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When should you start training your puppy? IMMEDIATELY! RIGHT NOW! THE MOMENT YOU GET HIM!
Okay, I think you’ve got it now…you need to start training your puppy immediately! The moment your receive him, because he is learning. Everything you do with him he is learning. What is right and what is wrong. What is appropriate behavior and what is inappropriate behavior. If you don’t keep in mind that he has begun learning from day 1, hour 1, minute 1, second 1 then you may start inadvertently training him bad behavior (although everything seems so cute when they’re puppies).
Guess What? You Started Training Your Puppy The Moment You Got Him
If I started training my puppy the moment I received him what exactly was I teaching him? Here are a few things you may have already taught your puppy.
- My puppy jumps on my leg so I pet him or pick him up. What has this taught your puppy? That jumping on your leg means he gets attention. Is this what you want your puppy to do? What if he’s an adorable 10 pound Labrador Retriever puppy? It’s cute when he jumps on your leg, yes? However, what about when he’s a 1 year old 80 pound dog. Not so cute anymore. Even at this young age you want to teach your puppy that jumping on your leg doesn’t get him attention. However, when he stops jumping on your leg give him all the attention and praise in the world because he’s doing what you’d like him to do and that is having 4 paws on the floor.
- My puppy barks in his crate so I let him out. What has this taught your puppy? That barking in the crate means you will let him out. Is this what you want your puppy to do? Probably not. If your puppy barks in the crate wait until he stop barking even if just for a few seconds then let him out that way he learns that you only let him out when he does not bark. If you’re having some trouble with crate training check out these crate training tips.
- My puppy grabs one of my socks then runs away. I chase him to get it back. What has this taught your puppy? That if he grabs something you want then you’ll chase him. Is this what you want your puppy to do? Probably not. Most puppies love the chase game so if you chase them they run. The reverse is also true. If you run a way from your puppy they will usually chase you. An even better plan is to work on your puppies recall teaching him his name and come when called.
- I give my puppy scraps at the dinner table. What has this taught your puppy? Your puppy has just learned to beg for food whenever you sit down for a meal. Is this what your want your puppy to do? If you and your guests like it when your puppy begs for food then maybe this isn’t so bad. However, if you’re like me then you do not want a begging dog while at the dinner table. If you can resist the urge of feeding your puppy scraps at the dinner table then your puppy will not beg (tell your friends and family not to feed your pup scraps at the table too). You may also consider training your puppy like a guide dog and have him sleep patiently, between your legs, under the table. I trained Stetson 9 years ago to do this and he still plops down at my feet and goes to sleep while we eat dinner.
- Sit…..Sit…..Sit…..Sit…..Sit…..Yay! Good Boy! What has this taught your puppy? He learned that “Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit” means he should put his butt to the ground. Is this what you want your puppy to do? I imagine you want your puppy to learn that the single word: “Sit” means put your butt to the ground. Check out this article I wrote a while back: When training your puppy only use a command once.
Now that you know when to start training your puppy and what you may have already taught your puppy it’s time to get serious with your puppy training. A good place to start is on the Puppy Training 101 page. If you are like me then you want a well behaved puppy. A puppy with impeccable house manners, well socialized, and with perfect obedience. As a puppy raiser that is exactly what I strive for with my guide and service dog puppies in training.
What do you think? Have you already started training your puppy or is today’s post that eye opener that gets your butt in gear? Let us know what you think and tell us your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for listening. Speak soon.