Your new puppy does not come with good serial behavior. Your breeder has probably taught him to do his needs in the right place, but educating him as your pet is your responsibility. Still you should not worry too much, since the pups learn quickly. Start training as soon as possible, by just following a few basic rules you will build a rewarding relationship that you can enjoy for years.
Reward him whenever he behaves well
Whenever your puppy behaves well you should reward him. Dogs of all ages appreciate praise and treats, so when you reward your puppy for something he has done well, you are making sure he behaves well again in the future. But you must do it quickly, the reward must be received at the most a few seconds after 'your good deed', if you take longer you run the risk of thinking that you are being rewarded for something else.
Misconduct: is it better to prevent or ignore?
The correct answer is: sometimes prevent and sometimes ignore.
Nibbling, for example, is something you should understand that your puppy needs to do. After all, it is part of your knowledge of the outside and your exploration of new sensations. The origin of this habit varies greatly, and can be caused by boredom, teeth coming out, attention seeking or the stress of feeling alone.
The favorite 'victims' of this habit are the pillows, the shoes and various parts of the furniture such as the legs of the chairs. It is very important that you teach your puppy what he can nibble and what he can't. Unfortunately, puppies are not born with the gene of 'the child's shoes are not nibbled'.
In addition to not letting him go to areas where he could cause damage in the first few weeks, you should give him toys that he can bite. And when you use them, cover him with praise and let him continue nibbling.
And what to do when you nibble on something you shouldn't? The answer is simple, ignore it. No shouting, no sticks or angry faces. Just ignore him, you'll see how soon he understands the message.
Sometimes you also have to ignore the 'ignore' rule
There will be cases in which ignoring his misconduct may be dangerous for himself. For example, you are nibbling on an electric cable. He doesn't know what is bad, nor that it is dangerous, so you just have to tell him not to. You don't have to yell at him or reprimand him for a long time, a dry and sharp 'no' is enough to get his attention. If he listens to you and stops, praise him and reward him with a treat.
Don't let it drive you crazy with its barking
Puppies at 6 or 7 months of age reach maturity, then begin to protect the house by instinct. You should know this fact because owners who do not know and encourage their pets to bark, end up having a dog that barks for everything, and can not control it later.
So if you want to live quietly, don't encourage him to bark for everything. This does not mean that he will not bark when he poses a threat, he will do it by instinct.
So you should never reward him, nor encourage him to bark when he is excited. For example, it could bark with excitement when you prepare for a walk. If it does, stop dry and ignore it until it is calm, then resume your preparations.
Fear is the common denominator
It is not necessary that a dog has had a bad experience to become fearful. In fact, it is the dogs that have had the least opportunities to socialize that become more fearful. So socialization is very important (for advice on socialization click here). If your puppy gets used to seeing people, both adults and children, as 'providers' of fun, pampering and treats, he will not have to exhibit threatening behaviors.
To help your puppy overcome his fears, you should expose him to noises and situations as 'terrifying' for him as vacuuming, traffic or mailman. Make him understand that they are part of everyday life.
Way of acting
There are many ways to act before some insistent barking of our pet:
- An interesting method is throw water or throw stones near it or something that makes a lot of noise, staying, at all times, out of the animal's field of vision. If the dog calms down, it is time to reward him with praise, treats, etc. It is good to repeat this action until the dog loses the habit of barking excessively.
- Command commands "silence" or "stop" also help. We can give the order by holding something the dog wants, a treat, or any object. We will wait for him to shut up to reward him. In this way, you will associate the “silence!” Command as something positive.
- Too It is effective to ignore the dog when it barks a lot. At first the barking will continue. But there will come a time when he realizes that it is useless. The feeling of frustration will make him abandon that vice.
- If every time he barks by the proximity with other dogs or people, in the case of being a very sociable dog, he is locked or introduced into a separate room, he will conclude that it is not worth barking and missing the visit.
The exercise, necessary
The energy surplus also leads the dog to bark excessively. A daily walk is not enough for the animal to release the energy that is left over. It is a good idea to take it to a park or very open space, where there are more animals like him and can release excess energy.
Also, there is the case of many dogs that bark out of boredom. There are races that need company more than others. This is the case of German shepherds, for example. In the market there are mental stimulation games for dogs.
It is best to contact an educator who analyzes the characteristics of the animal and advises us on the best technique to follow so that our pet stops bothering with its barking. Each dog is very different and the causes of its excessive barking can be many and varied.
There are some general guidelines that can be followed for all cases:
Your puppy and the rest of the people
People, whether they are friends, relatives or strangers, are very different from each other: different ages, different aspects, different sizes, which can be very confusing for your puppy. Therefore, make sure that from a very young age, get in touch with as many people as possible. In this way, strangers will seem less rare and learn to calm down and be more confident. Just don't let your new friends overwhelm you with your show of affection.
It is also important that children get used to it. Few children can resist the temptation to play with a puppy and even if they don't intend to harm him, they can scare him. It is a good idea to walk with him near a school, before you know it, the children will come to make you laugh. But you should keep in mind that puppies get tired right away, so it is better that their encounters with people be brief so that your puppy has time to rest.
Don't let him play bite ... hands
Before you took it, your puppy was used to playing with his brothers and sisters. To bite each other. So when he gets home he'll want to play to bite you. To get him not to bite you, you'll have to make his attention turn to his toys.
You should know that when you spend time with your puppy, caressing him or making him laugh, he will want to bite your hand. It is best to always have one of your toys at hand. Make it hard for you to bite your hand by clenching your fist and offer a toy in return, waving it around the puppy. It won't take long to realize that toys are much more fun than the 'giant fist'.
Your puppy only learns what you teach him
You should keep in mind that everything you teach your puppy will become normal for him when he grows up. So when you play with him, imagine him when he grows up and judge if you like what he does or not. If he starts to growl, or tries to bite the hand holding the toy, or harasses a small child during the game, stop dry and leave with the toy. You will soon learn why the fun is over and will not repeat the action that has caused the game to end.
If you are concerned about your puppy's behavior, or would like more information on available books, courses or training classes, consult your veterinarian.