Dog training basics – training the new puppy
Bringing home a new puppy is always an exciting time for the entire family. Getting that new puppy off the right start with proper training is very important to making that puppy a valued member of his human family. There are a number of talents that every new puppy must master, including going up and down the stairs, and how to accept a new collar as if she’s worn it her entire life.
It is best to introduce a new puppy to the household when everyone in the family is present, and when the household is as calm as possible. That is why animal care experts discourage parents from giving puppies and kittens as holiday presents. The holiday season is typically much too busy, with far too many distractions, for a young puppy or kitten to get the attention it needs. It is best to wait until the holidays have passed before introducing the new family member.
Once the puppy is part of the household, there are some things he or she will need to learn. One of the first challenges of a multi-story home will be learning to climb up and down the stair. Many puppies are afraid of stairs, and that usually means that they do not know how to climb them properly. It is important for the puppy’s owner to slowly build the confidence of the dog, starting off at the bottom of the stairs. In general, a wide stairway will probably be less frightening to the puppy.
To build confidence, the owner should go up the first step, then encourage the puppy to join them, using their voice, treats or a toy. After the puppy has joined you on the first stair, go back down and repeat the process until the puppy will go up that step on his own. It is important to build confidence slowly and not rush the process. Taking a one step at a time approach is the best way to teach the puppy to not be afraid of stairs.
Another thing every new puppy must learn is how to accept the collar. Learning to wear a collar is important to every dog, but many puppies are baffled, frightened and bewildered by this new piece of equipment. Many puppies constantly try to remove their new collar by pawing and pulling at it.
Fit is important when choosing a collar for your new puppy. A properly fitted collar, chosen for your puppy’s size, is more likely to be comfortable and accepted. While choke collars, slip collars and training collars can be good training aids, they should never be used as a substitute for a sturdy buckle type collar. And of course that collar should have an identification tag and license attached. This identification will be vital in having your puppy returned if she becomes separated from you.
The best way to introduce the puppy to the collar is to simply put the collar on and allow her to squirm, jump, roll and paw at the color to her heart’s content. It is important to not encourage this behavior by trying to soothe the puppy, but it is just as important not to punish or reprimand the puppy. The best strategy is to simply ignore the puppy and them her work through her issues with the collar on her own. Introducing distractions, such as food, toys or playing, is a good way to get the puppy used to the color. Getting the puppy to play, eat and drink while wearing the collar is a great way to get her used to it. After a few days, most puppies will not even know they are wearing a collar.