Kind, fair and effective dog training
Good Habits and Routines
Good habits and routines will stand you in good stead to have a happy and well-behaved pet whilst making your life easier in the long run. Good, consistent grounds rules and a kind; fair; affectionate and decisive attitude are vital.
- Decide your rules from the first day you bring your puppy home and try and follow them consistently.
- Do consider using a crate for your puppy. They are a safe haven for your dog and significantly improve toilet training and prevent chewing of furniture.
- A good quality, nutrient balanced complete food is essential for growth and learning.
- If you have a large breed of puppy, e.g. Labrador, English mastiff, Rottweiler, you should feed a "large breed" food.
- Do not allow over exercising until your puppy is 10-12 months of age. Two 20-25 minutes walks are sufficient.
- Try and reward any good behaviour and ignore the bad behaviour. How you respond to your puppy's behaviour will affect the way they behave in future. Puppies are watching and learning by how you respond to them, so try and be patient.
- Occasionally you will need to use your voice to indicate that you are not happy with what your puppy is doing. Any voice reprimands must be instantly timed so that your puppy associates them with the unwanted behaviour.
- Dogs have short memories, and will not understand if you are inconsistent or bad tempered with them. Once you have interrupted the unwanted behaviour encourage him to do something you don't mind him doing instead - then reward the acceptable behaviour. Dogs don't hold grudges like we humans do!
- Get your puppy to sit by raising the food bowl above his head, and then give him his food. If this is difficult at first, hold on to his collar whilst you place the food down, then tell him to take it.
- Get your puppy to sit before having his lead put on by raising a treat above his head. If he moves, put the lead away and wait until he calms down, then try again. He will learn that he has to sit before he can go out for a walk.
- Get your puppy to sit when you approach the rear of the car, tell him to 'wait' while you open the car door. If he stays in position, reward him and allow him to 'get in'. Do the same when getting out of the car - barging out of the car is extremely dangerous.
- Whenever possible, try to call and encourage your puppy to you, rather than you approaching them. This will help you with your recall.
- It is a good idea to play a 'run away' game with your pup in the garden to encourage him to follow you and watch where you are. When he catches up with you, bend down and give him a really big fuss and be pleased with him for following. This will help with your lead walking as well as your recall.
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Good habits and routines will stand you in good stead to have a happy and well-behaved pet whilst making your lives easier, long term.
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