Like people, dogs have their own unique personalities. There are dogs who can’t stand missing any action and want to go for every car ride. There are pups who are incredibly independent and do better on their own; they’re not asking for a little brother or sister.
Despite the endless number of personalities your dog can exhibit on any given day, you want to make sure that your four-legged buddy is friendly and well-mannered. A pup who obeys commands and treats his other canine friends fairly is a good dog, and isn’t that what we all want our dogs to be?
Whether your dog is super sociable or a little on the wary side, as long as they’re respectful of others (people, dogs and cats alike) they’ll be just fine. Here are three tips that’ll help you raise a sweet, well-balanced dog.
Start with Crate Training
Healthy Pets writes that if you want to housebreak your dog early, crate training is the way to go. “Dogs are natural den dwellers, so if you make all your new pet’s crate experiences positive ones, he’ll quickly come to view it as his ‘bedroom,’ his own quiet, safe space.”
Your pup’s DNA predisposes him to be a den animal. The crate, much like a den, will help your dog feel secure. When your dog feels secure, they’re less distracted and better able to listen to you, their master.
Best Friends recommends crate training your pup because “a crate can help with house-training by setting up routine.” Soon enough, your dog will associate the crate with sleep and quiet time. If your pup is feeling anxious or needs to get away from a handsy toddler or yipping doggy guest, they can go to their crate and know that they can rest there, undisturbed. The crate will help to calm the dog’s nerves and keep them from potentially nipping at your house guests.
Rewarding your dog with dog training treats when you’re teaching him how to ‘sit,’ stay,’ ‘rollover’ or ‘play dead’ will quickly get him to perform the tricks without too long a learning curve. Known as positive reinforcement training, when your dog associates your command with a reward, they will satisfy said command quickly.
The Humane Society of the United States says that for your commands to work most effectively, they should be relatively uncomplicated and the pup’s treat for following the command should be granted immediately. If the dog is not rewarded for following the command (such as ‘sit’) immediately, but rather two minutes later (after he’s no longer in his seated position), he’ll assume he’s earned his treat by lying down or standing up.
Be consistent in your training and make sure the whole family sticks with the training too, otherwise your pup might revert back to his old habits.
Socialize Your Pup
To turn a rambunctious puppy into a well-adjusted dog, you’ll need to socialize him with other doggy pals. According to Pet MD, “Poorly socialized dogs are fearful of unusual or new circumstances. This sets off neurological signals that result in hormone secretion by various glands in the body. Adrenalin hormones increase heart and respiration rates and blood pressure in anticipation of ‘fight or flight.’”
If your dog is anxious, they could respond to new and unusual situations in a negative way. By socializing them with other dogs and new environments, you’ll help them learn how to navigate new social situations, feel good in the company of other dogs and explore a new dog park with ease!
Dogs are beautifully compassionate creatures. Even if you make a few training mistakes, they won’t hold it against you! With a little hard work and determination, the two of you will have your training down pat!