Puppy Training: Puppy Manners 101
Puppies learn by cause and effect, and are naturally born with the instincts to bark, jump, play rough, and bite. Because of this, having a well-behaved dog requires that you teach manners to your puppy from an early age, and reinforce those teachings over and over as they grow.
We recommend that all puppies get off to a great start by joining a puppy manners training class. But before your class begins, there are a few simple things you can do at home to start encouraging positive behaviors.
Redirect Bad Behavior
Puppies are fluffy balls of enthusiasm. They are excited to wake up, excited to eat, and especially excited about their new relationship with you.
When puppies greet their parents and littermates, they go face-to-face with one another. Since your puppy only knows how to be a dog, it wants to go face-to-face with you, too. When you think about how far away your face is, from your puppy’s point of view, it is easy to understand why he or she jumps up to greet you.
Encourage your puppy to stop jumping by redirecting his or her attention on a treat or toy. Once the puppy’s feet are on the floor, get down on puppy level for some face-to-face attention.
Consistency is Key
Puppies, like small children, need consistent rules to behave. It is very important for all members of the family to be on the same page about the rules your new puppy is expected to abide.
For example, if you do not want your puppy to beg for food at the dinner table, make sure that everyone knows the rules, and that no one sneaks scraps under the table. It is also important that all family members use consistency with the words you choose to use for training.
Puppies should be exposed to as much of the world as possible from an early age. Getting them out and about helps them adjust to a wide variety of people, sounds and activity levels, which creates a calmer grown dog.
Make sure that you enforce the same rules while in public that you have at home when it comes to jumping, licking, barking and chewing. Your puppy may know how to behave at home, but won’t necessarily understand that the same behavior is expected at the park (for example), if you don’t teach and reinforce their behavior in that location.
These basic steps will get you started and help to keep you sane in the days leading up to starting your training class. But it’s important to remember that a puppy manners class is key to your pet’s success, and your success as your pet’s owner.
You and your new puppy will learn valuable skills, have access to an expert at puppy training to help with rough patches, and your puppy will get much needed play time with other equally excited puppies.