There are so many theories and so much conflicting advice regarding the various ways to train a dog. These are some of the things I personally did and recommend when training a new puppy.
- Give your new dog a fabulous first and last name.
- Have a strong owner-dog relationship, based on trust and mutual respect–talk to your dog not at them!
- Take some time off to get to know your dog and give them lots of attention when they first come home.
- Spend an hour a day training for the first six months they arrive. Start with the basics “stay” then move to “come” working your way to more difficult commands such as sit, roll-over or play dead. Always providing small treats as rewards for a job well done. Take your time and enjoy this hour with your dog. They will love you for this one-on-one attention and time you spend together. I would do this right after work still wearing my suit.
- Be the boss–have confidence to control your dog in any situation. Regardless how cute they are.
- Socialize your dog early and make it part of your training– a happy, outgoing dog always gets invited to parties!
- Absolutely no cruelty or harsh training techniques. Keep the newspaper out of this! I don’t believe you have to “hit or break a dogs spirit” to teach them how to behave properly. Ask yourself if this was a child would I handle this any differently? No, just the same, with lots of love and patience.
- No is always no!
- Never, ever feed your dog from the table! Rather give treats after a meal in their food bowl.
- Have a happy voice and an upset voice tone so your dog knows the difference from right and wrong.
- Set boundaries– Kitchen, bath, and playroom are perfect for a “dogs place” slowly introduce new rooms as rewards.
- A place you can send them. I came up with “Corky get in your basket” when I wanted some adult time. Ok so this mostly occurred when I was entertaining and serving dinner. Regardless, your dog should have their own place to be sent that is safe for them.
- Have your friends help reinforce your training and reward system.
- Give them plenty of exercise. I once threw a ball in hopes that Corky would run and return it back to me, but all that happened was she looked at me as if she was saying – “you threw it so you get it”. I quickly learned that walking Corky is how she prefers to get her exercise.
- Love your dog a lot.
And there you have it.