Last Updated on 2022-02-03 by Admin
The how to guide deals with house training, biting puppies, eating things of ground, crate training and how to deal with over excitement.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people got themselves a puppy. And with that boom in puppy ownership also comes the desire to learn how to provide basic puppy training.
Basic Puppy Training Should Start Early
Anyone that ever had a puppy will know how fast they grow and develop. Compared to humans, growth and development are in fast forward mode. That is why starting with basic puppy training early is essential. Puppies learn fast when they get consistent feedback. They have lots of enthusiasm, energy and want to engage. That is as long as it is fun for them.
Puppies have a short attention span. And any training activity is best done in short bursts while they are focused and pay attention. When the puppy loses interest, move on to something else. A training routine can be repeated multiple times during the day.
Doing basic puppy training without many distractions works best. A distraction-free environment is helping a dog succeed with learning.
Things to Know About Puppy Training
Puppies are babies, and sometimes we forget that. Other times we expect the puppy to listen and behave. But that only happens after training, not before. In general, it helps to keep the following points in mind when dealing with a Puppy.
- The puppy tries hard to please You
- Puppies have a short attention span, keep the training short
- Play = Learning, make training fun
- Puppies process what they learn during sleep
- The puppy is watching You and your body language
- Puppies are not robots, they have a minds of there own.
- They can be stubborn.
- Be consistent
- Be patient
- Puppies are babies, don’t expect something that a baby cant give
- When You are frustrated, stop the training
- Help the puppy succeed
- Give lots of praise in a high pitched voice when something was done well
- Keep distractions at a minimum while training
Pay attention to the dog, look at the dog when you go for a walk. Soon You will notice how often the dog looks at You. That is non verbal communication, and the dog at that moment is paying attention to You. That can be a great time to introduce play or training.
The most basic puppy training is house training. The best way to do house training is to make sure the puppy never does its business in the house. To achieve that, one must pay attention to when the puppy does its business, eats and drinks. Once that schedule is established, a pattern will soon show when they have to go out.
Train for Success
The next thing to do is to be outside before the puppy does its business. Doing so will speed up the house training. The puppy will quickly learn that outside is where to do its business. Don’t get mad at the puppy because it is doing its business inside when You are late going outside.
Helping Your dog succeed will make You and the puppy proud. And when the puppy does its business outside, praise it, show that you are pleased. Before You know it, the puppy will stand in front of the door, letting You know it has to go out.
I don’t find dog pads helpful. They help to facilitate what You don’t want. Which is do its business in its home.
When mentioning crate training, people often get the wrong idea. A crate does not have to be closed all the time. And crate is not a jail for the dog. A crate is to provide a dog with a private space. It also helps to protect the dog. And it can protect people that have a fear of dogs. I have no command for Annie to go to the crate, she goes there on her own. And that has been like that since she was 8 weeks old. She just has her favorite toys in the crate.
It makes sense to keep the crate closed at knight when You and the puppy are sleeping. When the puppy is in a closed crate, it can’t wander off and chew on some appliance electrical cables.
As I have written about this in other articles on my blog, I don’t want to repeat myself. So if crate training is something of interest, please read my article on preparing for a puppy and the the other article on finding a crate and mat.
A Biting Puppy
Puppies will bite when they play. Those little bite marks can stay visible for a few days on a hand or arm. Most puppies don’t intend to harm when they bite. But the the puppy needs to learn that it is not OK to bite people. Basic puppy training to stop a puppy from biting needs to be done early. Because a few months down the road the the puppy will most likely start teething. Training the puppy early not to bite will make it easier to deal with biting when the dog begins teething.
Boxer puppies will start teething around 4 to 6 months of age. Like with Babies, teething is also uncomfortable for puppies. At 4 to 6 months old, that puppy is not so small anymore. And at this age table legs, and other objects become of interest to reduce the pain from teething. By giving a puppy some cold carrots, Raw bones, or bananas brings some relief. Plus, it can also teach a dog not to bite the furniture. There are also natural rubber toys that can provide some comfort for the same purpose.
