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The Ultimate Puppy Obedience Training Guide

beagle puppy in training

Having a well-trained puppy is not only something to be proud of, but it also makes your life as a dog owner much easier.  Believe it or not, you can teach your new puppy tricks as young as 6 to 8 weeks old.  Dogs are extremely intelligent, and you can take full advantage it if you start off on the right foot.  Eventually, you’ll have an obedient dog that will do pretty much anything you command him to (although he may not fetch you a beer). 

10 New Puppy Training Tips

You’re going to need the right tools to start off, and this article will give you 10 tips for getting the most out of training your new puppy.

1. Treats

Get some treats, lots of them, as this is going to be your main incentive for positive training.  Don’t dish them out too liberally, but instead try to limit them to your training sessions.

2. Rules

Set rules and be sure you know exactly what you’re going to let your dog get away with and what you’re not.  Your dog should understand whether or not he’s allowed in bed or what rooms he can go into.  Once you decide on the rules, make sure you are consistent and stick with them.

3. Space

Dogs need their personal space for time-outs, cool-downs and a specific place to sleep.

4. Timing

Allocate a specific training time each day if you can. Some people prefer mornings while others prefer early evening.  Staying consistent with this will establish a routine.  In the puppy stage, keep the training times short, to begin with, and increase the times as attention becomes more focused.

5. Commands

Teach the very basic commands, to begin with, such as coming when called. It’s important he gets to know his name when you're calling him. Other basic commands that a puppy can learn pretty quickly are 'sit,' 'stay,' and 'lay down'.

6. Patience

Be patient, as your puppy won't get everything the first time, or even the 10th time, but he will eventually get it.  You just need a little patience, persistence, and perseverance. Some breeds are slower and more stubborn than others, but all breeds can be trained. Take your time, and only try to focus one command at a time. Once a command has been mastered, move onto the next one but make sure to still reinforce the one he's mastered.

7. Rewards

Reward your puppy every time he does something right. Give him treats and plenty of praise, and you’ll increase the likelihood of good repeat behavior.  This is called positive reinforcement, and it's been proven to work on every dog.

8. Anti-Nipping

Deter him from nipping, as this will likely turn into biting or aggression later on. Don't scold or hit him when he nips, instead let out a yell or shout and hold your hand as if it's hurting. This will let the dog know you don’t approve of the behavior.  This may take some persistence before he gets it, but better to correct this early than wait until someone gets hurt further down the road.

9. Jumping

Don't ever encourage or reward jumping, as this can become quite a nuisance when they jump up at guests or strangers. You have to respect that some people are afraid of dogs, even if yours is the cutest and friendliest dog in the world that wouldn't hurt a fly.

10. Positivity

Always end training sessions on a positive note by giving him treats and plenty of petting.  Tell your dog he did well that he’s a good boy or girl.  Give him five or ten minutes of playtime to finish off the session, and he’ll likely look forward to the next one.

woman obedience training dog

What Is Obedience Training?

In order to have a long, healthy, and stress-free relationship with your dog, obedience training is a must. Training can start as soon as you get your new puppy home, although the consensus used to be that it was best to wait 6 months. Although many training facilities and puppy schools won’t accept puppies unless they are at least 6 months old, there’s no reason you can’t start the process right away.

Training usually kicks off with 5 or 6 pretty basic commands such as “sit”, “heel”, “come”, “stay”, “stand” and “down”. The first and the easiest to achieve is “sit”, especially if you entice with treats.

Obedience Training Classes

If you choose to sign up for obedience classes, puppy kindergarten is a good first choice in order to develop social skills with other dogs that are critical in more advanced training. Before attending classes you’ll probably be required to show proof of vaccinations, so a visit to the vet may be in order before signing up. Bring along a collar, non-retractable leash, some treats, and a clicker. Obedience training usually kicks off with teaching your dog to walk on a leash either directly next to you or slightly behind you while not pulling your arm off. Proper leash training pays huge dividends in the future and helps immensely in future training. Obedience training ingrains not only basic commands but social skills with other dogs and people as well. It also conditions your dog to concentrate and avoid distractions because he will have to focus even when there are dogs barking and people talking.

Find A Class For Your Puppy

When searching for classes try to find one that has between 5 and 10 dogs as any larger tends to get overcrowded. You’re going to want at least someone on one time with the trainer when you have challenges. Typically, classes last about 10 weeks with 1 or 2 sessions a week giving you time in between to reinforce what you’ve learned at home. All good obedience classes teach positive reinforcement training using a combination of treats and a clicker. The ultimate goal is to phase out the treats altogether and replace them with just clicks and praise.

PetsMart offers great and affordable dog training classes which can be a great way to socialize your puppy with other dogs. Their friendly team offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee with the services provided. Give obedience training a shot and you’ll soon be amazed at just how well trained and behaved your new puppy is.

woman with group of beagle puppies

Training Takes Time

Don’t expect too much early on.  A puppy can learn basic commands in as little as 3 or 4 days, but it may take up to two weeks depending on the dog. Even so, sometimes things take much longer.  Occasionally a puppy may continue to have accidents in the house up to 8 months old, but they’ll eventually get it. 

Dog training is a lifelong endeavor, and you need to be consistent.  Whether it’s every day for 10 minutes or once a week for an hour two, stay consistent and soon you'll have a great, reliable and obedient friend.

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