When you first bring your puppy home, you will inevitably want to spend some time bonding with her and get her settled into your family.
Obedience training is something that you should make a priority for several different reasons. Most importantly, it can help keep your puppy safe. Despite your best efforts to ensure the safety of your furbaby, accidents do happen. If your puppy manages to slip her leash or is startled and runs away, or if she manages to somehow break free of your back yard, if she understands a simple command like ‘stop’ or even her name, you could prevent her from running into danger. Similarly, a command like ‘drop’ could stop your puppy from eating something toxic.
Other reasons why obedience training is so important include:
- It strengthens the bond between you and your puppy
- It improves the communication between you and your puppy
- It gives your puppy greater confidence in dealing with the big, wide world
- It improves your puppy’s social skills
- It can help to eliminate behavior issues
Ready to get started? Here are our top 5 tips for obedience training for your puppy.
1. Teach one thing at a time
One of the biggest mistakes made by owners is to try and teach their puppy too many different things at once. This just leads to confusion and may prevent your pup from learning anything at all. Decide which elements of obedience training you think are most important and focus on cracking them one at a time. Most owners start the process by getting their puppy to respond to their name. This is considered the most useful as it enables you to get your pup’s attention at any time, whether she is in danger or you simply want her to focus on you so you can teach her something new.
2. Train little and often
For the best success in obedience training, you need to continually refresh what your puppy has learnt with her. As such, training her little and often is considered to be the most effective. If you leave a long gap between training sessions, she will quickly forget what she has learnt so when you want her to achieve something new, make sure that you try and slot in short but sweet training sessions as often as you can. Waiting for the kettle to boil? Practice asking her to sit or lay down. Going upstairs? See if she can correctly respond to a command to follow you. There are countless ways to work obedience training into your daily routine.
3. Be consistent!
Another common error made by rookie puppy parents is failing to be consistent in their approach to training. Start as you mean to go on, setting boundaries for what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable and sticking to them. Make sure everyone who lives in and visits your property knows the rules too. You can’t allow her on to the couch one day because you fancy the company, but the next day tell her she isn’t allowed up there. Mixed signals lead to your puppy becoming confused and this will hamper her training.
4. Be patient and calm
It can be incredibly frustrating when your puppy doesn’t understand what you expect of her, or when she appears to do the total opposite of what she should. However, it is important to remember that our dogs don’t speak our language and instead are reliant on your commands, tone of voice, body signals and consistency to determine what we want from them. Being calm, controlled and patient will yield far better results from obedience training.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If aspects of obedience training aren’t going well for you and your puppy, don’t despair. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing anything wrong, but it may be that your technique could be adjusted and improved to make the process easier and less stressful for you both. If you don’t want to undertake obedience training alone, most areas have puppy training classes, and these are an ideal opportunity for you to get professional support as well as giving you and your pup chance to make new friends.
If you are considering obedience training for your puppy and would like further advice and support, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced veterinarians in Birmingham AL today at 205-236-1800.