You're the proud new pet parent of a beautiful young puppy or rescue dog, and now it's up to you to start their training! Today, our Clackamas vets share some key small and big dog training advice to help get you started.
Some of the Best Dog Training Tips & Advice
It doesn't matter whether you choose to train your new puppy or rescue dog yourself, hire an instructor, or head to classes, every pup can benefit from some essential training tips.
Naturally, we see a lot of dogs on a regular basis at our animal hospital, and the best-trained pets respect their owner as the alpha. These pups have also been trained with consistency in mind so that they always know and understand what to expect.
Our vets believe that you should start with a good foundation, which includes ensuring the health of your puppy and spaying or neutering them when they reach an appropriate age. Fixing your canine companion may help reduce their aggression towards other dogs, make them calmer, and potentially make them more open to training.
Establishing House Rules
When it comes to training, dogs respond best to consistency! That's why it's super important to be clear with yourself and your family regarding what you expect of your new pup before you bring him/her home.
You should clarify what your pup is and is not allowed to do. Is it okay to sleep in your bed? Are you allowing your pup to curl up on the couch? Do you restrict access to any areas of the house? You can help avoid confusion and indecision after your new furbaby arrives at the house by understanding and mapping out your expectations.
Teach Your Pup to Come on Command
One of the first basic commands your furry friend will need to master is “Come!” Always use their name when making the command, and be sure to follow up with positive reinforcement such as praise or a tasty treat.
As your pet grows and learns, make an effort to get them to 'come' in other situations, even when their attention is elsewhere, and help them become accustomed to responding even if there's something more interesting than you grabbing their attention.
Be Quick with Treats & Praise as Rewards
To ensure your pooch responds well during training, always reward good behavior with positive reinforcement. Your pup lives to please you and appreciates when you reward them for getting it right, whether it's a pat on the head, belly rubs, a scratch in a favorite spot, a treat, or a toy.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
To help keep your new furbaby safe and protect your prized possessions from getting destroyed, you need to puppy-proof your home, similar to child-proofing your house. When you are not directly supervising your pup, make sure to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to stay. Your pooch can relax and play with safe dog-friendly toys in a dog crate or pen, which is an ideal place.
Know a Teaching Moment When You See One
You want to recognize teaching moments as they happen, just as you want to reward good behavior. Experienced dog owners will inform you that pups live in the moment and require lots of repetition.
You have to enforce a rule or lesson immediately after they do the deed. Dogs can't dwell on the past; they forget what they've done a few minutes later. Therefore, they become truly confused and unable to make the association between their actions and corrections or training techniques unless we do them right away. The best puppy training results come from fast, consistent repetition.
Note: Dogs Do Whatever Makes them Feel Safe or Happy
Many dog owners commonly make the mistake of attributing human emotions to their canine companions. We acknowledge that you love your dog and that your furbaby is considered a member of the family, but please remember - your pup is not human.
Dogs don't simply plan to upset or annoy you as vengeful creatures. They simply do whatever makes them feel happy or safe in the moment, which can result in both good and bad behaviors. When your dog misbehaves, just remember that it didn't plan it and respond to the behavior right then and there. You should live in the moment, and when training your dog, you should do the same.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.