Getting a dog is one of the most exciting milestones in your life: You have a new companion and best friend to call your own! But, don’t let the excitement of getting the new puppy distract you from the task at hand, which is to train this new dog. Training your puppy will make both your life and your dog’s life easier, all while developing a stronger bond with your new friend. To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things to keep in mind while you train your dog!

Choose Your Dog’s Name Wisely and Stick to It

Now that your new pup is home, it’s time for one of the most exciting parts; picking a name! For training purposes, it may be better to choose a short name, ending with a strong consonant (ex. Ginger, Molly, Scout). Picking a name that ends with a sharp consonant sound will perk up those puppy ears and will allow you always to say his or her name clearly. This will ward off any confusion when the new puppy is learning its name. As much as possible, associate your dog’s name with positive, pleasant things rather than negative. The goal is for him to think of his name like he does the other great stuff in his life, like “walk,” “treat,” or “dinner!”

Reward Good Behavior

Rewarding your dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement is essential to the training process. You can use anything from treats, toys, playing time, or heaps of cuddles. Only encourage him for good behavior, and always let him know he’s doing something right! Rewarding bad behavior will only confuse the dog, so remember only to reward the good. When your puppy does something bad, it’s best to turn away from them and pay them no attention, and they will always stop.

Decide on “House Rules”

Before you bring your puppy home, it’s crucial to decide on clear boundaries around the house. Is the dog allowed to go on the couch or bed? Are some parts of the house off-limits? Setting these rules before the dog comes home will make everything less confusing for both of you. It’s important that your dog has a “home” of his own too. A dog’s crate should be a private place of comfort and relaxation that no other pet can use. He’ll benefit from short periods in there by himself and you can avoid having the dog sleep in the bed with you, should you choose that he’s not allowed on the bed.

End Training Sessions on a Positive Note

Make sure to end training sessions with positive reinforcements, remembering that he’s worked hard, no matter what the outcome of the session was. Leave him with lots of praise, treats, or playing time! He’ll always come back to training with a smile on his face and his tail wagging, ready to learn.

Teach Him to Come When Called

This should be the very first thing a puppy learns, along with his own name. It’s important to reinforce your alpha status, and teaching him to come to you will help with that. Get on his level and call him to come to you, and when he does this makes a big deal using positive reinforcement. Next, try when he’s busy or looking at something interesting. You’ll see the benefits of his perfecting this command later on in his life.

Contact Argos Dog Training

At Argos Dog Training, our goal is to teach your dogs to communicate effectively with you! Please contact us for more information regarding our training sessions, including group and private sessions. Give us a call at 617-302-7467 or fill out an online contact form!