Buying a new puppy is like adopting a baby. It's a process of bonding and building new relationships, sound familiar?
Well, you are not only adopting a baby, you are adding a new member to your family. And just like adding a new baby to the family, it's important to understand what you are going through before you ever think about training him. Especially if you are a first-time dog owner, you may find the daunting task of training your new puppy to be more frustrating than you anticipated. Believe me, I understand your concerns.
I had the same concerns before I got my puppy and spent countless hours in the dog training classes. But I did learn how to train my puppy in less than a week. To help other owners of puppies go through the same process I have outlined in this article, I have listed 9 valuable considerations you should take into account before you start training your puppy.
1. Be A Gentle Giant First off, don't expect your puppy to be a perfect angel right away. Just like little children, they are often not perfect angels right from the start. Therefore, addition to patience will be needed for training your puppy. In my opinion, the best way to train your puppy is to show him/her who is boss. And no, this is not mean spirited behavior on your part. It is basically a leadership style. You show him/her that you are the leader and you are the one making the decisions. He or she will loosen up and actually follow the instructions because this is the right way to do things.
2. Collar Or Leash? While the collar is a very effective training tool, it shouldn't be the first choice. For starters, the collar can easily get caught on something and choke your puppy. The second reason is that the collar is not comfortable and is not made for harsh climates. Do not use the collar as a whip. It's too short and it might choke the puppy, not to mention dogs rarely like to be choked.
3. Bait Or Reward? Many new dog owners make a mistake of bribing their puppy to get him to do something for them. Yes, your puppy will be happy to do it because he gets food and a couple of extra goodies, but he won't come to you upset if he doesn't get a treat every time. I learned this the hard way and had to go back and reinforce the training with a treat every time until he came to me every time. Then, I had to add a little twist to get him to come to me. But, it didn't take long because all it took was a little more patience.
4. House or Apartment? If you are house training your dog, it is important to have a place prepared for him to do his business. If you rent, then you need to ask your landlord before allowing you to have a puppy. If you are living out in the country without a yard, then you'll need a place where he can do his business out of the eyesight of the dog owner. This can be an area of the kitchen or bathroom, or a box that is small enough that he won't want to poop in. If you are training your puppy to be an outdoor dog, then you'll need to fence off an area of the yard so that he doesn't end up in the neighbor's yard.
5. What is the breeder or shelter taking in? If you are going to a breeder or a shelter to adopt a puppy, then you'll need to know what type of dogs are being provided for adoption. If the breeder or the facility provide small dogs, then that may be a great match for your lifestyle. If they provide dogs that are medium to large sized, then you will need to consider the things that are involved with having a large dog in a small space. Nor is it a good idea to adopt a beagle when you have a border collie.
6. Do you have any idea about the health of the animal? When you adopt an animal, you are taking an animal which was given birth by a breeder or a shelter and has a tendency to have problems, either physical or mental, with that particular dog. The best way to deal with this is to adopt from a dog shelter. The dogs that end up there are already housebroken and they will be trained. But, the fact that they were given up means that they may have issues with their previous owner, may have been neglected or evenophenombors. 7. Are you prepared to keep the animal for its life? Do you have the time to train him? Can you afford the monthly expenses of taking care of this animal? The monthly expenses include everything from veterinary care to kennel or veterinarian bills.