HOW TO EDUCATE YOUR PUPPY? POSITIVE TRAINING
The education of the puppy is essential in the prevention of behavior problems throughout its life and helps to guarantee a good coexistence within the family environment.
In this article we will tell you some tips that will guide you in the education of your pet: how to introduce the puppy to its new home, when and how we should use reinforcements to reward her good behavior or what behaviors we should avoid. We already anticipate that the training of your furry friend will require your time and dedication; But everything worthwhile in life requires effort, right?
- When to introduce the puppy into the home?
- When should the puppy’s education begin?
- Tips to properly train the puppy
- Common mistakes in puppy education
The moment in which the puppy arrives at our home is of vital importance. At this point we must start from two premises:
First, we will let the puppy enjoy the company of its mother and siblings for (at least) its first 8 weeks of life. We will never incorporate you into the family environment before.
Why is it so important to respect this period?
The first weeks of life are key for the puppy to learn behaviors from its mother and brother (s).
This learning will be essential for the proper development of the dog and to ensure its emotional stability in the future. And the truth is that, no matter how hard we put into it, we humans do not have the ability to transmit such knowledge to it.
Another factor that will also influence the stability and well-being of the animal is its socialization process, which takes place during its first three months of life. Upon arrival at home, we must ensure that our puppy interacts with as many stimuli and individuals as possible so that it becomes a sociable, calm and courageous animal.
Undoubtedly, the education of our puppy must begin at the same moment in which he becomes part of the family. There is still the belief that we must wait for the puppy to reach 6 months of life to start training him. Nothing is further from reality.
We will start by showing the puppy the place where we will provide food and where it will rest. “Sitting” or “here” will be the first commands we will use.
Tip: to strengthen this learning, we will rely on positive reinforcements (rewards, caresses, etc.) when the animal shows good behavior.
First of all, we must be aware that puppy education is a long process and not always with immediate results. We must be coherent and consistent and when in doubt, we will rely on the figure of the veterinarian, who will refer us to an accredited professional in canine education if he considers it appropriate.
With the help of a specialist in canine ethology and by observing the puppy, we will achieve something very important to reach a successful conclusion: getting to know the animal.
Let us always keep in mind that the dog acts instinctively and that its behavior is influenced by the genetic background of its species and that of its ancestors. The dog is by nature a sociable and group animal. And this belonging to the group is marked by a status, order or hierarchy, a system that the animal has engraved in its genes and that will determine its behavior in the family environment. For this reason, it is essential that the puppy is clear about his position in the group, which are the routines of the group and the behavior expected of him as soon as possible. In this way, everything will flow in a simple and positive way for the whole family.
For the educational process to be effective, all family members must intervene in it. The puppy must understand, accept and comply with the orders that come from each of the members of the family.
All family members will use the same commands: “sit”, “come here”, “wait”. If each of the members uses different variants for the same order, the educational process will be much more complex for the animal.
The use of the prizes must also be uniform by the whole family. We must make proper use of rewards and offer them only as reinforcement of good behavior. On the contrary, if a single member provides the puppy with a treat without previous action on the part of the animal, we will be confusing him. The whole family must be actively involved in the establishment of routines: hygiene, food, walks, etc. When establishing responsibilities, we must take into account the capacities of the different members of the family environment and adapt the different functions