If you want to train your puppy in the most efficient way from the start, there are two methods for training your puppy which you need to pay close attention to. They are being the pack leader and the method of positive reinforcement. Each of these methods will be explained in this article and you will see how you can use them to train your puppy dog effectively.
When you bring a puppy into your home, it’s wise to have some understanding of the natural instincts of the dog and of the fact that the dog is a pack animal. The pack has its own dynamics and the principle of dominance is crucial within it. Within a pack there is a hierarchy and at the top is the alpha pair. They are the only ones allowed to breed.
When it comes to eating, the alpha pair eat first. When it comes to sleeping, they take the higher vantage place. This is why dogs like to sleep on beds or sofas.
If you want to set off on the right foot and avoid behavior problems in your puppy, you absolutely must position yourself and your family as the pack leaders or alpha dogs in your home. One way to emphasise yourself as pack leader is not letting your puppy onto your bed or sofa.
At meal times for a couple of weeks at least, it’s good to get the family to eat something (like a biscuit for example) just before you give the puppy his food. When taking the biscuits, make it look as if you are taking them from the dog’s dish.
You should always behave in a calm and assertive manner. Being the pack leader leads naturally into the concept of positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement means that you reward a desired behavior in your puppy or dog and ignore an undesired behavior. Negative reinforcement and punishment have been shown to be ineffective and most dog trainers don’t use them any more.
You can use small treats as positive reinforcement. Praise and affection can also be used. It is crucial that you don’t reinforce unwanted behaviors in your puppy. Reinforcing undesired behaviors is one of the main reasons for dog behavior problems. Puppy or dog training happens whenever you are with your puppy or dog, not just when you decide to have a training session.
For example, if your puppy jumps up at you when you come into a room and you give him attention and affection, you are reinforcing his “jumping up” behavior. Whenever he engages in an undesired behavior, you must not give him any attention – just ignore him. This means you should look away or turn away and not give any attention. This method may be difficult for you to accept and this is the reason many people fail in training their dogs.
You will find that positioning yourself as the pack leader in your home forms a bedrock for all your puppy training and positive reinforcement gives you a method to encourage the correct behaviors in your puppy and to avoid potential dog behaviour problems.
For more information on training your puppy, visit the Training Puppy Tips website.