You may have been told that you need to establish yourself as the “alpha dog” in the house so as to make your puppy listen to you. When your puppy insists on doing her own thing, you are never going to feel like the “alpha” dog in her pack.
The best thing to do is to establish yourself as the leader of the pack right from the time you bring your puppy home. You will have to start early, but you can start as soon as your puppy is five weeks old. The idea is to let her knows that there is a leader, and that is YOU. If you allow her to be the leader, and you are never seen as the leader, guess what? She is going to be the boss, and you will have to be her follower.
You need to establish a positive relationship with your puppy for her to look upon you as her leader and listen to you. There is nothing worse than not allocating any playtime for her and simply keep her in a crate! Your dog prefers to have a positive relationship with you and will also be more responsive when you speak in a happy voice.
There are a lot of good toys available to help you build a positive relationship with your dog. You can often find several good ones right from your local pet store, but if you don’t want her to get accustomed too quickly to toys, you can make use of treats as well. Be sure you do your research before buying one for your puppy. Look for one that is meant for chewing!
To make your puppy listen to you, you will have to train her to obey commands. Many dog owners have a difficult time getting their dogs to respond to commands. It seems that their dogs are deliberately behaving in a way that they wouldn’t respond to any commands as if they are in the wild.
Teaching your puppy to listen certainly takes time, but following a few simple steps can make it much easier and enjoyable for both you and your puppy!
1. Be a patient trainer. Your puppy doesn’t speak human language, but she does understand your tone of voice and body language. If you get angry or frustrated, she will sense this and become anxious, potentially making training more difficult for the training. Instead, work to build confidence and maintain a calm demeanor.
2. Keep training sessions short. Dogs, especially puppies, have short attention spans. They only have a short window of opportunity open for learning. After this window of opportunity passes, it’s generally difficult to get your dog to focus on anything more than a single command. You should always try to limit your training sessions to 10-15 minutes, especially when you are beginning.
3. Distractions may not really be a bad idea. Many dogs are much more responsive to distraction. So, it’s a good idea for you to begin your training sessions with a distraction that will make your puppy more receptive to learning. For many, a ball is a good distraction. However, there are some that may not be as receptive to a ball, but may respond well to a squeaky toy. Find out what works best for your puppy.
4. Start training early, but be adaptable. A puppy is actually a very long ways from being able to start obedience training. In fact, many dogs won’t be able to respond to even simple tasks until they are over 4 or 5 months old. Still, early training is essential, especially when it comes to make your puppy learns how to listen to your commands. You can start with some simple commands such as “sit” or “stay”, and progress from there.
5. Watch for signs. Any time your puppy responds to your command, you should praise her for it immediately. If she seems to be “lost”, try working with her again till she learns these commands. Remember, patience is the key to success.
6. If your puppy doesn’t listen to you, it’s not her fault. Some dogs could be overly dominant in nature and you would need more effort to make them obey and listen to you. This is where you would need to apply obedience training to them. This discipline requires that you effectively teach your dog to understand what actions, and what behaviors, are permissible. You might want to take her to obedience classes if you do not have the time to carry out the training.
Every dog is different, and what worked for one dog may not work for yours. By paying attention to your dog, you can prevent or break many bad habits before she start. Your dog wants to please you and will do anything to do that. By establishing a reward for good behavior and a punishment for bad behavior, you will help your dog establish what pleases you.
Make use of the above tips and look for the ones that will work for your puppy. I hope you would find this posting useful in your puppy training journey!