When I first
brought the puppy home, I can still remember my son's words, "don't
like the puppy, daddy." That was more than 30 years ago but the
memory of it now is just as vivid today. The puppy was a 12 week old
Doberman and my son was 2 years old. As I carried the puppy into the
house, its long legs draped over my arms, all I could think of was
"What have I done?"
It wasn't the reception that I had expected but suffice it to say
that everything eventually turned out fine and the puppy we named
Misty, grew up to be a great family pet. Fortunately for us, Misty
wasn't a difficult puppy. It was her size in relation to that of my
little boy at that time that I had underestimated.
I had done a great deal of research and chosen a well-respected
breeder before purchasing the puppy, but because of that first
encounter with my son, knew that good training methods were now more
important than ever.
Not all puppies are the same when it comes to training. Some require
more time and effort than others but generally the training methods
are very similar. Both time and dedication are required to train a
puppy dog correctly. Patience is the key to training and repetition
is essential to reinforce the learning process.
The age of the puppy can be extremely important since it is
generally easier to train younger animals. If possible, training
should begin between six and eight weeks. Different breeds can also
play an important role in the training methods. Different breeds
have different temperaments and personalities. For example the
German Shepherd, Doberman and Boxer are guard dogs with an instinct
to love and protect their companions whereas the Labrador and
Spaniel are very energetic hunting dogs. Because of this, there will
be some small difference in the training methods.
Common training methods should firstly include house training such
as crate or potty training. During this and throughout the training
period simple commands should be given such as "sit" and "stay."
These commands will form the foundation upon which more difficult
ones can then build on.
Interaction with other dogs and other people is an important factor
of puppy dog training. Puppies should learn to socialize with other
dogs and feel comfortable in the presence of other people. This will
help prevent any frightened or aggressive behaviour that can be the
result of little or no proper interaction.
Leash training is essential if you want a well-behaved puppy and
more importantly a well-behaved dog when that puppy has grown. It
can be very embarrassing for owners, especially those with large
dogs when seen to be dragged along the road by their dog. Leash
training will also help the puppy get used to wearing a collar and
allow it to walk safely outdoors.
Always praise your puppy when it successfully carries out your
command and although obedience training can come in many forms, it
should always be carried out with patience and with love.