Training a Puppy - Avoiding Common Mistakes
Fatima Rafik February 20, 2017
It is tempting to let a cute and clumsy puppy get away with everything in the beginning. This actually reinforces the bad behavior because the puppy does not learn what is expected of it.
Even a puppy as young as seven weeks old can begin to learn the difference between acceptable behavior and that which will not be tolerated.
Another important thing to understand when training a puppy is that positive reinforcement works much better than negative reinforcement.
It was not uncommon in the past for individuals to strike an animal or yell at it when it made a mistake. Even today, owners often rub a dogs nose in a mess when it relieves itself indoors.
This is the wrong way to teach the dog what kind of behavior is expected from it. Rewarding the animal when it obeys and does the right thing is a much more effective means of training.
Positive reinforcement works whether the dog is being trained to come when it is called or to use the bathroom outside.
Another important part of training a puppy is socializing it with other people and animals early.
Introducing a puppy to new experiences is one of the most entertaining parts of puppy ownership.
Watching how the dog reacts to new people, new places, and new animals can be humorous and fun.
Most experts agree that a puppy is most accepting of new experiences when it is less than five months old. The older a dog gets, the more difficult it is to socialize at with other dogs, cats, and even people.
Crate training is another thing that should be done sooner rather than later. Some owners mistakenly believe that crate training an animal is cruel. In fact, the opposite is true.
Puppies that are allowed to roam free are more likely to get injured or become sick from ingesting something dangerous like household chemicals.
An unsupervised puppy is also more likely to get loose and suffer an injury after being hit by a car or attacked by a larger animal. It is important when training a puppy to get it used to the idea of spending time in a crate during the night or when the owners are not around.