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Some ideas on Puppy Training ...

It is important to start training your new puppy as soon as you bring it home. Training can be done yourself or a professional can be hired. Local dog training classes are often available. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a trainer or look in your local newspaper for a trainer in your area.

There are two types of training: behavioural, and obedience.

Behavioural training corrects bad habits that your puppy or dog may have developed. Jumping, car chasing, begging, climbing on furniture, and chewing are just a few. It is very important to be consistent during the training process. For example, do not let your puppy on the couch unless you are planning to always let him. This will confuse him, causing problems.

Obedience training sessions should be frequent but short to prevent your dog from becoming bored: ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient. It is best to train your dog right before meals so it associates his meal with a reward for the training.

Before giving a word command to your dog, speak its name to get its attention; then speak a one-word command such as "stay," "sit," "come" or "heel." Do not get impatient. You will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement. Do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command. Be sure to keep any frustration out of the tone of your voice. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break. Your dog can sense this and will start to associate training with your unhappiness.

Some of the specific commands are "sit," "stay," "come," "down" and "heel." When speaking the commands, say them loudly and clearly, repeating them often. The dog may have to hear the commands over and over, but will soon begin to associate the word with its meaning. Always remember to praise your dog when it responds correctly. This will encourage your dog to perform correctly the next time. You may either use food or a verbal praise as the reward or both.

Each training session should include any new commands you are trying as well as old commands the dog has already learned - so the dog does not forget them. Always be consistent. Important: If you become frustrated, stop and try again later

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