command.
Beware of treats as rewards. It's effective, but if you keep training him, he'll pile on the pounds. And if you also give him sweets, be aware that this is not good for his health.
Involve your family. If you don't allow your dog on the couch, you need the whole family to get on board. Let them know. Especially the kids. They love to cuddle with puppies and may let him up as soon as your back is turned. Needless to say, the time you spent training him will be gone in minutes.
A puppy that does anything is almost funny. Later on, a dog that continues to do anything is a real nightmare and the slightest walk will be a real disaster. Educating your puppy is important for you and for him. It is the guarantee that everything will go well for the future years.