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Contents10 Tips To Train An Unruly Puppy! ............................................................................................................... 3 Crate Training............................................................................................................................................ 4 No Punishment ......................................................................................................................................... 5 Stop Biting ................................................................................................................................................. 7 Aggression ................................................................................................................................................. 8 Why Proper Leash Training Is Important ................................................................................................ 11 Clicker Training........................................................................................................................................ 13 Keeping a Schedule ................................................................................................................................. 14 Setting the Right Precedent .................................................................................................................... 16 Wear Him Out ......................................................................................................................................... 17 Stop Digging ............................................................................................................................................ 18 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 21
10 Tips To Train An Unruly Puppy!Whether you’ve just brought a puppy into your home for the first time or you’re a seasoneddog owner, it’s entirely possible that you could wind up with a dog that’s just a bit out ofcontrol. Dogs, like people, have distinct personalities, and often the smarter your dog is, theharder he can be to train.If you’re struggling to reign in an unruly puppy, you’re certainly not alone. It can be veryfrustrating, particularly if you’ve never had a dog before. But don’t give up hope just yet. Justabout any dog can be made into a model citizen if you know how to go about it the right way.One great option to consider when you find yourself in this situation is taking your puppy to anobedience class or even private lessons with a professional trainer. This won’t solve all of yourproblems, but it can give you a structured time to work with your dog and help him tounderstand what you expect of him.However, these types of classes are far from the only thing you can do to help get your puppyunder control. Even if you’ve never owned a dog before, you can learn how to train your puppyright by making use of some of the tried and true tips and tricks that generations of dog ownershave come up with.These tips and others have helped millions of people form strong and lasting bonds with theirpuppies, and you can do it too. Just be patient and stick to your routine and you’ll find thatyou’re making great progress before you know it.
Crate TrainingOne of the best things you can do for your puppy, particularly if you’re having a hard time withhim, is crate train him. While this is often done as early as possible, crate training can really bedone at any time, and it is quite effective at addressing a whole host of behavioral problems. Insome ways, crate training is the best foundation on which to build a healthy relationshipbetween you and your puppy. If you’re dealing with any type of puppy behavioral problems,this is a great place to start.The Right SizeOne of the most important things to remember when you decide to crate train your puppy isthat you need to get a crate that’s the right size. If you have a very young puppy who is going togrow into a large dog, this will probably meant that you’ll need to purchase at least a couple ofcrates as your puppy ages.While this may be slightly inconvenient, you should never go out and get a large crate for apuppy just because you think he’ll grow into it eventually. The size of the crate is extremelyimportant to the success of the crate training process and you have to make sure that the oneyou get is neither too big nor too small for your puppy at the moment.A Safe ZoneThe reason that the size of the crate is so important is that your puppy, like all other dogs, hasthe instinct to sleep in a den or other safe and cozy space. They also have a very strong innateaversion to going to the bathroom in their den. This is obviously extremely useful when you’retrying to housebreak your puppy and eliminate accidents.However, if the crate you select is too large, your puppy will simply begin to use one area as atoilet and sleep in another area. Not only does that impede your progress towardshousebreaking, but it can actually make it harder.Realistic Expectations
However, it’s also good to remember that even though the last thing your puppy wants to do ismake a mess in his kennel, he can’t wait as long as an adult dog can. Being in a crate will slowlyhelp your puppy to realize that he can hold it, but if you leave him in there for too long, he willeventually have an accident.As frustrating as this is for you, it will also be traumatic for your puppy and can make pottytraining and crate training harder in the long run. So if you’re going to be gone for more than acouple of hours at a time, it’s a good idea to leave your puppy confined in a larger area ratherthan locked in their crate, possibly with some newspaper or potty pads on the ground in onepart of the enclosure.The best time to lose a crate is when you can’t watch your puppy every second but can stillcome around and take him outside to go potty every couple of hours or so. As your puppy ages,you can gradually extend the amount of time you leave him in the crate between potty breaksso that he learns that he can wait to go outside, but be careful not to extend his crate sessionstoo much at once.No PunishmentIt’s also very important that you never use confinement in the crate as a way to punish yourpuppy. The crate is supposed to be a safe place that your puppy will like to be and if it becomesa punishment, it will no longer be an effective training tool. This is especially significant becausecrate training isn’t only useful for housebreaking your puppy.If your puppy is happy to go into his crate and feels safe when he’s there, it will help to keepthings like separation anxiety from developing. Dogs are social animals and it’s natural for themto not want to be separated from you. Of course, there will be plenty of times when you haveto leave the house and leave your dog there along.If you can give your dog a safe place to be when you’re not home, they’ll be much betterequipped to deal with your absence. Separation anxiety in dogs can be very severe and manydogs can do a lot of damage to property or hurt themselves if they become frantic when their
owners leave them. Proper crate training, however, is an excellent way to keep this type ofsituation from developing or to curb it if it is becoming a problem for you and your puppy.
