There are few things more exciting than bringing a new puppy home, but along with the excitement comes responsibility. Now that you're a pet parent, it's time for training to begin. Here are a few dog training tips from our Thomasville vets, to get you started.
Our Best Dog Training Advice
Regardless of whether you decide to train your new puppy or rescue dog yourself, hire an instructor or head to puppy classes, every dog can benefit from some basic training tips.
At our clinic we see a lot of dogs, and we have noticed that the best-trained pets respect their owner as the alpha. These well behaved doggies have also been trained with consistency in mind, so they always know what to expect.
Our Thomasville vets recommend having your puppy spayed or neutered at an appropriate age. Getting your dog 'fixed' may help to make your pooch calmer, less aggressive towards other dogs, and potentially more open to training.
Set House Rules
Dogs respond best to consistency when it comes to training. So before your puppy even comes home, take some time to decide what they are or are not allowed to do. Will your dog be allowed to sleep in your bed? Stake out a spot on the sofa? Will there be any rooms that are off-limits? Clarifying your expectations to yourself and your family can help to avoid confusion and indecision once your cute new canine companion arrives.
Train Your Dog to Come on Command
One of the very first basic commands your pooch will need to master is “Come!” Always use their name when commanding them to come to you, then follow up with positive reinforcement such as a treat or lots of happy pats.
As your new dog's training advances, try the command in other situations with different distractions. That way your dog can practice focusing on you and obeying, even when there are exciting things going on around them.
Reward Good Behavior Quickly With Treats and Praise
Positive reinforcement is the key to training your dog. Always reward good behavior! Whether the reward is a pat on the head, belly rubs, scratches in his favorite spot or a treat or toy, your dog lives to please you and will appreciate the reward.
Puppy-Proof Your House
Puppy-proofing is just like child-proofing your home. To keep your new dog safe, and protect your prized possessions, it's time to move anything your dog is not allowed to play with out of reach. We also recommend providing a safe and secure place for your dog when he’s not being directly supervised, such as a crate or pen, with safe toys that are exclusively his.
Don’t Delay When It Comes To Training
Recognize teaching moments as soon as they happen! Experienced dog owners will tell you that puppies 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. If you delay even a couple of minutes, your puppy will have no idea what they did right. Consistent repetition and reinforcement gets positive results.
Dogs Do What Makes Them Feel Safe & Happy
One common mistake to avoid is attributing human emotions to your dog. Try to keep in mind that, while we love them dearly and they feel like a member of the family, they’re not human. Dogs aren’t vengeful creatures who plan to intentionally upset us or tick us off. They simply do whatever makes them feel happy or safe at the time.
Thomasville Veterinary Hospital Urgent Care + Surgery offers a full range of veterinary services to help keep your dog healthy. Contact us today to book a wellness exam for your new fur baby.
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We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
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