Puppy Obedience Training...where it all begins.
Puppy obedience training is a stepping stone for any later training that you will do with your dog; these first steps are easy and very important. Most people look forward to mastering the basic sit, stay, and down commands with their dogs. But obedience training is actually only a part of the whole picture when building a foundation for your puppy.
Puppy obedience training goes hand in hand with socializing your puppy which is the other part. At this early stage, your puppy is learning about the world around him, and shaping that learning is more important than just teaching him obedience commands alone. It is these two parts that make up the whole, and on this page I will walk you through the fundamentals of one of those parts, puppy obedience training.
Our goal is to build basics for obedience training through interacting with your puppy. There are a few simple steps and goals to reach that will put us on the right track.
The best place to start puppy obedience training is at your home where you don’t have distractions and where your puppy is familiar so we can avoid the environmental stress factor that happens when a dog is in a new and unfamiliar place. Remember your puppy is in the learning phase, later on during our next steps we will add different stress factors and distractions.
TIP: Keep the training sessions short, always end on a good note and remember that a dog can only do one thing at the time. To avoid mistakes check the dog obedience training page.
Build a relationship
The best way to build relationship with your puppy is to interact with him through various simple tasks. Organize simple games like hide and seek, go over the easy obstacles, make a hole in a cardboard box and teach your puppy to go through it, etc... This will connect you and your dog and it will start building your dog’s interest in you.
Remember to keep moving. Many dog owners and dog trainers underestimate the importance of this rule. The only time when dogs are not active is when they are resting or sleeping. They do everything while moving; they learn, hunt, play, everything while constantly in motion. If you are stationary all the time your dog will quickly lose his interest in interacting with you. He will also learn that you are always there waiting for him, which can lead to issues down the road.
Don’t hesitate to use treats in these steps, treats have to be small preferably soft, so that puppies don’t spend too much time chewing them, and they have to disappear in their mouths quickly.
Avoid anticipation by using both hands to reward the treats with.
Do not always use the same hand only, as dogs are masters at picking up on our habits, even at this young age.
TIP: Treats have to come from both hands, both pockets and if you have a treat pouch place it in the middle of your back. If you are reaching for the treat-pouch, use both hands to reach,bring both hands back simultaneously but only one will deliver the treat. This will keep your dog paying attention to you and keep him guessing. If you are using only one hand to reach for the pouch you are creating anticipation.
The less anticipation and habit that you have in these steps, the more your dog will pay attention to you.
If this is done correctly we have reached our goal. Your dog has given you his full attention. Now we can start obedience training. If your puppy is just partly there with you then he will only get partly involved in training which will only end up frustrating for you, and the puppy will see obedience training as something that is not pleasant.
TIP: Remember patience, patience and lots of patience; that is the key.
Great I’m really glad that you have made it this far. Now don’t forget to keep moving, we have our puppy’s attention so we can start teaching him his first puppy obedience training commands.
The first one that we will start with is the most important one, the recall command.
There are of course, more obedience commands, but they can be taught later on, or if you think that your puppy is ready and you want to move on you can simply go to the dog obedience training pages where you will find a full list of dog obedience commands and more step by step instructions on how to train your dog.
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