Every dog lover on the planet will agree that there are a few things cuter than a puppy and, of course, your puppy is the cutest you have ever seen. But while you might be besotted with your new baby, the honeymoon period will over when you come home one day to find that your pup has destroyed your favorite shoes, peed on your bed and ripped all the stuffing out of your beloved designer sofa—irrespective of the amount of dog training you may think you have given him.
The thing about dog parenting, is that it can be equally as tough as raising rebellious kids and a new puppy can often require equally as much discipline (if not more!) If you want to have a harmonious companionship with your pooch, then you are going to have to don your parenting hat and start disciplining your dog and teaching him how to be an awesome example of a loyal and well behaved canine companion.
Getting Started with Puppy Training
Your puppy’s bad behavior can easily be turned around, even if you currently feel like its impossible. However, it’s not just about buying a new toy, getting out his leash, or throwing him in a crate for while. Likewise, punishing your puppy by shouting at him or hitting him is never acceptable, so it’s important that you understand how to implement discipline correctly and calmly. Here are some basic steps to master in order to teach your pup how to be a good dog!
Consistency Is Key
If your dog was told off for barking at your neighbor’s cat two days in a row and then on the third day you just gave up and let it slide, then obviously your pup is going to be confused. The same is true for sleeping on the bed; you can’t let him snuggle up with you “just this once” and then reprimand him for wanting to get in with you the following night. When it comes to disciplining your pup and teaching them what is allowed and not allowed requires consistency and patience if you want to get the results that you desire. No means no, so always make sure that you reinforce good behavior and never give in to your pup’s tantrums.
Timing Is Essential
If your pup pees in the house or chews something up, then you should only punish this bad behavior if you actually catch your pooch in the act. If your dog has already devoured an entire shoe but has since moved on to doing something else, then he simply won’t understand why she is being told off.
Be Firm, But not too Stern
Saying “no” firmly to your pup if he is not behaving is a great way to let him know that he needs to stop whatever he is doing immediately. But make sure that you don’t start yelling at your dog; otherwise, he is just going to be afraid of you. Remember that a dog won’t understand that your yelling is directly linked to his bad behavior and will interpret it as a threat. Always remain calm and firm so your dog does not pick up on your nervous energy and he starts seeing you as the pack leader.
Reward the Good
Positive reinforcement and time regarding the dog’s behavior are key. Disciplining your puppy requires balance, so rewarding good behavior is equally as important as correcting bad behavior. If you have told your pup to stop doing something and he did, then give him a tasty treat to let her know he has done something good. The way to a dog’s heart is through his belly and he will soon figure out that he will get treats if he listens to your commands. It’s a great way to train your puppy.
Common Problems with Puppies (And What to Do!)
Jumping up at people, barking relentlessly, and going potty inside the house are just a few of the issues that you might have to deal with when raising a puppy and this is the part of having a dog that is not fun and can become incredibly frustrating. Here is what you can do to curb these negative behavior types and understand why your dog is acting out.
As a dog doesn’t have the ability to speak, he will vocalize his needs through barking and whining. This is a common occurrence among puppies and if you allow your pup to whine and bark non-stop then you are only contributing to bad behavior when he grows up. If your puppy is barking or crying and you suspect that it’s just for attention, then you should tell him no and then ignore him. Much like kids, dogs will quickly realize when their negative behavior is not going to get them what they want. Some puppies will experience anxiety, especially when they are made to sleep in their own bed. Using a natural remedy like CBD oil or CBD dog treats can be an excellent calming method that can be used alongside other training methods and many people have had great success eliminating hyperactive or destructive behavior by using them.
Mouthing and Nipping
If your pup has a tendency to nip you, then know that his intention is not to be aggression. As puppies don’t have hands, they use their mouths to explore the world. Regardless of how cute your puppies nipping might seem now, if you leave it unchecked you could have problems with biting in the future. When your puppies mouths or nips you, then stay calm and gently remove your hand whilst saying “no!”
Chewing Everything in Sight
When a puppy is teething, he will naturally want to chew something. Chewing is completely normal behavior for dogs, but it’s important to let them know what they are and aren’t allowed to bite into.
Separation anxiety in dogs is common, especially if they receive all of your attention, 24 hours a day. It’s important to acclimatize your pup to being left on her own from day one—if you mother a dog too much, then they won’t be able to cope when left alone.
It takes patience and persistence to eliminate bad behavior in a young dog, but know behavioral difficulties among puppies is quite normal. Consider talking to a reputable dog trainer if you find that your puppy’s behavior is getting overwhelming.
Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She's pretty sure in her past life, she was a Great Dane. However, we peg her as more of a labrador. Regardless of her breed, she's a dog enthusiast who has 15 years experience training dogs and owners.