One of my main goals with this puppy, before I get to advanced tricks is to build good habits that will grow into adulthood so that I have a dog that is loyal and obedient and a pleasure to be around badass. Here are 4 (4 is the new 5) useful tips I have gathered so far:
1. Establish dominance early
- Schedule feeding times – This allows for multiple advantages. You let the puppy know that you are in control of the food and that it is up to you when they get fed. If you know when they are eating then it is much easier to predict when they will need to dump. It also allows you to eat first. The head of the pack eats their meal first and then when you’re done you allow your puppy to eat.
- Enter and leave any doorway first – I make like a Heisman trophy and stiff arm the lil’ guy if I must but I make sure I’m always entering or leaving first.
- Dog walking – When you go on walks you should be leading and not getting dragged or dragging your dog.
- Eye contact – when you lock eyes with your puppy make sure you’re not the first to look away.
2. Establish good habits early
- Crate Training – If you’re going to use a crate—get the right size. The whole point of a crate is to help with potty training. It should be big enough for the puppy to stand and lay in and not much bigger. Animals, by instinct, do not defecate where they sleep, therefore, if they will have to go, they will learn to hold it. If the crate is too big they will designate a poo corner, said poo will then get trotted in and you will gag and dry heave during clean up. Only use the crate for a few hours a day with plenty of play time in between and then again at night.
- Nail Clipping – Get your puppy used to having its feet and toes touched and played with, which will make nail trims much easier if they are used to having their feet touched.
- Water dog? – Want your dog to like water, introduce them to it when they are a puppy.
- Chess Champion? – Anything that you want your dog to be comfortable with, introduce to them when they are a puppy and it will last into adulthood. My puppy “Dude” already knows how to en passant, watch out Bobby Fischer.
3. Your dog should trust and respect you, not fear you.
- Reward good behavior, don’t punish bad behavior – If your puppy is doing something that needs immediate action, like, chewing on your 1st place bowling trophy or popping a squat over your Sephora make-up kit a stern “NO!” with a clap does the trick just fine. When your puppy waits until they are outside to go to the bathroom you say “Good boy/girl” give them a quick pet and maybe reward them with a treat (the bowling trophy).
- Violence is bad, mmmk – no need to “rub their nose in it.” If you find a chewed up shoe, do not bring it to the puppy and yell at them while shaking the destroyed shoe in their face. They will not understand, because they do not remember. They will think you are crazy, you will be feared. Next time don’t leave a puppy alone long enough to eat a shoe.
4. Be consistent!
When you are training a puppy it is important that you are consistent when you are dealing with your dog, otherwise they will get confused.
5. Just have fun with it! Don’t worry; I’m not that type of blogger.