Greetings new puppy parents! Did you know that January is Train Your Dog Month? What excellent timing! Because for you and your new puppy, now is the ideal time to create a lifetime of good habits for everything, including eliminating outside and walking calmly on a leash. Since puppies are active, like to play, have lots of energy, and still need to learn what is expected of them, training is an important, ongoing part of the relationship between you and your dog.
Train with Kindness
So, before we get ahead of ourselves and discuss what to train, let’s spend a little time considering how to train. As you begin working on the basics, remember to use a pawsitive approach for positive results™. Enjoy fun AND success in training by incorporating lots of enthusiasm, praise and love!
First, what is “training”? Training is just teaching your dog what you want them to do, when you want them to do it. We’ll guide you through humane, force-free and fear-free methods, which give you the opportunity to train without the use of force, fear, pain or intimidation. A humane approach can involve using anything your puppy wants. For instance, positive reinforcement is the addition of something immediately following a behavior which increases the future strength of that behavior; something is added with the intention of increasing behaviors we want to see repeated. In other words, positive reinforcement-based training focuses on using rewards to reinforce desired behavior. These rewards can include any combination of praise, belly rubs, playing together, and food.
There are many advantages of force-free training over a more punitive approach. When you invest the time to teach dogs the right behaviors, they’ll learn to make good choices and you’ll preserve the precious bond you are forging. Conversely, yelling at puppies when they’ve made the wrong choice doesn’t teach them what you want. It just scares them into not wanting to be around you or teaches them that to avoid offering the ‘wrong’ behavior and being reprimanded for it, it’s best to ignore you or not do anything all.
As your inquisitive canine’s guardian, when you listen, try to understand, train with kindness, adjust training goals as needed and know what motivates your dog, you can bring out the best in your best friend! Over the years, we have shared several posts that explore some important things to focus on in training, such as:
- Reinforce behaviors you like and want, even when you didn’t ask. Capture and teach behaviors you would like to see repeated.
- Be patient and understanding, and a good teacher.
- Teach your puppy what you want him or her to do. (Remember, ‘ No!’ is not a behavior.)
- Use whatever motivates your inquisitive puppy to pay attention and happily engage in training activities.
- Use food to train your puppy. We can motivate dogs using anything they like and want, including food.
Our vision here at the Inquisitive Canine is, “to live in a world where dogs are encouraged to romp, bark, play, and enjoy life with their people.” That begins with being here for new puppy parents. Remember that puppies are puppies! They are learning all about their environments all the time and need to be taught how to adjust to our human world in a loving and productive way.
Here’s to many happy years of unleashing adventures and harnessing fun with your new puppy!
Up Next: Your New Puppy – Unleashing Adventures in Potty Training
Wanna dig deeper? Here’s a guide to the resources mentioned in this article:
Brought to you by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, this site offers free resources for pet lovers, like tips on kids and pets interacting; considerations for multi-pet homes; understanding training methods and busting dominance myths.
Above all, use techniques that help you and your pup enjoy the lifelong training journey. The more fun and games, the better!
The best approach to dog training is to keep it simple and focus on the positive.
In today’s cultural shift, guardians seek positive and nurturing ways to reinforce behaviors they want, while limiting and preventing inappropriate behaviors — without dogs wearing uncomfortable devices.
Here we’ve provided you with key tips to decode your dog and get better results from your training program!
Think about it, if given the opportunity to choose, would your dog choose a more humane, positive reinforcement approach, a punitive, correction-based option, or some hybrid of both? Before you answer, read this post for a little more information about each method.
Dogs are always learning. So that means many times, even when you aren’t actively engaged in training classes or exercises, you’re passively training your dog. The tips in this post outline a pawsitive approach to overcoming some common hurdles in dog training that can be due to body language misconceptions, faulty assumptions, or unrealistic expectations.
Training your dog can be a simple process. We have tips to work training into your day without it feeling like you should cancel other things to make time. The result: You get a trained dog and get to keep to your schedule! It just takes a little forethought.
We serve up a heaping helping of expertise in dog behavior with a side order of pawsitivity, discussing the who, what, how, when, and where of using food for training your inquisitive canine.