MORE TRAINING TIPS

 
  * Start taking the pup in the car with you whenever possible.  Exposing him to new situations is important to building a well-rounded dog that thinks, "oh yeah, this again (yawn)", vs one who panics.  Expand his frame of reference as best you can.

* Don't forget to expose her to different surfaces.  A pup that's perfectly comfortable on carpet or cement may become terrified when they first feel a slippery linoleum or polished hardwood floor under their feet.  I know it seems silly, but if you've ever seen a formerly confident pup suddenly splay-legged and refusing to move on a slick surface, I promise you won't be laughing.



* If the puppy shows fear towards a new situation, do not stroke him thinking to soothe his fear. What this actually teaches him is that he's right to be afraid. Instead, be totally matter-of-fact with him, and speak in a regular voice. Encourage the pup with words like "check it out", but don't force him either. Remember he'll take a lot of his cues from your attitude, so be cool.



* It takes many trials for a dog to truly learn & understand a new command, so be patient and don't give up.  When he seems to be starting to perform a new behavior pretty well, don't overdo it 'til he gets bored. End the lesson and praise the heck out of him. 



* Definitely reward "right" behavior using toys or food as well as praise...especially when you're teaching something new.



* NEVER call the pup to you in order to scold her. The most important command you'll teach is "Come". It's imperative that she always has a huge desire to come to you. That won't happen if she knows that sometimes she's going to get praised like crazy...but then sometimes you're going to yell like you hate her. Instead, go get the dog if you're going to reprimand her for something (and remember that by then it's probably too late and you're just venting).

* And don't forget that dogs don't think as we do.  5 seconds after she ate the couch, your pup's on to the next interesting thing.  She'll watch you yell and talk about the months you spent finding that perfect couch.  And she'll look appropriately cowed.  But she ENJOYED tearing up that large stuffed toy, and she's really only reacting to your anger.  If you catch her in the act, go ahead and yelp loudly...it can help mark inappropriate behavior.  But if it's 2 hrs later, consider that she's not old enough to be left alone with such temptations.  Punch a pillow instead of your dog, and let it go.  The damage is done and you goofed in your assessment of what your dog was ready to handle.
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