If you have just brought home a new dog or puppy, regardless of age, they will most likely need some training! Our Rancho Palos Verdes veterinarians offer up some dog training advice and some simple things to remember to make it go smoothly.
Dog Training Advice From Our Rancho Palos Verdes Vets
Regardless of what route you decide to take when it comes to training your puppy the key underlying elements will always be the same.
We see a lot of dogs on a regular basis at our clinic, and the best-trained ones respect their owner as the alpha. They've also been trained with consistency in mind, so they always know what to expect.
To start with a good foundation, consider having your puppy spayed or neutered when he’s of appropriate age, as dogs who have been “fixed” are less aggressive, more calm and potentially more open to training.
Have Consistent Rules Across the Family
When it comes to training, dogs respond best to consistency. It’s only fair to be clear with yourself and your family on what you expect of your new pup before you bring him home.
Decide what he is and isn’t allowed to do. Can he sleep in your bed? Stake out a spot on the couch? What about rooms - are there any off-limits? Clarifying your expectations avoids confusion and indecision later.
Teach Your Dog To 'Come' To You
One of the first basic commands your furry friend will need to master is “Come!” Always use his name when commanding him to come and follow up with positive reinforcement.
As he develops, try the command in other situations, such as when his attention is elsewhere, and get him used to responding.
Utilize Positive Reinforcement
One of the first tenets of dog training is to always reward good behavior with positive reinforcement. Whether it’s a pat on the head, belly rubs or scratches in his favorite spot or a treat or toy, your pup lives to please you.
Ensure That Your Home is Puppy Proofed Before Training
Taking the time to puppy-proof your home will not only help keep your dog safe during training but will also help to protect the rest of your home.. Please do the same for your puppy by providing a safe place to put him when he’s not being directly supervised, such as a crate or pen, with safe toys that are exclusively his.
Use Every Moment To Teach Your Dog
Using every moment you possibly can to teach your dog about what is expected of their behavior will become key. Seasoned dog owners will tell you that pups live in the moment and need lots of repetition.
If you’re going to enforce a rule or lesson, it has to be done immediately after they do the deed - they’ve already forgotten what they’ve done a few minutes later, so they will truly be confused and unable to make the association between their actions and corrections or training techniques unless they’re done right away. Consistent repetition gets results.
Don't Forget to Help Your Dog Feel Safe and Happy
When it comes to training your dog you need to remember that the emotions they feel can affect the outcome of the training.
While we love them dearly and they feel like a member of the family, they’re not human, meaning they aren’t vengeful creatures who plan to upset us or tick us off. They do what makes them feel happy or safe at the time, and that can be both good and bad.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.