Puppies, like infants, are always learning. You must train your puppy early in their lives because teaching them essential life skills early on can help them lead happier lives. And the best way to do this is using positive reinforcement training.
Simply put, positive reinforcement training is making good behaviour a habit by using things our dogs really enjoy, like food, toys and attention.
For example, if you give your puppy succulent, bite-sized treats like Pedigree Tasty Minis or Rodeo when they raise their paw, they are more likely to behave like this again the next time around. And if you have to deal with an older canine, you could treat them with Pedigree Biscrok Biscuits.
Here are 5 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Puppy
1. Crate Training
Crate training is the practice of teaching a pet to see a crate or a cage as their personal den where they can sleep, relax and feel safe. It also prepares your puppy to stay peaceful when you are at work or socialising. Crate training is useful especially during long car travels or when you have company over. In time, most pups easily learn to love their special 'me' time!
Age to start crate training: 8 to 10 weeks
2. Toilet Training
Puppies have tiny bladders, and it takes a few months to get them completely housetrained. Don't worry if it takes a while, their organs and muscles are still growing. This is the hardest habit to form but once they have it nailed down, you won't face any hassles in the future.
Age to start toilet training: 6 to 10 weeks
3. Important Commands
Pups make eager pupils, and when applied appropriately, these dog training exercises can be fun for your puppy and you as well. Command training can help you nurture your relationship better while encouraging good behaviour.
Go and come back
Yes and no
Go to bed
Age to start commands training: 8 weeks, Command combinations at 3-4 months
4. Walking on a Loose-Leash
Observe any pup and you’ll notice that going out for 'walkies' is probably the most exciting activity for them. It is natural for them to take the lead and start pulling on the leash. Training your puppy to walk with a loose leash takes a great deal of patience, but goes a long way in getting them to walk to heel. Loose-leash walking teaches your dog to walk with you, making it enjoyable for your puppy and yourself as well.
Age to start loose-leash training: 4 to 6 months
5. Training Your Puppy to Help Them Stay Safe at Home
We can't always be at home. Most of us go to work, socialise, and so on. We need to be sure that our pup is safe when no one is around at home. See, all pups struggle when left alone, resorting to behaviour like destroying furniture and even suffering from separation anxiety. Teaching them to cope with this is important for their mental health.
Age to start stay-at-home training: 7 weeks
Training Your Puppy is Easier with Positive Reinforcement Training
Right now everything to a puppy is new and exciting. They're experiencing the world around them for the very first time and are easily distracted. So it's important to keep our dog training sessions short and give them the best start to life.
Tip: Shouting at or scolding your puppy is never the answer! While it is easy to lose your temper when they make mistakes, know that dogs don't reason the way you and I do. So use positive reinforcement training instead, and good behaviour will soon become the norm!