It is helpful to the dog to have chew toys that are ribbed and not too soft. A teething puppy will spend a lot of time chewing on things. Toys need to be kept clean and, if possible cool. A cold toy helps with the discomfort.
The best way to teach a puppy the impact the biting has is to Yell Ouch when a puppy bites. The Yell startles the puppy. And it starts to understand that it has a negative effect. Repeating to yell
Ouch, each time the puppy bites, it will sink in eventually. In conjunction with the Yell, also have a soft toy handy. When the puppy wants to bite, shove the soft toy in its mouth to bit the toy instead of You.
Consistency is essential in any dog training. Puppies learn quickly when the practice is consistent.
Children and adults love puppies, and they are attracted to them. That means that kids might run-up to a puppy and start to pet it. If that puppy bites, the puppy will be considered aggressive. So it is best not to let strangers play with the puppy until it is trained not to bite.
Puppy Getting Overexcited and Plays Rough
When Annie was a puppy, she could not get enough of playing. I am sitting on the living room floor and play with her. The more excited she got, the rougher the play became. And whenever she would start to bite lightly, I would yell Ouch—followed by Gently. What that does is startles the dog by Yell of Ouch, and Gently became the signal to slowing down. At that point, I would no longer contribute to the play until she calmed down.
Managing Stimulation/Arousal in dogs
As a dog owner, it is crucial to understand at what point to stop and remove the stimulant. There are limits to how much stimulation a dog can take before becoming aggressive. Long before the dog gets aggressive, it will stop listening to Your commands. When that happens, You lost control of the dog. Starting training while the puppy is young will be of enormous benefit later.
Every dog has its limits for stimulation. It is vital to be in tune with the dog and understand the signs of over-stimulation. Dog Breed is also a consideration. Boxers, for example, are very active and easily excitable. That means it only takes a short time of rough play with Annie before she gets over-excited.
When the Puppy is Grown Up
The puppy training stays with a dog for the rest of its life. When Annie plays with other dogs, and I can tell she is getting excited. I can give Anne the Gently command, and she does play more gently. For how long she will play gently depends on how excited she is. In other words, it is my responsibility to intervene at the right time. Before Annie gets overexcited, she needs a time-out. When going past that point, she won’t listen to me anymore. To calm her down at that stage might require me to run my hand down her chest and tell her to calm down.
Behaviour observed during puppy play an turn up again in unexpected situations when the dog is grown up. With Annie, it was the dog park that overstimulates her. And we had to stop going to the Dog park. You can read about that experience in my post called “Two to Three Year old Boxer“.
It is vital to understand how much stimulation a dog can take and at what point to intervene. In my resource section at the end of the article are some links that deal with stimulation.
Paw touching is something that became natural when playing with Annie. Even at four years old, Annie will lay on her back and have four legs stretched out. When she does that, I give her a belly rub and then grab her front paws and then the rear paws. And move them forth and back, as parents do with Babies. While I do that, Annie will try to get my hands in her mouth gently.
Prepare for the future
Paw touching is essential training for later in a dog’s life. Someday someone will have to cut the dogs the claws. Having the paws touched makes it less stressful for the dog when the nails get trimmed. There is also a time when a stone or road salt gets stuck in the paws. Having the dog trained for paw touching makes it easier for the dog to hold still. And for You to grab the paw and check for small rocks or road salt between the paws.
You never know what will happen to that puppy later in life. Having it trained at a very young age that paw touching is OK. It will reduce the stress on the dog when there are situations that need the paws to be touched.
Puppies will often roll over and expose their belly and have all four paws stretched out. That means the puppy is trusting and comfortable. Giving a little belly rub is like rewarding the dog for trust. But it is crucial the let the dog get up from that position whenever it wants to. At times, dogs can very abruptly get up and walk away in the middle of such play. Puppies, in general, respond well to any play. So making a play out of paw touching and belly rubs work well. One should never force a dog to do anything it does not want to do.
