Dog Obedience Made Easy
Another key factor is to know your dog well enough to know how to reward or penalize it. Rewards are absolutely essential to training. Verbal praise can be one of the most effective. Pet that dog and tell it how wonderful it is when it does what it is supposed to. A food treat, such as a tasty kibble of dog food, is a classic reward, too. Make sure your dog hasn't just eaten a full meal or it will lose its effectiveness.
Punishment doesn't work as well, but there is a time when penalizing will work. This means providing a negative outcome when the dog is not doing what it should. Ignoring a dog when it is misbehaving can be a form or penalizing it, as can giving the leash a jerk. Beating or kicking a dog, or locking it up in a boring building for hours, are forms of punishment instead of penalty, and should be avoided.
You want the relationship between you and your dog to be based on trust and good feelings, not on fear and negative feelings. The best way to do this is to use positive reinforcement when it behaves, and by knowing what it likes. It is worth it to take the time needed to know what your dog really likes and then use it as a reinforcer for good behavior and obedience.
One thing to remember when obedience training a puppy is that they need some time to mature. Starting early is great. We've all heard that old dogs don't learn new tricks very well. But the truth is you will be wasting your time if the puppy is too small. Be really patient in the early weeks. Use the early weeks for getting acquainted and for house-breaking. Leash training can come later.
House breaking is best done using the crate method. Have a dog carrier or small pen that will be the dog's own special area. If you contain the pup in this crate whenever you are gone, and overnight, the dog will not soil it, but will wait till you return to use the potty. Of course if you will be gone for a very long amount of time, or if you failed to take him out to potty before penning him up, he might have to go so bad that he will soil his crate. Generally speaking, though, a dog has a natural instinct not to soil his kennel.
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