It can be a little confusing when it comes to training puppies these days due to the fact there is so much information, tips and advice on how this has to be done. However, there are basic rules that all young dogs have to learn which are the 10 most important puppy commandments. If taught early enough, you will end up with a happy, healthy and well balanced adult dog.
Puppies are very sensitive creatures so it's crucial that any training they receive is done gently with lots of affection and kindness. This all helps them feel safe and secure at a crucial time in their lives. Puppies also like routine and consistency which are two very valuable aspects that need to be incorporated into their education. Both these things inspire puppies with confidence because they feel safe when they are with their owners.
Puppies need to be rewarded when they get things right and gently chastised when they don't. Boundaries need to be set early on and any bad behaviour has to be checked so that no nasty habits are allowed to develop as time moves on. Without their owner's help, a puppy will not magically turn into a brilliant, calm, obedient and charming adult dog – because you have to work at it with your pet.
The 10 most basic and important puppy commandments are as follows:
This is one of the most important points when you first start your puppy's training because if they are not prepared to watch and listen to you, then how are you going to teach them anything?
Puppies should not be allowed to have the free run of your home and garden. This is one rule you need to set in place right from the outset. Puppies are quick learners and will understand very fast how to read your reactions to things they do – whether good or bad. As such if they do anything wrong or take something they are not allowed to have, very often your body language alone will tell them they've been naughty!!
It would be fair to say you can toilet train a puppy in anything to 12 to 14 weeks – although some pups do continue to have the odd “accident” now again. However, it is very much up owners as to how long a puppy takes with the usual problem being that owners very often don't realise when a puppy “needs to go”! The rule of thumb is the younger a pup is, the more often they will need to go to the toilet!
It is crucial for puppies to learn they will be rewarded for NOT taking anything or that when they give something back, they will get a reward. If you have a pocket full of tasty treats with you then you can offer one to your puppy when they get it right. Pretty soon they will understand what you are trying to teach them. A clear command like “leave” or “give” will be all you need for them to stop what they are doing so they can get a treat from you and if they have picked something up, they will either drop it or give it to you so they get rewarded.
This is an annoying habit that many dogs learn to do when they are very young. Any noisy barking or bad behaviour in the car has to be nipped in the bud because it could distract you when you driving and cause and accident apart from anything else!
If you want your dog to come back to you without a second thought, then teaching them the “recall” command at an early age is essential. Every time they get it right, you have to praise them calmly and offer them a reward for being so good.
Puppies have to be taught the command “stay” means just that and they have to stay in one place not moving until they are told to. You should only reward your puppy if they do as they are told and stay still until you ask them to come to you.
Puppies learn very quickly and this means they can pick up bad habits in the blink of an eye. When it comes to wanting attention, they will whine and yap so you go to them. However, this is the worst thing to do because you have to simply ignore them. Because they are fast learners, they soon learn this behaviour gets them ignored and give up doing it!
Training a puppy to walk nicely on the lead is an essential part of their overall training. However, as an owner, you have to be patient as well as consistent when you do train them to walk on the lead – many people give in too soon and the result is usually disastrous!
If puppies are taught from an early age that if they cooperate with you, there's usually a nice treat and lots of praise that will come their way. They soon learn that the art of “cooperation” is much more fun than being bad, naughty or disobedient!
It takes a lot of time, patience and understanding when you first start out training a puppy. To begin with your pup will get things wrong, they will make mistakes, have a few accidents, chew on something they shouldn't not because they are being naughty – but rather because they just don't know any better. It is up to you, their owner to teach them the rules so everyone in the household can lead a happy and pleasant life together.