A happy family pet is one that has manners and is a pleasure to share the home with. In order to keep the household peaceful and pleasant it will be necessary to teach your new puppy some manners. Not tricks, tricks are ways to have fun with the family dog/puppy. Manners are things that will be learned by the family puppy that will keep him happy, safe and pleasant to be around.
Walking on a Leash – this is an easy task with the right equipment. Purchase a choke collar. Not one of the collars with spikes or any other tough fancy items attached. Be sure to have the pet shop clerk help with the purchase and take puppy into the shop with you for fitting. There is a certain way to connect this collar and the clerk can show the customer how this is done to keep puppy safe from any harm.
Once the right equipment is in hand take puppy for his first walk. Start by stepping out with your right foot. Keep puppy on the left side of your body. Say the command, “Heel” and beginning by taking a step. Puppy may pull or attempt to get away. Pull the choke collar with your leash, don’t pull hard or jerk the puppy. Remember to carry those special easy to chew treats along. When puppy tries to run ahead pull back sharply on the leash and when he returns to the edge of your left foot. Each time you return puppy to the start position use the command “Heel”, each time he returns without a struggle give him a treat and lots of encouraging words.
Sit – teaching puppy to sit is important when company comes, or something is happening and you need puppy to sit down and stop running around. The easiest way to teach puppy to sit is to place him on his leash, take a piece of soft treat (usually raw meat), hold the meat above puppy’s head and while he is standing there bring the meat towards his hind quarters speaking the word “sit” as he looks up his bottom will naturally begin to go into a sit position. It may be necessary to hold your hand lightly on his hind quarters and add a bit of pressure, not much pressure, just a bit and push lightly down as you speak “sit”. Each time puppy puts his bottom on the floor give him a treat and tell him how good he is.
Wait and Stay – These two commands will become important to the life of your dog. First it is necessary to understand stay means your dog will be in one place until you allow him to move again. Wait means he will wait for a moment or two. Such as at the front door when you are leaving the house. Wait means he can get up when you have left the room, or area.
Teaching, “Wait”, is done by putting puppy on his leash, and when at the front door command him to “sit”. Now hold your hand palm flat in front of his nose and say, “wait”, pull back on his leash if he begins to rise. Firmly say, “wait” again and open the door, now begin to step out stating “wait” and hold your hand in front of his nose again. Once you are out the door call him too you and give him the treat and praise he deserves. It is important for you puppy to wait while you exit the area first so that he does not bolt and step into harms way.
Stay is done exactly as wait is done except instead of leaving out the door first step directly in front of the puppy. Hold your hand again in front of his face and state “Stay”, take a step backwards away from puppy. Once he has stayed for a short period of time, and short is just moments for now. Call him to you and give him a treat. Use a release word of your choice and use this word only for releasing him from the stay position. Each time you place puppy in a stay position step a little farther away until you are across the room, now time is growing between stay and release and keep this growing until you have reached 15 to 30 minutes of stay time. This can be difficult for puppy but he will eventually reach this length of time.
If puppy releases without your commend take him by his leash right back to the original position and place him in the sit-stay again. Never let puppy release from an exercise without you releasing him. Even if it means placing him on a sit stay for only a moment, if he releases and you allow him to do so on his own it will be much more difficult to teach him the exercise.
Keep in mind the right equipment, treats and consistency are necessary, be patient and always speak in a soft tone. Firmness but not anger is necessary during training. It is always a good idea to teach these exercises a few times a week for a period of 15 to 60 minutes.
For Step – One and Two of Puppy Training 101 visit these articles.