Stop BitingDogs use their mouths for a lot of things, so it’s only natural that your puppy will try to nip,mouth or bite your hands and feet when you’re playing. While this is cute when your puppy issmall, it can quickly turn into a problem as your puppy begins to grow into an adult dog. Whenpuppies bite, it’s usually because they’re playing. They can’t do any real damage because theirjaws aren’t strong enough and their teeth aren’t big enough.Take Advantage of NatureBiting is actually a natural part of puppy play specifically because it enables puppies to learn notto bite and more generally how it’s appropriate to interact with each other. When puppies play,they immediately let out a yelp or yip when something another puppy does hurts them. In thatway, the offender is able to learn that what he did was not acceptable.You can imitate this behavior when you’re playing with your puppy to help him learn that it’snot okay to bite you or other people either. The best way to do this is to make a yelp similar toone another puppy would make when your puppy bites and immediately stop playing until yourpuppy calms down. You don’t need to punish the puppy for this because your puppy doesn’twant to upset you and wants to keep playing. He’ll quickly figure out what it is that stops playtime and avoid that behavior.Dogs and PeopleWhile teaching your puppy not to bit people is important, it’s also a good idea to make sureyour puppy knows how to behave around other dogs. Keeping up a regular schedule of socialinteraction with other puppies is a great way to help your puppy learn how to behave aroundother dogs. If your puppy is properly socialized from the beginning, it will make many thingsmuch easier for you later on. This might sound like tough love, but it really is the best way foryour puppy to learn not to bite.
AggressionAn aggressive dog can be a ticking time bomb and will certainly cause you plenty of anxiety overthe years. Plus, your puppy’s aggression can put a great strain on your relationship and make itmuch less fulfilling than it would otherwise be. But if you’re starting to notice signs ofaggressive behavior in your puppy, don’t despair. You can still put an end to that and help yourdog learn how to be a well-socialized member of your household.Be in ChargeThe most important thing you can do to help keep your puppy from acting aggressively is tofirmly establish yourself as the alpha in the house. Like all dogs, your puppy is a pack animal andhas the instincts that go along with that breeding. He wants to understand how he fits in thesocial structure of your household and that means he needs to know that he’s a member of thepack and not its leader.Also, if your puppy doesn’t recognize your authority as the alpha in the household, then there’sreally no reason for him to listen to you. He’ll feel that he can constantly challenge yourauthority because in his mind you’re equals. This can certainly lead to aggression as your puppycompetes with you for the alpha role, and it can also create a host of other behavioralproblems.Consistent AuthoritySo how do you establish your authority? They key really lies in establishing rules and thenconsistently enforcing them. This sounds simple enough, and it can be, but you still really haveto do it. You can’t only enforce the rules when you have time for it or when you feel like it. Youneed to keep an eye on your puppy and gently but firmly correct him when he steps out of line.The more bad behaviors your puppy has developed already, the harder this will be so thesooner you start, the better. But it’s never too late to start down this road. Just remember thatgetting upset and frustrated yourself will only confuse your puppy more. He really does want to
do the right thing and what will please you, but it’s up to you to effectively communicate whatthat is.Food IssuesOne of the most common forms of aggression for dogs to develop is food aggression, directedboth towards other animals and towards people. After all, access to food is vital for the survivalof animals in the wild and your dog naturally wants to do things that promote his ownwellbeing. Also, in the wild it’s typical for the alpha of the pack to eat first and then give the restof the pack permission to eat.In this way, the alpha is seen as the giver of the food, and this is the role that you want foryourself. Two equals in a pack may fight over food, but a pack member will never fight thealpha in the same way. Because of this dynamic, establishing a proper routine surrounding foodand meal times is a great way to both eliminate food aggression and secure the alpha role foryourself.The key to eliminating food aggression in this way is to make sure that your puppy knows thathe is eating because you allow it. Don’t let him jump up to take food out of your hand or pushyou out of the way to get to his bowl the second you put it down. Make him sit and waitpatiently and only give him permission to eat once he’s calmed down. This will quicklycommunicate that you’re the one giving him food – he’s not taking it.Aggression Because of Fear or PainIf your puppy is suddenly showing signs of aggression that weren’t there before, you may wantto examine the possibility that he is frightened or in pain. Dogs that are in pain will naturally tryto frighten off others as a way of protecting themselves in their weakened state. Similarly, yourpuppy may try to frighten you or others away if he is hurting. He may also be afraid that if youtouch him you will hurt him more.
