If you’re planning to get a puppy, you should also be planning to train them properly too, and this is not always a quick process. You should find out about training before you bring your pup home, so you know what you’re getting into, and rid yourself of any misconceptions about puppy training that may come back to haunt you later.
This article will tell you five common puppy training misconceptions that you need to address before you bring your puppy home. Read on to learn more.
A high number of puppy buyers get their puppy home without any plan to train them, or even any intention of training them. Many puppy owners also talk about starting to train their puppy at a certain age, or at some point in the future. A number, when pressed, think that puppies almost train themselves, in that if you simply put them on a lead or ask them to do something, it will sink in sooner or later – in fact, without some training, this is unlikely to happen.
If you take on the responsibility of having a dog or puppy, you also take on the responsibility of training them properly, or having them trained for you (although, if you’re not actively involved in the process, your pup’s responses are likely to be patchy you’re having some training as well to learn how to maintain the behaviours you want from your puppy).
Training is something that you build up over time, but it should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. After all, your puppy is learning about the world all the time.
Many new owners greatly underestimate the time it takes needed for a puppy’s training, and how much you do need to be involved.
Much as they may have a mental vision of walking and playing with their puppy, too many think that training can be taken care of simply by signing up to a puppy class for an hour a week for six to eight weeks.
Puppy classes and further training classes are run all over the country throughout the year, and can be really valuable for puppy owners to get some direction and assistance. However, you need to continue and build upon that work with your puppy the rest of the time too, training your pup and building their skills every day in short sessions.
If there isn’t a class near you, there are plenty now available online, either for ‘do it yourself’ training or through interactive classes on Zoom or similar.
Another rude awakening for many puppy buyers is learning that toilet training a puppy isn’t something that happens on its own either. It can take protracted periods of time for a puppy to be reliable in that respect. This is probably the first thing puppy owners should learn how to train as it is all too easy to inadvertently sabotage their own work, and set things back considerably.
Unfortunately, many breeders claim their puppies are already toilet trained when they sell them, when this is not usually the case, or certainly not fully. Even for puppies that toilet in the right place at the breeder, the move, change of routine and change of location can take you back to square one.
It is, of course, possible to send your puppy away for training or hire someone to train your dog for you; after all, adult dogs that are trained don’t forget it all if they change owners!
However, it is very expensive, and also, it’s the dog owners who are not experienced trainers who actually need to learn about training! So, ideally, puppy training isn’t really something you should hand off to someone to do for you.
Those who haven’t brought their puppy home yet, as well as owners who have begun training, often think of training as something that has a finish line – that at some point their dog will be trained and they can forget about it.
While it is true that there may be a few basic skills you want to teach your dog (such as walking nicely on lead, coming when called, sit and stay) and aren’t concerned about training anything new, you should bear in mind that these behaviours will need to be maintained. In particular, young adolescent dogs may need gentle reminders about some of the cues they’ve learned which may be forgotten as hormones and a less ‘puppyish’ view on life takes over. And, of course, many dogs will thoroughly enjoy the ‘game’ of learning new tricks and skills with you – hopefully, you will enjoy teaching them!