A crucial part of pet ownership is teaching your puppy proper pet manners and how to be a good neighbour. Even the friendliest neighbours, including those who love animals, will be resentful if your puppy barks incessantly, wanders on their lawn, soils their yard or tears up their flowers.
Basic training could also save your puppy’s life. Knowing a simple command, like coming when called, could help keep your puppy out of danger. Enrolling your puppy in obedience class is recommended.
As a responsible pet owner, you need to control your pet and discourage inappropriate behaviour. Some corrections should begin with a young puppy even before he is leash-trained.
Remember, your puppy is like a small child. Certain behaviours are due to curiosity or boredom. He does not know they are unacceptable.
To redirect inappropriate behaviour follow these basic steps:
• Get your puppy’s attention by using a low-pitched, serious voice. Say “ahhh!” This will startle him and he will stop what he is doing and look to you for further direction.
• Provide an acceptable alternative behaviour or distraction.
• Praise correct behaviour. In an upbeat, high-pitched voice say “good puppy!” and reward him with calm petting or a treat.
You can begin simple exercises such as leash-training when your puppy is 7 or 8 weeks old by letting him wear a soft collar and leash around the house, under your supervision.
Check your puppy’s collar frequently to see if it fits properly.
Even though you are training your puppy, don’t forget his daily playtime. He still needs vigorous exercise to stay fit and burn off excess energy. As your puppy gets comfortable with you and is vaccinated appropriately, you can begin taking him on regular walks on a leash once or twice a day. Consider starting in a class that’s exclusively for puppies around three months of age. Formal obedience training can begin when your puppy is about 6 months old.