A young puppy, whilst often cute, can be hard work. They can have many habits which need correcting before they become adults, such as nipping and jumping up. The key to changing these behaviours is to remember that what your puppy often wants the most is to play with you - so the best way to stop unwanted behaviours is to take away the reward of your attention.
In addition a lot of training involves setting up your puppy for success. If they really enjoy chewing your favourite shoes then redirect their behaviour by providing appropriate toys to chew on and lock away your footwear! These simple ideas are often overlooked.
Example - Puppy Biting:
You’re playing with your puppy and it gets excited and nips your hand. This is your opportunity to correct this unwanted behaviour.
1) Yelp like the puppy has really hurt you at the time of the nip so the puppy knows what it has done. Timing this correctly at the time of the nip is key.
2) Then stand up and avoid the puppy, no talking or eye contact. By removing your attention and ending the play session the puppy learns nipping gets it nowhere. With a young dog count to ten and then resume the play session calmly.
Repeat this every time the puppy nips and puppy will quickly learn that if it wants to play with you it has to avoid nipping. Yelling or telling the dog off is interpreted by most dogs as attention so isn’t productive, not to mention this can scare sensitive puppies. Punishment is always wrong.
IMPORTANT – Everyone in the household must be on the same page. Consistency is the key to training your dog and avoiding confusion.
Training your dog never stops. It is a lifelong endeavour and is one of the many joys of owning a dog. Training classes are a brilliant way of getting on the right track and even experienced dog owners will benefit from the extra support since every dog is different!