When aggressive behavior develops suddenly, there’s a good chance that illness or injury isresponsible. It’s important then to get your puppy to a vet quickly so that their injury can betaken care of and their aggressive behavior doesn’t escalate into other types of situations.Also, be sure no one is picking on or tormenting your puppy. Small children or others who don’tknow any better can wind up hurting or confusing your puppy by mistreating it and this can alsoquickly cause your puppy to act aggressively towards people because it’s afraid of what they’lldo.The Importance of SocializationMaking sure your puppy sees you as the alpha is certainly vital to establishing a healthyrelationship between the two of you, but it’s not the only thing you can do to preventaggression. Letting your puppy interact with as many different dogs and people as possible willhelp him learn that there’s nothing to fear from encounters with strange people and animals. Itwill also be an opportunity for him to learn what appropriate behaviors in these situations areand can be a huge tool when you’re trying to curb or prevent aggressive behavior.
Why Proper Leash Training Is ImportantAs you’re probably beginning to realize, the position you establish for yourself in your dog’seyes will have a lot to do with how well your relationship develops. And it will also greatlyimpact your dog’s behavior. You need to be the one in charge and your dog needs to recognizeyour authority.Training your dog to walk properly on a leash goes hand in hand with a lot of the other thingswe’ve already discussed. When you and your dog go outside together, it’s important for him toremember that you’re still in charge. The environment may be different, but he still needs torecognize your authority and behave accordingly.No PullingGoing outside for a walk is exciting for your puppy and his natural inclination will be to pull onthe leash and try to walk faster than you. He’ll find all types of things he wants to sniff, exploreand chase, but allowing him to do this will only make the walk an unpleasant experience for youand make your dog think he’s in charge when you’re walking.If your puppy starts to think he’s in charge when you’re outside, he’s also more likely to actaggressively towards people and other dogs you meet along the way. However, when you trainyour puppy to walk properly on a leash, you’re really training him to pay attention as he walksrather than to all of the other interesting things he might see. And that’s the best way to makeyour walks enjoyable and safe for both of you.Leashes for SafetyEven when your puppy is very well trained, it’s still important for you to keep him on a leashwhen you’re walking around the neighborhood or taking him into certain types of situations.When your puppy is attached to you by a leash, you’re able to see and control what he’s doingall of the time. This means you can stop him from eating or getting into something he shouldn’tor from approaching and jumping up on people who might not welcome the intrusion.
Remember, no matter how friendly your dog is there will still be people who are afraid of himor feel threatened by him. That’s not so much a problem when your dog is a puppy, but if he’sallowed to roam freely and approach anyone he wants, he’ll be learning that it’s okay to behavethat way and will continue to do so as an adult.
Clicker TrainingClicker training is a particularly effective method for teaching your dog a whole variety ofcommands. It’s certainly useful for any puppy, but it can be particularly effective for an unrulyor challenging one. Many times, your puppy is acting out because he simply doesn’t understandwhat you expect of him and clicker training is a great way to communicate specifically whichbehaviors are desired.How Clicker Training WorksAll you’ll need to complete some basic clicker training with your puppy are some small treatsand a clicker. A clicker is just a small device that you can press on to make a particular clickingsound and you can buy one at just about any pet store.To start clicker dog training your puppy, you’ll first want to teach him to associate the click witha reward. So make a click and then immediately give your puppy a small treat. Repeating thisfor a couple of days will quickly teach your puppy that the click is good.Next, start marking a good behavior that your puppy performs with a click. Every time yourpuppy does something like sit, lie down or walk with you on a leash, make a click and give him atreat. By making the click exactly when your puppy carries out a behavior that you want toreinforce, you associate that behavior with a positive experience. That makes your puppy wantto sit because he thinks that he gets something good when he does.Once you’ve marked the behavior, it’s time to attach a command to it as well. Start getting yourpuppy used to some basic commands for the behaviors you’ve marked. Since he already knowsthat sitting is a good thing, he’ll be happy to do it when you tell him to.Spending this time with your puppy is not only beneficial because he learns to obey you. You’llalso be forming a strong bond between the two of you as you work together. Your puppy valuesyour attention above all else, and he’ll be much more content when he knows he’s doing whatyou want him to do.
