There’s no denying it — your new puppy is the cutest thing on earth, maybe even the universe. And while you can’t help but melt each time you look into those puppy eyes, you’ll have to learn to discipline your puppy. Learn the basics of positive reinforcement to improve those naughty puppy behaviors like a pro.
The Right Way to Discipline Your Puppy
If your puppy’s behavior makes you feel like you’re going barking mad, you’re not the only one! Thankfully, you can discipline your puppy the right way to prevent many bad behaviors.
1. Be Consistent With Training
If you work with your puppy about not jumping on strangers on Monday but decide to let it slide the rest of the week, your dog will become confused. Being consistent with training will reinforce positive behaviors while limiting negative actions.
2. Only Address Issues as They Happen
Only address issues if you catch your puppy in the act. Your dog will not understand why you feel upset if you reprimand them after the event.
3. Be Firm, Not Aggressive
A firm “no” shows your puppy that their behavior is unacceptable, but yelling or showing physical aggression may scare your dog. If they view you as a threat, your dog may be more likely to act out.
4. Reward Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement, like giving your dog a treat when they behave, is vital to help your dog understand the difference between acceptable and bad behavior.
5. Give Timeouts
Putting your puppy in timeout is an effective way to reduce aggressive behaviors. When you place your puppy in timeout, start with a verbal signal and lead them to an isolated area for a couple of minutes.
The Wrong Way to Discipline Your Puppy
While you may feel desperate to stop your dog from misbehaving, disciplining your dog the wrong way can encourage negative behaviors and extend the issue. There are several discipline methods you should avoid using on your dog:
- Don’t use physical punishment.
- Don’t stare down, hold down or drag your puppy.
- Don’t shout or scream.
Setting Realistic Discipline Expectations Based on Your Puppy’s Age
While you may want to start training your new puppy within a few hours of bringing them home, it’s essential to set realistic expectations for discipline based on your puppy’s age:
- 8 to 10 weeks: Giving plenty of praise and treats during this stage will teach your puppy to form positive associations with behaviors you want to encourage.
- 10 to 16 weeks: Start training with treats for simple commands and leash manners.
- 4 to six months: Your puppy can move onto more advanced commands at this stage, such as rolling over and high fives, while you continue to practice basic skills.
- 6 to 18 months: During this stage, you can start using a combination of command, correction and praise to encourage positive behaviors that will last throughout your puppy’s life.
Book a Training With Off Leash K9 Training
Help build a stronger relationship between you and your new puppy with dog training classes from Off Leash K9 Training. Our knowledgeable and compassionate dog trainers will give your puppy the personalized attention it needs to become the well-mannered dog of your dreams. Book a training today to learn more!