Puppy and dog behavior problems can cause even the most enthusiastic pet lover to become frustrated.
Many families are unable to tolerate behavior problems long enough to turn them around, and sadly may end up giving their new puppy up for adoption in short order because of them. This is a shame because many of these behavior problems can be completely changed with a little work and training.
It is very rewarding to work with dogs who have created problems in the home and teach them how to become a good citizen in your family. Problems like housetraining, jumping up, digging and many other issues can be usually fixed either with training, making revisions in your household or a combination of both. Serious behavior problems can be turned around with a good attitude and consistency on your part.
The subject of house training a puppy deserves a complete section, as there are many different philosophies and ways to accomplish this task. Certain dog breeds can be more resisitant to housebreaking methods than others and require more time, but all dogs can be housebroken with consistent training.
Dogs who use the bathroom inside the house present one of the most common, yet most disgusting of the behavior problems. For your sanity and health, get a puppy housebroken is record time is crucial.
Crate training is one of the most succesful methods of house training a dog. Crate training your dog is easy and ensures that he will not make mistakes during the housebreaking period. Basically, to crate train your dog for house training, for the first week at least, you keep your dog in the crate unless you are interacting with him 100%.
We will go into specifics regarding crate training your puppy in further detail, since different guidelines apply for housebreaking puppies than there are for older dogs.
If you stick to a crate training plan consistently, you will have a housebroken friend very soon after you begin the process. Some dogs can be house trained in the matter of a few days, while others may take a few weeks, but the time and attention you take in house training using the crate method is well-rewarded with a pup who will fully understand that the bathroom is outdoors and not in your house!
All dogs should learn dog training basics, with the five basic commands: Sit, Stay, Come, Down and Leave It.
With these five behaviors in place, you can then expand and teach them more involved commands and tricks. All it takes is consistent repetition and reinforcement and your dog will learn these quickly. Don’t move on to a new command until each one is mastered in turn and you have given them a week or so of practice utilizing it.
There are many books, DVDs and videos that you can purchase to help with , but we have selected a few links to videos online that are hepful in teaching these commands.
We choose to show positive reinforcement training only, where some trainers reward with treats only and others show the use of a clicker and then treat the dog just after the click.You will also note that some trainers use hand signals and others do not.
Sit, Lie Down, Play Dead, and Roll Over commands
Have you heard about Zak George’s positive training methods? We really love his effective training videos, and want to share them with you here.
Here is a nice video that clearly explains how to reward dogs properly while training, and it focuses mostly on the Sit and Down commands. Start with this one and you will be on your way! You might even learn a little bit of Play Dead and Roll Over in the process.
Using a Clicker in Your Training
Zak George uses a clicker in many of his training sessions. Here is a video that explains how to use a clicker and develop proper timing. Very helpful!
The Stay Command and Its Variations
Now that you have seen how to use a clicker properly to help train your dog, you are ready to teach your dog the Stay command, which is a bit more complex. This is a helpful video showing the process and explains the different varieties of the command.
Here is another good video from the same trainer, Nancy Cusick of Austin Texas showing how to teach your dog the Come command.
The Leave It command is much more complex, but is very important. With this command, you can teach your puppy to leave something alone that is potentially harmful or undesirable and look to you instead.