Keeping a ScheduleClicker training is certainly a very effective way of going about training your puppy. But nomatter what training method you use, you’ll get much better results if you also keep to aregular schedule for your training sessions and other activities. Your puppy will feel moresecure when he thinks he knows when things should happen and what to expect and will bebetter behaved because of it.Causing AnxietyIf you’re always rearranging your puppy’s schedule, he’ll constantly be on edge because hedoesn’t know when he should be attentive and when he should relax. This will certainly causehim to act out and can even make it more likely that he’ll develop some anxiety problems. Onthe other hand, developing and maintaining a predictable routine is a great way to keep yourpuppy relaxed and well behaved.Focused AttentionSchedules are also a great way to get in some one on one time with your puppy on your terms.Puppies will always naturally clamor for your attention but with all of the other things going onin your life, you simply can’t always give them that attention they’re after. If you never do,though, you’ll just wind up with a puppy who acts out all the time to attract any type ofattention – good or bad.To reduce the stress on both you and your puppy, it’s best to set aside specific time each dayfor your interactions. Your puppy will quickly learn that he will get plenty of attention duringyour training or play sessions but that he needs to leave you alone at other times. Of course,this won’t happen instantly, but with regular reinforcement, the schedule will become part ofyour puppy’s natural routine as well.Being in Charge
Setting up a schedule and directing your puppy’s activity also reinforces your position as theleader in the household. That makes your puppy less likely to challenge your authority andmore willing to follow your commands.
Setting the Right PrecedentOne of the hardest things about training a new puppy is not letting them get away withanything that can become a problem later. Just about everything a new puppy does is cute atfirst. However, there are plenty of things that won’t bother you too much when a puppy doesthem that can cause problems once they’re a bit bigger.Biting and jumping up are the two main things that fall into this category, but allowing yourpuppy to get away with these and other unwanted behaviors also reinforces the impressionthat you’re not the one in charge. As hard as it can be to lay down the law with the adorable furball you just brought into the house, you’ll be much better off later on if you start early.Never too LateHowever, even if you didn’t start establishing your authority and a consistent routine when youfirst brought your puppy home, it’s not too late to start. It certainly won’t be as easy to breakyour dog of bad habits once he’s already developed them, but you can do it with some patienceand consistent work.Realistic ExpectationsAny time you’re working with your puppy, you’ll need to remember that, while he does want todo what pleases you, he does also have limitations. That applies to all kinds of things. Forinstance, your puppy may understand that he shouldn’t go to the bathroom in the house, buthe still can’t physically wait too long to go. So if you don’t let him out in time, there will beaccidents.Similarly, your puppy’s attention span just isn’t that long at first. It will gradually lengthen overtime, but when you start with training sessions be sure to keep them short and fun. Trying topush your puppy to pay attention to you and practice commands beyond his limit for that typeof activity will just make it a frustrating and negative experience for you both.By making sure that your expectations for your puppy are realistic based on his age anddevelopment will help to keep training fun and your relationship positive.
Wear Him OutOften an unruly puppy simply has too much energy and doesn’t know what to do with it.Different breeds certainly have very different energy levels, but all puppies will be little bundlesof energy. If your puppy is constantly bouncing all over the house, tearing up things or gettinginto trouble, he may well just be trying to work off that excess energy.It may take some time, but you’ll have to try and figure out how much activity is enough foryour puppy and then make sure he gets it every day. You’ll likely be surprised at how muchbetter behaved your puppy will be when he’s not bursting with excess energy all of the time.Better TrainingHelping your puppy work off excess energy is also a good way to make training sessions moreproductive. An overly energetic puppy will have an even harder time than normal payingattention and following commands. However, if you take him for a long walk before training orplay with a Frisbee for a little while, your puppy will be much better able to focus on you andlearn what you’re trying to teach him.Better HealthAnd don’t forget that an active dog is a healthy dog. Just like humans, dogs are prone todeveloping weight problems and many related health conditions if they don’t get enoughexercise. If you want to help your dog stay healthy and avoid some hefty vet bills later on, getinto a routine of regular exercise. Plus, taking your dog out to exercise regularly can be good foryou as well.
