First and foremost, congratulations on your new puppy! We only can imagine how cute they are and the memories you’re going to make with them.
You may be focused on how cute those floppy ears are or how you can’t stop holding them, but the ever-important training is looming just beyond the horizon.
Training with a new puppy can be exhausting. It’s similar to raising a baby or toddler, where you have to teach them a new language and the rights and wrongs of the world.
Luckily, the professionals at Academy Animal Hospital have come up with a list of five ways you can encourage positive behavior in your new puppy. Although it’s not a list with training exercises and guides, these simple tips will be able to help your puppy understand when they’re taking a step in the right direction.
When it comes to a puppy, you never can go wrong with treats. If there is one thing you can count on your puppy understanding, it’s something extra yummy.
You can use treat reinforcement in literally any situation imaginable, from potty training to socialization. The point of the treat reinforcement is to allow your dog to understand that whenever they do something right, they get a treat.
Eventually, this will taper off as you will expect them to do this behavior consistently, of course, but it’s just like if a toddler were potty training. They need extra encouragement, and to understand that in order to get the treat, they have to complete the correct action.
Playtime and games are another form of positive reinforcement you can use for your pup. Something as simple as tag, running around, frisbee or tug-of-war will do.
You can use games in various situations: for example, traveling in a car. For some pets, traveling for long periods of time will make them anxious and fill them up with energy.
You can tell them that if they behave correctly during the trip, they get full-on playtime for 15 minutes once you get to your destination. You can make this a habit every time you travel so they know that if they behave correctly, they get to run around once you arrive.
If you’re not fully behind the idea of constantly giving your pet treats, that’s fine. You can give them the next best thing, which is your love!
Every pup loves a good rub down and undivided attention for themselves. Whenever they do something right, praise them with extra energy, rubbing their back, speaking to them with excitement and telling them they did a job well done.
This reinforced positive behavior also means not always needing a treat on hand when something good happens.
A Special Trip
Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures and eventually will learn their favorite places to travel with their parents. You can use those favorite places such as the pet store or the ice-cream shop as a reward for doing something big.
For example, if you socialize your dog for the first time with new people for a day and they do really well, tell them that! And then if they enjoy a pup cup from a nearby ice-cream store, go and treat them to one. Or take them to the pet store for a new toy.
Socializing your new pet is an important step in the first few weeks of having them. They’ll need to be accustomed to seeing other dogs as well as new people.
Dogs are very much social animals and love playdates and going to the dog park. Another form of positive reinforcement could be trips to the dog park for playdates or trips to other homes for playdates.
If they have a good day or a good week, you can tell them that and then take them to see their friends.
Professional Puppy Help
When it comes to your new puppy, you want to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be. That doesn’t mean you can’t reach out for help if you need it.
The trusted professionals at Academy Animal Hospital are always here to answer all of your questions, even ones that you may think are silly.
If you need professional puppy help or are on the lookout for a veterinarian for your new pup, connect with us on our website today.