Dog training advice

Obedience trainingFor successful training, practice the following basic training steps with your puppy every day. Keep training sessions short. Your puppy will see everything as a game, so keep him stimulated by changing what he's learning. Do each command for about five minutes and come back to it whenever you can.

Practice the commands in lots of different places — in the living room, garden, hall or kitchen, even out on walks — so that he gets used to responding to you in all sorts of situations. You can use the click technique to help with other aspects of your puppy's training, such as encouraging him to stand still for grooming and getting him used to traveling by car.

Your puppy will learn very quickly and respond to love and affection as well as rewards. Obedience training will help build a lasting bond between the two of you and you'll be rewarded with a happy, well-trained dog.

Table manners

Giving in to your puppy's every need is not a good thing. As your puppy grows, so will his need to assert himself. Puppies often choose mealtimes as a battleground. But giving in to him is a mistake. You need to make sure he knows that you won't respond to his every demand.

Your puppy needs to learn that people around him, particularly small children, can be a bit unpredictable. But he needs to accept that their unpredictable behavior is not threatening. You can help him do this by imitating a child's behavior. Try stepping quickly towards his bowl — then drop in a treat. Gently bump into him, while he's eating, or roll toys nearby — anything to cause a distraction, but drop a treat in the bowl to reward him for continuing to eat calmly. Do this every so often, but not at every meal. If your puppy freezes mid-mouthful, growls or glares at you, stop and try again another time. If this continues, it's best to seek advice from a veterinary behaviorist or certified dog trainer.

Reading your puppy's body language

Dogs have always communicated with each other by using body language. This involves facial expressions, body postures, noises and scents. Dogs will use their mouth, eyes, ears and tail to express emotions. By learning how to interpret your puppy's body language, you can interpret your puppy's intentions.


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