Stop DiggingParticularly if you have a yard, you may have found that your puppy likes to dig. And dig and digand dig. Of course, that doesn’t make for a very attractive landscape and can begin to causereal problem in your relationship with your puppy, particularly as he gets older. In some ways,digging can be a difficult behavior to stop.After all, digging is a pretty ingrained instinct for your puppy. Dogs in the wild often dig dens tosleep in and dig holes to bury valued items in so that others don’t find them. However, youcan’t have your puppy tearing up your entire yard on a regular basis. So what do you do?Causes of DiggingWhen you’re trying to cure your puppy of the digging bug, the most important thing to do isfigure out why he’s digging to begin with. This will give you a great deal of information on howto go about correcting his behavior. For instance, if your puppy is constantly digging to burytreats that you give him, you may be able to correct the situation by simply not letting him outinto the yard with his treat.Of course, most digging situations are more complicated than that, but the same principle stillapplies. Many puppies left out in the yard by themselves for long periods of time dig becausethey’re bored or because they have too much energy and don’t know what to do with it. Thebest way to stop digging that’s a result of one of these situations is to engage your puppy inproductive activities. By taking him for long walks or actively playing with him, you’ll removethe impetus to dig and can often eliminate the behavior completely.However, there are also puppies that just dig because it’s fun for them. In this case, you maywant to consider setting aside a part of your yard especially for your dog to dig in. Churn up theearth to make it soft and easy to dig in and bury some of your dog’s favorite treats or toysshallowly to help him get the idea. If you make it a more attractive place to dig, you shouldquickly be able to confine your dog’s digging activities to that area and keep the rest of youryard for yourself.
Barking IssuesAnother common puppy behavior problem that can get out of hand if not addressed quickly isbarking. This is another bad behavior that can seem cute at first but will become a real problemlater on in your dog’s life. Just like many other bad behaviors we’ve discussed, barking can havemany causes, and it’s important to know why your puppy’s barking if you want to stop it.Why Dogs BarkDogs bark for many reasons. It’s a natural behavior and can have some very positiveapplications. However, barking at inappropriate times is a problem for a lot of dog owners. Yourpuppy may be barking because he’s bored, wants your attention, is excited or upset, or justbecause it’s fun to bark. Also, keep in mind that certain breeds of dogs are meant to bark a lot,particularly herding dogs. So if your puppy is one of these, it’s perfectly natural for him to bark.Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for your puppy to bark whenever he wants to andhe’ll have to learn that. And it’s true that some puppies will bark to try and exert theirdominance over you. Since there are so many reasons that your puppy may be barking, it’s easyto see that you need to understand where this barking behavior is coming from before you’ll beable to correct it.In the case of the puppy barking to try and demonstrate dominance, it’s obviously importantthat you reassess your position in the household and your relationship with your puppy. It’slikely you haven’t managed to assert your authority completely and if you’re able todemonstrate to your puppy that you’re the one in charge, the barking is likely to stop.On the other hand, if your puppy barks because of fear or anxiety, particularly when left alone,you’ll have to work on correcting the underlying problem and the barking should stop as well.And puppies who bark for attention or out of boredom probably just need some morestructured attention and exercise.The “Speak” Command
However, if your puppy is well socialized and exercised and still continues to bark, you maywant to try teaching him the command to “speak”. Of course, it may seem a bit counterintuitiveto teach a dog to perform exactly the behavior that you’re trying to eliminate. But the truth isthat if you make barking a behavior that your puppy executes on command, he will be muchless likely to bark without receiving the command first.
ConclusionPuppies require a lot of attention and care, particularly when they’re very young. In fact, manypeople don’t realize just how much work it can be to bring a new puppy into the household andtrain him to be a productive member of the family.However, it can be a very rewarding experience as well if you’re willing to put in the time andeffort. Just remember that your puppy does want to please you. A lot of what causes puppytraining to go wrong are inconsistent or unrealistic expectations. You need to understand whatyour puppy is capable of understanding and how to communicate your desires to him. Onceyou have this down, the rest of the training process is a breeze.Understanding CausesProbably the most important thing you can do when you’re dealing with a puppy that hasalready begun to develop behavioral problems is to take the time to step back and identify theroot causes of those behaviors. Once that’s done, you’ll be much better able to figure out howto eliminate them from your puppy’s routine.