The early years of a puppy's life are pivotal in shaping the fully grown dog they'll become. When adopting a pet, it's important to have enough time to train the little one properly. Remember these simple steps when tackling the tricky world of training:
1. Be patient
This advice can apply to so many areas of pet ownership but is especially pertinent when training young pups. Puppies look to you as an example - and if you're calm, your puppy will follow suit (eventually).
2. Don't yell
Remember: puppies are just babies. You can be stern while training your puppy without yelling at it and causing a scene. Your puppy will surely misbehave but yelling isn't the answer. Instead, try:
3. Positive reinforcement - with treats
In the world of puppy training, there's nothing wrong with a little bit of bribery. When your puppy does something good, be sure to reward them with verbal praise and a yummy (and healthy) treat. Your puppy will remember good behaviour brings reward and, hopefully, will continue to behave. If you think your puppy has had too many treats, no problem - reward them with cuddles and pats instead.
4. Be consistent
This tip is especially applicable to pets with more than one owner. It's like parenting: you have to be on the same page. Make the rules, and stick to them - so your puppy knows the lay of the land.
5. Enrol in puppy classes
For some pet owners (and for some pets), going to puppy training classes can be the best way for you and your puppy to learn from the example of others. For those with difficult pups, it'll probably bring some relief to know there are others out there dealing with the same kind of little rascals.