Top Things to Teach Your Puppy to Ensure Its Happiness
If you love dogs, there is no way an adorably cute puppy will fail to bowl you over. However, if you are a first-timer, all too often, you may not have a clue how to take care of them properly. Raising a puppy is no rocket science, but you need to know quite a few things to raise your puppy right and give it and yourself loads of happiness. According to Reader’s Digest, training provides mental stimulation and helps you and your pet bond better. Some tips on the most important things you need to teach your puppy:
Socialize Your Puppy to Different Situations
You must teach your puppy to know that the world is a safe and good place to be in. The name for the process is socialization, which involves taking your puppy to new places and exposing him to different sights, sounds, people, other animals, and traffic, making sure he enjoys the time. The point is to teach him that there are many things in the wide world he is likely to encounter, and they all can play a positive part in his life. While many people understand that the puppy must learn to deal with many things around him, they often do not know the importance of ensuring a good time for the puppy. You must complete the socialization process by the time the puppy is 14 weeks old, which does not mean you have a lot of time on your hands if you acquired him at the age of eight weeks. You should start the process by taking him where the puppy will not find the environment overwhelming. Small gatherings indoors and outdoors, pet-friendly cafes and stores, parks, etc., are ideal. Remove him from situations that make him fearful and let him observe from a distance. You can give him a treat to reinforce the good association with the situation.
Leave Your Puppy Alone to Help Him Overcome Separation Anxiety
A dog is a social animal thriving in the company of other dogs in their natural habitats had it not been for humans controlling their environments. Dogs commonly are alone at home for eight to ten hours or longer. The extended period of isolation and separation anxiety can harm many dogs.
To ensure your dog can handle extended periods of being alone well, you need to get him used to being alone gradually. You can include crate or exercise training for him to stay safe when you are not at home. It is better if you take a few days off when you bring your pup home so that he gets accustomed to being alone. At first, you can play with him to tire him out and then put him in the pen with a chew and stay nearby working or reading. You can keep increasing the distance and the period of being by himself until he remains calm and relaxed all alone for long periods.
Housetrain Your Puppy
Training your puppy to relieve itself at designated places in the house is among the most important things you can do to bring up your puppy well. While the process is simple, it can take a lot of effort and patience to oversee the process and prevent your puppy from going to any other place other than the earmarked places. In addition to strict supervision, you may have to use devices like leashes, crates, exercise pens, baby gates, etc., to make your pup learn to go outdoors to pee or poop or use a litter box. The trick is to take him out to the designated spot once every hour in the initial stages, which may be more often than he needs to go but is important for reinforcing the habit of going to a specific place for his business. As your pup becomes accustomed to the idea, you can extend the interval between two visits. Making your puppy familiar with different surfaces, like grass, gravel, sand, dirt, etc., is a healthy practice to prevent him from going on only one surface, which can be an issue if that surface is unavailable. Giving him the freedom to play or roam around the house after he has defecated can teach him to hold it for more time to extend the fun time. Repeating the exercise of going out to empty the bowels and returning inside will teach him the importance of going outside to poop. He is likely to make mistakes initially, but you must not shout at him because then, he will be scared and do his business hiding in various places inside rather than face you in an angry mood. Proper puppy leash training is vital for him to learn to poop when outside in public places.
Permit the Puppy to Chew Only on Identified Objects
Even though when they are experimenting, puppies will chew almost anything, they soon develop a liking for some things. You can control what they can lay their teeth on by managing your pup’s environment with leashes, pens, and strict supervision. By teaching what is allowed or not allowed, you will be able to give him the run of your house sooner, comfortable knowing your valuables are not at risk. You can give him an assortment of chew objects to find out what he prefers so you can keep them handy at all times, even beyond his puppy days. Generally speaking, you will need a year or so of disciplined training before you can trust him not to create havoc inside the house.
Use Positive Training to Train Your Dog Better and Faster
Force-free training techniques came in for a lot of criticism when introduced a couple of decades ago. However, numerous studies also support the theory that fore-free training is more effective and quicker than the traditional methods relying on force to subjugate the puppy. A vital component of force-free training is giving treats to reward and reinforce good behavior by the dog. You should carry treats with you to reinforce the expected behavior of your dog, and you will notice your pet obeying your instruction better very soon in the hope of getting a tasty reward. You will also be able to train your do to avoid certain behaviors by withholding the treat and expressing your displeasure firmly but not aggressively.
Demonstrate That Learning Is Fun
Like children, pups also learn better and faster when they engage in fun activities. Skilled trainers do not restrict themselves to treats but employ other devices like toys, play, happy voices, etc., to train their charges. If you want your dog trained by a professional, you should look out for one who believes in force-free training, either in private or in groups. You know you are on the right track if you find your dog looking forward to the training sessions.
Teach Your Dog to Come Back When Called
Teaching your dog to return to you when called is unarguably the single most important thing on your list of training tasks. If your dog obeys your call to return without fail, you can give him more freedom to run about in areas permitting off-leash dogs. It is well-established that dogs allowed to run and play freely are physically and mentally healthier and easier to live with because they can work off their excess energy. You can use a reward like extended play time or a coveted treat to get your dog to learn to respond faster to your signal. However, you must never call your dog to do something he will not enjoy, like putting him into a crate or giving him medicine. Calling out to punish or scold him is a big no. Teaching your dog to respond to your call promptly and without question may save his life someday. Teaching recall is more effective when you make it fun.
Help Your Dog to Associate Love with Human Touch
Dogs are naturally friendly and love humans, especially their owners touching them. However, some dogs may not respond well to human touch, especially if they have been subject to ill-treatment, pain, and trauma. You can teach your dog to be more comfortable with a human touch by associating good things with it and minimizing restraint. You can pair non-invasive touches with goodies like a treat or a toy. You must repeat the same thing quickly to help your puppy associate the relationship of the touch with the reward. When you find your dog feeling happy when touched and turning to look for a treat, you will know your training has been successful. After establishing consistent behavior, you should focus on areas of the dog’s body where he is less comfortable when you touch him and continue the process. This training will help you groom the dog, treat for injuries, trim nails, and more.
Perhaps the most important outcome of training your puppy is a feeling of trust and confidence in you for a lifetime. If you commit yourself to training your dog using force, pain, and fear, you will know that you will have a relationship of eternal love, respect, and trust. If you find a trainer using force-training techniques, be ready to step away immediately because ultimately, you need to do what is best for your pet.