Puppies are wonderful little creatures. They're cute and sweet and love being part of a family. They can also be naughty and at times, destructive of furniture or other elements of your house or yard...but that's okay, because with a mixture of TLC and some small training, your cute, yet mischievous pup will turn into a wonderful house doggo.
1. Choose your pups name early, and make sure to be respectful of it.
Sometimes choosing dog names can allow us an opportunity to bring out our naming whimsical side, the kind of thing that society frowns upon when it comes to actual children. Whilst this can be fun and adorable, it can also help to remember that dogs tend to respond to certain sounds better than they do others. For instance, a name ending in a strong consonant (such as Jack, Lucy or Buddy).
2. Decide on your house rules and stick to them
Chopping and changing what your dogs are and aren't allowed to do isn't good for anyone. While jumping up and down on furniture may seem cute in some moments, if you're going to be frustrated by the action when in an indifferent mood, it's better to make this clear from the outset so your pup doesn't get confused.
A dog that grows up with certain boundaries will have an easier time throughout their life respecting said boundaries than one who needs to respond to constant changes in rules.
3. Don't react to puppies who jump
It's inevitable that your young dog will jump up on you when they see you. After all, they're very happy to see you and they're just trying to show your love. Of course, this isn't ideal behaviour, so it's best to make sure you train this out of them early.
Don't react negatively to the jumping and don't react positively. Just ignore your dog until they settle down and stop jumping, at which point you then provide the positive reinforcement that they're hoping for and your pup will eventually learn that a relaxed pup is a well-patted pup.
4. Provide your dog with a place that is just theirs
If you live in a relatively large house and you have the room, allow your dog a decent little area which they can call their own. Set them up with a dog house, or a bed and make sure all their favourite toys surround them. If you live in an apartment, or a smaller house, provide your pup with a cosy bed in the corner of the living area, encourage them to use it with positive reinforcement and ensure you don't move it or use the area.
This may seem small and insignificant, but by doing this, your dog will feel safe, secure and loved and will always have a spot to go and spend their time whenever they feel the need.
5. When trying to train or teach your dog, make sure you act immediately
Dog's tend to live in the moment, forgetting about the past rather quickly (wouldn't that be nice?!), so it's important to act quickly with the training methods you've chosen to use, to ensure your dog can associate your reactions with their present behaviour.
Above all else, remember that puppies and dogs are 100% capable of adapting to their environment, but they need a little help along the way. Providing them with copious amounts of negative reinforcement such as yelling, anger or god-forbid, hitting them, is not going to do you or your dog any favours.
Be patient, be kind and allow them to see that behaving calmly, patiently and in a friendly manner is the best way to ensure they grow up to be the wonderful dog you've always hoped for.
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