Top tips for training your dog or puppy
If you’re at a loss as to how to stop your new furry friend from eating the furniture and using the carpet as a toilet then don’t panic, a few simple training methods could be all it takes to turn your dog around.
Whether you’ve just introduced a puppy or an older dog to your home the training principles are exactly the same, you may just need to persevere a little longer with an older dog as he or she is likely to be set in their ways.
Training your dog or puppy should begin as soon as you bring them home; you should have a puppy crate ready for your new addition to the family, this makes them feel safe and secure – even an older dog being introduced to a new space will want a safe haven, so don’t deprive them of this. This crate should never be used as a punishment, if your dog does something wrong do not send them to bed for being naughty – as when they need to go to sleep they won’t listen because they think they’re getting told off.
The house: When you first bring your dog or puppy home you need to be sure that you don’t let them run free round the entire house for a little while; such a big space will be exciting for your dog but will also be a little daunting and this can inspire naughty behaviour. Instead, over the space of a week slowly introduce them to each room in the house so they can adjust at their own pace.
Feeding: Feed your puppy or dog on the best quality food you can afford; this will ensure that you are giving them a balanced diet and they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy. With puppies; you should start by feeding them three or four small portions a day, puppies have a tendency to eat too quickly which will make them sick so little and often is the key. Slowly wean your puppy off the regular meals until you are feeding them just two meals a day; one in the morning and one in the evening.
When you’re feeding both puppies and dogs it is a brilliant idea to remove the bowl whilst they’re eating and put it back again, repeat this three or four times in quick succession. The idea behind this is that they won’t develop any territorial habits over their dinner which means no growling and nipping if you approach them whilst they’re eating.
Toilet training: When toilet training a puppy you need to understand that, similar to babies, they just can’t hold it for very long. As a general rule a puppy can only hold its bladder for the amount of time corresponding to its age; so a two month old will only be able to hold it for two hours – inevitably this leads to accidents.
From day one you should take your puppy outside every hour; they’re likely to need to go to the toilet quite often so an hourly basis should mean they start going outside even if it is just by chance. If your puppy has an accident and you catch them doing it; tell them ‘no’ and take them outside. If you leave your puppy unattended and they have an accident you mustn’t tell them off for it retrospectively as they won’t understand.
If you do this consistently your dog or puppy will begin to associate going outside with going to the toilet, and when they learn to control their bladder they will wait by the door for you to let them out.
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