If you’re new around here, my big Christmas present this year was our new puppy, Judy.
We just got word from our breeder that our little fluff ball will be arriving this February and I AM FREAKING OUT! This crazy dog lady has missed the #lablove in her life. Needless to say, after Dane opened up all his presents this year, he’s feeling more than excited, too.
Because we’ve both had dogs before, we are dead-set on having a well-behaved new addition. We actually really would love to train her to become a therapy dog, which, of course, is setting the bar pretty high, but it’s good to have dreams, right?
In honor of our excitement, I have my friend Ella Gray here to talk about training tips for new puppies.
Take it away, Ella!
She’s such a lovable little lady, and the look on her face when you get home from work makes it worth all the chewed up shoes and wet carpets. In the interest of a future relationship, you can’t just let your puppy get away with everything puppy-like simply because she looks at you with her heart in her eyes. Humans and dogs have managed to co-exist, but not without some serious help in pet training. Although she’s cute now, the misbehavior will start to wear on you and affect the love you have for your little puppy. In order to ensure that your relationship is always loving and cuddly, use the following training tips to keep your puppy in line.
Listen to Your Puppy
You may think she should be friendly to the neighbor’s dog, but it just may not be in her personality to shower anyone but you with affection. If your puppy seems uncomfortable around other dogs or people, don’t force the issue. You should have done your research before you chose a dog to determine which breeds fit in best with your lifestyle, but at the end of the day, remember that she’s an animal, not a human.
Reciprocate the Affection
Puppies are notorious for showering love and affection everywhere they go, and you should reward her in kind. The worst thing you can do is only pay attention to her when she’s done something wrong. Give her affection and love when she’s done something good, too. Be a little over the top when she does something right to show her the behavior you want to continue.
Communicate Your Wants
Don’t just buy a dog door or training collar and expect her to understand what it does. Her brain doesn’t work at the same level yours does, and she may need some direct instruction for what you want her to do. Be specific about what you expect rather than just telling her “no” every time she does something wrong. Rather than telling her no when she jumps on visitors, give her an alternative and encourage her to sit. Remember that she doesn’t understand what you’re saying until you teach her.
Consistency is Key
If you’ve raised children before you got your puppy, you know that consistency is key in all things behavior related. If she gets in trouble for peeing on the carpet one day but you let it slide the next, she’ll quickly become confused about what you expect from her. If you choose the word “off” to get her off the couch, but your kids tell her “down” she may end up running in circles chasing her tail and trying to keep you happy. Stay consistent in all expectations and commands and make sure everyone in the home does the same.
When you bring her home with her new chew toys and fluffy bed, don’t allow her free reign of your home until she earns it. Dogs become overexcited when they have too much freedom too soon and she may respond destructively. Close doors to rooms and section off the parts of the home she’s allowed in until she’s a little bigger.
Done right, training your dog will allow you to foster a relationship with her that is rewarding, loving and beneficial for both of you.