Are you uncomfortable about how your dog will react to you and the training? Well, my first piece of advice is this: DO NOT start training a dog until he is at least 6 months old. Why is this so? Well, the ‘thinking’ of an adolescent dog is very different than that of an adult dog. Just as it takes a while for a youngster to develop social skills, so does it for a dog.
It is a lot easier to begin dealing with your dog’s behavioral problems when you have a good grasp of dog training basics. When you understand how dogs think, you will better be able to fix behavioral problems as well as create a positive relationship with your dog.
Dogs are naturally clean animals and want to avoid soiling their feeding and sleeping areas. Teaching your dog to eliminate outside at the right times and on the right spots will be your biggest challenge.
Purchase a dog crate and keep your dog confined to the crate while he is learning what you want him to do. The idea is not to give him the opportunity to eliminate inside the house before he has corrected himself. Once the house breaking process is well underway, you can let your dog out of the crate and begin to work on more advance dog training techniques.
Dogs are attracted to scent. They want to follow a scent they associate with pleasure and contentment. You need to use this to your advantage. Add your dog’s favorite treat inside the crate. He will instinctually want to go inside, retrieve the snack, and come out to eliminate. If your dog likes to sleep in a kennel, you can also put his favorite toy in there too.
Make the crate comfortable. You’ll want to make your dog as comfortable as possible in his new den. If you have a choice, opt for a wire crate. It is more resistant to chewing as compared to plastic material, so it will last longer. You can also place a puppy pad or large pillow in the crate as well.
An 8 month old puppy should not be crated for more than 8 hours a day. If you’ve got a little teenager who is willing to sleep with your dog for the night, that can also be a good option. Make sure you take your dog outside for a walk before you go to bed. A tired dog is also more likely to sleep all night since he had drained off his excessive energy during the day.
Introduce your dog to the world. Your dog may be timid, scared, or just not ready for the sights and sounds of his new world. You can satisfy his curiosity by taking him for a walks in a park, in your nearby neighborhood or even to the beach.
When you go for walks, your dog will get a chance to explore his surroundings. He’ll meet other dogs and their owners, see other houses, and get to interact with strangers. Introducing him to new experiences will help him getting use to his new environment.
A dog that has been properly socialized tends to grow up to be a great family pet or guard dog. In fact, research has shown that a dog who has had a lot of exposure to the world as a puppy will be better adjusted to living with his owner and other animals later on in life than one that was only exposed as a result of his parents passing away.
Thus, the best time for your dog to learn socialization is when he is a puppy. But if your dog had ever encountered unpleasant, stressful or fearful time in his grown up, it is best to wait until your dog is no longer scared of his surroundings before you begin a formal training program. You would want to allow your dog to slowly adjust to his new surroundings without stress.
It is very important to have your dog unlearn all his bad habits before you begin training. Going to a park where he is around with many other dogs can be very intimidating. This is why it is best to take your training process slowly by starting with small steps such as having him meeting only one new dog on his walk.
As you progress, he will meet other dogs and revealing his good and bad habits. Unlearn all his bad habits such as growling, jumping, barking, baring teeth, and biting so that he will be well-mannered and non-aggressive when meeting other dogs or people.
It’s also important to establish the house rules for your dog. You would certainly not expecting your dog to pee anywhere in your home. If you don’t want him to sleep on the couch, encourage him to lie down on his own bed. If you don’t want him on your bed, teach him to go to his own bed. Train your dog to be comfortable being on a leash, and grasp the leash in your hand so that he gets to know the feel of it.
Your dog needs to be well-behaved on his leash before you can have him off leash and do command training. It will be very difficult to manage the situation when he is all excited over a scent or when he sees a new dog in the park and his natural instinct is to race after her. You won’t be able to take control of his actions. It is much better to make sure that the techniques you use in training your dog are not detrimental to your dog’s loose-leash behavior.