Some puppy classes or private training lessons start straight away teaching your puppy how to “SIT”!… But, Hold ON! What about FIRST educating YOURSELF to understand your puppy’s emotions by interpreting your puppy’s body language?, understanding how your puppy perceives the world and discerning how she/he learns?
I will help you understand your puppy better and see things from his-her perspective, preventing you from having expectations beyond your puppy’s abilities.
In order to prepare you to do so, you must have in mind the following principles:
- Reinforce/Reward the behaviour that you want and ignore the behaviour that you do not want (mind you, ignoring may require some action too).
- Every interaction with your dog is a training session. (They're constantly learning! For good and for bad!).
- Do not repeat the "commands" or you will eventually “empty” their content
- Be conscious of your body language, dogs will pick up on every single movement or lack of! We are a verbal species; our dogs are NOT!
- Use everything your dog wants/likes to your advantage (hand feed your dog as much as you can!)
- “Rank” your food/treats. The more distractions, the higher the value of the treat (e.g. For indoors: dry food, for outdoors: cheese/sausages!)
- For new exercises, always use the food/treats as “lures” to train your dog to follow your hand motions and focus on you.
- Interact with your dog during your walks. Walk your dog everyday, it's not only about the physical but also the mental stimulation.
- Make sure your dog is healthy and on a balanced diet
- Training is a skill. The more you practise, the better you’ll get at it!
And most importantly: MAKE IT FUN for the both of you! It shouldn’t be a chore. You should both enjoy this time through play, games & tricks.