Puppy dog training might seem similar to training an adolescent or adult dog, but it is in fact vastly different. Puppies are still learning not only to do things that every dog does, but also the training methods you will use and how to interact with people in general. By following a few basic guidelines when it comes to training your puppy, you’ll be able to make sure that your young dog is healthy, happy, and obedient.
Puppy dog training is largely an exercise in patience. If you get frustrated, angry, or disappointed, remember that you should always exercise patience when dealing with your dog, and you should not hit your dog other than a light smack on the butt to let them know what they’re doing is wrong. Most dogs, puppies especially, want to make their pack leader (that’s you) happy, and will not generally do something to make you mad on purpose. Say, for example, that you are trying to train your puppy to chew on his or her chew toys and not on the furniture.
A good way to keep your puppy chewing on toys is to leave them virtually everywhere there is something else the puppy might want to chew. Leaving things that are likely chew targets (shoes, books, etc.) out of reach or in closets is the best way to keep them from getting chewed, and if the legs of your furniture are being chewed, putting a bitter-tasting substance on them (sold at lots of retailers) is a great way to make puppy dog training less of a hassle. You can also try putting a shoe and a chew toy in front of your puppy, and reinforcing him when he goes for the toy, rather than the shoe.
Regardless of how you undertake puppy dog training, it should be approached with a cool head. Understand that dogs are not people and do not think like people, and you will be able to cut them a little more slack. If you are leaving your puppy at home alone for a period of time, make sure the room is “puppy-proof” as much as possible. Some dogs have separation anxiety problems, so that even if they behave fine when you are around, they may completely destroy your house when you are gone. Being able to foresee problems like these is the best way to avoid them.