This play/training is also important for later in the life of the dog. Should a dog ever need surgery, it might be beneficial to touch the dog’s belly. After Annie got spayed, she was in pain. And as the wound was healing, it was itchy. She was not able to lick the injury because of the cone around her head. Annie would sit very snug against me, and I could run my fingers over her belly gently. Annie appreciated that as it reduced the itch.
Puppy is Chewing on Things
Young dogs will chew on anything. They do not know the difference between a rope for play and an electrical cable. They chew on things to explore and experience. And that can be very dangerous.
A puppy must learn that not everything is OK for chewing. Puppies need supervision when they are allowed to roam around freely in the house or outside. But it can be challenging to keep up with all the things a puppy finds attractive. That is why some people resort to using vinegar, hot sauce, mint etc., on cables and furniture legs, hoping that the puppy will get deterred. In some cases, that might work but not in all cases.
Finding the right Command
What can also be done is to train the dogs for the command No and leave it. Whenever the puppy wants to chew on something, it is not supposed to. Say No or Leave it. Then take the puppy away for what it tried to chew.
Not every word you use will get the desired response. So one needs to pay attention to which word the dog responds. For example, if Annie wants to sniff on some food wrapper on the floor. I will tell her to leave it. It took quite a while to train Annie to understand the command leave it. But now it is one command she listens to well.
As with all training, consistency is the road to success. Training a Puppy can very frustrating. There will be days without progress. Don’t give up. One day that puppy will do what it learned.
Eating Anything of the Ground
Puppies and older dogs at times behave like garbage bins. They might try to eat rocks, plastics, glass, cooked bones and other none edible things. Like with human babies, puppies want to take things into their mouths.
With Annie, it was tedious going for a walk when she was a puppy. Before I was aware, she has something in her mouth. And I am getting my finger in her mouth and take out what she had in it before she could swallow it. Annie hated having my finger in her mouth. And there were times I had to open her mouth, and she was not interested in spitting out what she had. Never the less, every time Annie would eat something of the ground. I would tell her to leave it. And most of the time, my command got ignored. It was so bad that a regular few minutes walk became 30 minutes or more.
Don’t Underestimate that Puppy
Consistently doing the same thing eventually got Annie to look at me when I said leave it. Then I could give her a treat instead of the garbage she was trying to eat. Be aware puppies are intelligent. For example, Annie learned that she could turn her body so that I would not see what she is doing. Only later did I notice that she had something in her mouth. Then I would say, “What have you got” and she spit out what she had in her mouth. That works most of the time, but not always.
It Could Save Your Dog’s Life
To train a dog not to eat stuff off the ground can be life-saving. Every year I read in the news that someone put poisoned meat or other bait in dog parks. And sometimes at other places where people walk dogs. No dog owner wants to lose a dog in this way. And it does not have to be a poison that can be harmful to dogs. Eating Cooked bones can also be deadly for a dog. One must be aware of what a puppy is doing.
Puppy training can be a lot of work. Puppies need constant attention. Like children, they need to learn and experience things. For the dog owner, it takes discipline and patience. Often it feels like the puppy will never understand. Then the next morning, the puppy does precisely as trained. One thing to remember is that puppies try very hard to please. You are everything to them.
Things turned out well
When I look back to when Annie was a puppy, I never expected that the basic puppy training would be so beneficial years later. I also never expected to have so many health issues with Annie. The many vet visits were less stressful for Annie than for many other dogs. Because Annie is crate trained, she is comfortable in a crate. She is also not afraid when someone touches her paws.
Play and Train
What looked like play to Annie turned out to be excellent training. The benefits for Annie and me are reduced stress. There is another benefit of spending time with a puppy. It brings the owner and dog closer. The relationship that can develop might not be visible with a puppy, but it becomes clear as the puppy grows up.
Arousal and Aggression in Dogs http://www.robinkbennett.com/2016/08/06/arousal-and-aggression-in-dogs/
Over Excited Dog: How Understanding Behavior Thresholds Can Help You https://thehappypuppysite.com/over-excited-dog/