4 helpful tips for training a puppy
Thursday, August 03, 2017
Getting a puppy is both exciting and exhausting. Many only think about how cute and fun to play with they're going to be, but don't realize the amount of work and patience that goes into raising a puppy. Sleepless nights, destroyed furniture (and shoes) and feeling like you're always cleaning up pee in your house.
While training a puppy isn't for everyone, here are a few tips and tricks to help.
1. Utilize your veterinarian
Along with getting your puppy routinely checked, your veterinarian can be a lot of help with raising and training your puppy. They often will have ideas to assist with certain situations or behaviors, and they can offer you training material to read.
Veterinarians deal with animals for a living, and they've most likely seen and heard it all. While the internet can help you with a lot of things, sometimes having a professional to talk to not only helps ease your stress and worry, but it can also give you the validation you're looking for.
2. Make a schedule and stick to it
As a new dog parent, you will learn that puppies need to be on a schedule. That includes eating, using the bathroom and going on walks.
Getting them on a schedule not only helps keep them in line and learn things faster, but it also helps you stay on track and plan. Amy ShojaI, a certified animal behavior consultant, says, "Choose a convenient, easily cleaned location for potty training and be sure the whole family knows where the puppy is supposed to go."
Pets become confused if you move their bathroom spot. The key here is consistency and enforcement.
3. Yes, your puppy is supposed to sleep a lot
Depending on what age you get your puppy, one thing to note is that your puppy will sleep most of the day. They usually leave a few hours of the day for playing, eating and going to the bathroom.
"A newborn puppy's daily routine is made up of sleeping 90 percent of the time," writes veterinarian Dr. Laci Schaible. "As your puppy matures beyond the newborn stage, he will sleep less; but even at 3 months of age your furry sleepyhead will spend 15 to 20 hours a day dozing and dreaming away."
Don't be alarmed if you find your puppy sleeping a lot.
4. Reward good behavior
When training a puppy, you're going to find that you say "no" or "bad dog" a lot. They are learning, and with that comes bathroom accidents, chewing and frustration. This is why it's good to recognize not only bad behavior but also good behavior.
According to The Humane Society, correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement. The reward must occur immediately — within seconds — or the puppy may not associate it with the proper action.
For example, if your puppy starts whining or barking, more often than not she needs to go to the bathroom. If you take her out and she does go to the bathroom, you should reward that behavior right away. Not only did she tell you she needed to go out, but she also went in the appropriate spot.
Whether you have a puppy you're trying to train or are thinking about getting one, the biggest thing to remember is that the puppy period doesn't last forever. Patience is key. Remember, just like you had to learn things as a baby, so does your puppy.
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