There are a few basic guidelines to remember when trying to train your puppy. It is best to start training when they are 5-6 weeks of age. One of the most important things to remember is not to use punishment as a means to teach your pup. Punishment does not encourage your puppy to want to work toward the goal you have set and it only instills a large amount of fear.
Treats and Praise
The use of treats and praise as positive reinforcement works much better toward making your dog act in the way you wish. If you must use negative enforcement it should be limited to saying no or a similar method.
Another tip is that you need to be consistent. If your dog is in the middle of playing and you are trying to teach him to come, chances are he will ignore you. This will not help your dog to understand that “come” means you want it to go to you.
If on the other hand, if you have your dog somewhere without distractions while on a leash, gently pulling him toward you while giving him praise will help foster the understanding of what you want your puppy to do. Use of visual stimuli such as hand gestures can also go a long way to helping you puppy understand and will help with consistency.
Praise and treats are also vastly important in teaching your puppy what you want him to do. Without some kind of reward for his effort he will quickly lose interest and become bored. With a constant stream of positive reinforcement for his correct behavior, he learns that by doing as you ask he reaps the benefits in attention and treats.
When giving your pup a command, allow the pup to decide his own actions. It is better to let your puppy work for his treat than by doing all the work for him. If the puppy figures out that he just has to sit around while you pose him, he will choose the laziest way out. The more you let the puppy do the work, the more confident he becomes in what you want him to do.
More Tips On Training Your Puppy
You should stick to one exercise at a time and keep it as simple as you can. Make sure you do the same exercise until the puppy does it right and then stop. This will make it so your puppy understands that after he does what you want, that is the end of the work. Try to keep the sessions short too, as this will keep your pup from getting bored.
Try to use your hands as little as possible. If you are trying to teach your dog to sit and he moves from the spot, use a leash to place him back where you want. If you use your hands the dog may see this as a sort of reward. If he moves, then you touch him and he may interpret that as a sign of affection.
Patience and repetition are the two biggest things to remember when teaching your puppy. Without those two things it becomes very difficult to teach your dog the behavior you want.