The most important things to teach your puppy
Those with tight schedules often find it difficult to set aside the required time to train their dog. You don’t have to teach it to hold a ball on its nose, but there are a few simple commands that are fairly critical to you and the dog living in harmony. Here is a simple guide to teaching your dog three key skills. You can thank us later.
Toilet training: For many dog owners, this is probably the most important and frustrating part of getting a new puppy. However, the time it takes to successfully toilet train your puppy can be reduced if you are consistent and use absurd amounts of positive reinforcement. The key points are:
- Decide from day 1 where specifically you want your puppy to do its business and leave a bag of treats there
- Take your puppy there every hour and wait
- If your puppy does a wee or poo, go ballistic with praise, pats and treats – the entire neighbourhood should be able to hear and know exactly what is happening
- Puppies don’t have a great ability to hold when they need to go. If you fail to take them outside regularly to give them the opportunity to wee or poo and as a result they do something inside, rub your own nose in whatever is there as you have no one to blame but yourself!
Come: You don’t want to be that guy/girl at the park running after their dog desperately trying to get them back on the leash to take them home. The best exercise for this one requires two people and works like this:
- Two people stand in different places at home. As long as you can hear each other clearly, distance doesn’t matter too much – 15 meters apart or so will work fine.
- Each person should be holding some small treats behind their back – the smaller the better as you’ll be giving out a lot of them and you don’t want to fatten up your new puppy too much!
- You each take it in turns to yell the dog’s name and the command: “Rover, come!”
- Sound excited and reward your puppy each time with a treat.
- The more often you do this one, the better but as a minimum, give it at least 15 minutes a day until your puppy has it down pat.