Habituated to living in packs with other dogs, maintaining a strict hierarchy is completely normal to your puppy. Treat him as a partner with equal rights and you may give him too much freedom, which will confuse him.
Here is a step-by-step guide to teaching your puppy all the commands he should know.
- The tone of your voice is much more important, to help your puppy understand whether you are praising or scolding him. Choose short, one-word commands, not long sentences.
- Start with little games to train him - with short playful exercises. Never cut an exercise short, and praise him every time.
- Limit each exercise to five minutes, and exercise for no longer than 15 minutes per day.
- Make sure you are the one who decides when the game or exercise starts and when it ends.
- Even if your puppy brings you his complete collection of toys, you ought to say 'No' every now and then, as this will strengthen your position as pack leader.
Begin training your dog indoors. It's important that your dog reacts and comes to you when you call him. Use the same word always, such as 'Come', possibly coupled with his name.
- After you have called him once or twice, he will probably come running to you. Praise him lavishly, or even spoil him with a little treat.
- If he doesn't come to you after you've called him twice, get him and carry him to the spot where you called him from before. Repeat the exercise right away.
- If your puppy doesn't come to you when you call, just turn around and go away. In most cases, he'll come running after you so he won't lose you.
- Always keep your puppy on a leash until he is fully trained.
- If you catch your dog gnawing at your shoes, plants, or any other object, offer him something more suitable such as a chew. Praise him if he accepts it.
- The larger your dog becomes, the bigger are his teeth. You don't want all your things chewed up by those big teeth.
- 'Sit!' is another exercise you can start early in the game. Later on you can add 'Down' and 'Stay'. These commands will enable you to keep your dog under control.
- Treats will be a great help in the beginning. Hold the treat above your dog's head and say, 'Sit!' Praise him if he obeys, and give him the treat. If your puppy refuses to sit down, make him do so by pressing his back gently.