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Puppy training for the novice puppy owner

Dogs are pack animals and many of their behaviors expose this truth. When you get a new puppy one of the foremost and the most critical things that you can do is to create authority. You are the “pack leader” and you must act suitably. A new puppy will instinctively spend a huge amount of time trying to figure out where they fit in the hierarchy of their new home. They do this by trying to create their own control. A few breeds have more forceful personalities such as the terriers or Chihuahuas. Other breeds are more naturally docile.

As soon as your puppy comes home he needs to have his place in the hierarchy established. He needs to understand that he must be acquiescent to you and that you and the other human family members are the dominant members of the pack. All of the humans inside the home must be greater than him in the pecking order. This is not a matter of punishment but rather the way it must be in order for him to be happy and to become a reliable doggy resident.

A few simple rules will help both of you institute this hierarchy. If you don't follow these rules your puppy will be getting mixed signals and your training will be much more arduous as he will be baffled and will not truly know what you want and who the authoritarian party is.

The leader must each time eat first. Do not let your puppy eat before you eat. If you are planning on eating about the same time as you plan to feed your puppy, you need to make your puppy wait until you are done. Or you can have your puppy eat at a complete separate time than you eat. In the start you may want to call your puppy to you to get his food and make him stay before you give it to him. You can teach him to sit and then give him his food.

Day after day grooming of your puppy sends him solid signals about who is dominant. Your puppy may bawl or even act like you have hurt him at the beginning when you handle him for essential grooming. You must just pay no heed to him and follow through with what you are doing. Always follow through with whatever you start with a puppy because they immediately learn when if you really mean something or not and if you are not following through your training will be strenuous.

Most puppies will nip and bite at things when they are very young. You must break off this behavior immediately and let your puppy know that it is not suitable with a abrupt reaction of a “No” and a tap if necessary. Remember that you are the pack leader and the pack leader does not ever get nipped.

Showing your puppy that you are the prevailing leader is the most vital thing you can do to have a well-behaved dog later on. Steer clear of aggressive games like “tug'o'war” where he can show too much control. Reward his good behavior with praise and treats and overlook his bad behavior as you start on the process of obedience training. Following these simple rules can help you teach your puppy to be well-mannered and subservient.

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