It’s never too early to start with the basics of good training. From the very first day that your puppy comes into your home, there are a few exercises that you can implement to help them become well trained.
Dogs that are well trained integrate much better into your family as well as society in general. Overall, well-trained dogs lead happier lives! It goes without saying that you should enrol your canine in a puppy training class with professional dog trainers when they are old enough to do so. However, until you reach that point, there are a number of simple habits and exercises that you can implement to best prepare your pup to become well behaved in the long run. Following are a few dog-training tips and tricks:
1. Don’t over-train!
Keep your training sessions short and focused. Choose a time and place that does not have any distractions, so your puppy can focus on you and vice versa.
2. Be patient and stay positive
Focus solely on good behaviour and make sure to reward your pup with lots of praise, especially during dog potty training. Ignore unwanted behaviour and avoid punishing, shouting, or hitting as a means of training dogs, as it will only confuse and upset your canine.
3. Focus on one new skill at a time
Don't try and teach your puppy multiple things in one training session. Focus on a single skill. Once your puppy has mastered a new command, don’t forget to keep on practising what your puppy has learnt before.
4. Teach certain commands using ‘natural movements’
For ‘sit’, ‘down’, and ‘stand’ commands you can wait until your puppy naturally performs the action and immediately give the command as they do, rewarding them with lots of praise. If you do this repeatedly, they will eventually understand what the command means.
Otherwise, you can help your dog move into the right position, without using any force. For example, to get your puppy to sit, hold a reward in your hand on the tip of their nose and gradually move it towards the back of their head as you give the command. They will naturally look up and sit down at the same time, when you can give them their reward.
5. Some commands are more important than others!
The recall command is essential for good control of your dog when they are on the leash. Start a few metres away from your puppy and call them, using a command such as ‘come’ or ‘here’, along with their name. Give them lots of praise when they come to you and when you think they have the idea, gradually increase the distance and practise the same thing again.
6. Be conservative with food rewards
Food rewards can be useful when training some puppies who do not respond to verbal and physical appreciation. However, you need to treat them to small and low energy snacks, or better still, use kibbles from their daily ration. Rich treats such as sausages and cheese may be greatly appreciated by your puppy, but are very energy dense, and not good treat options. Always account for food rewards whilst calculating daily rations, and as their training progresses use treats infrequently, so your puppy learns not to expect them every time.
Want to know more?
We’ve covered the basics of how to train your new puppy. The Royal Canin range includes a line of veterinary-exclusive treats designed to support your puppy’s health.