Positive Puppy Training Basics

Positive Reinforcement Puppy Training

Training is an important part of your puppy’s development which will challenge them, both mentally and physically. Basic training during puppyhood is useful for creating household routines and promoting positive behaviours. Most importantly, training activities are a great way to bond with your puppy and establish a relationship of respect, trust and understanding.

Puppies are curious creatures, full of energy and enthusiasm. Whilst this may seem adorable, raising a puppy can be hard work. Being a dog owner, it is essential that you harness this curiosity and begin basic training with your puppy when it matters. As soon as your puppy arrives home, they should be introduced to routines and procedures to help them settle in. Once your puppy is comfortable in their new environment, basic command training can start.

Positive reinforcement is the easiest, safest and kindest way to train your precious puppy. Reward training (a form of positive reinforcement) involves rewarding your puppy for good behaviour. This method has been recognised as a highly effective and positive form of training. Rewards can come in the form of treats, a clicker (click here for more information),affection or verbal praise. This article will teach you how to train your dog using small, tasty treats as positive reinforcement.

Reward training and using positive reinforcement only works if the trainer ignores unwanted behaviour. As man’s best friend, your puppy craves attention from you. Therefore, any negative behaviour should not be acknowledged. This will teach your puppy that you will only respond to the things that are right and good. Reactions to unwanted behaviours, such as yelling, hitting and distracting, are not only counterproductive, but also create trust issues for your puppy. It is important that you treat your puppy with respect so that they will respect you in return.

Now that you know about all of the benefits of positive, reward-based training, we’re sure you’ll want to get started. To help your puppy become the best trained dog in town, read on and follow our simple tips for puppy training basics. In this article you will learn how to command your puppy to SIT, DROP, LEAVE IT, STAY and come HERE.

SIT

  1. Find a quiet location free from distractions.
  2. Allow your puppy to smell and see a small treat in your palm.
  3. Hold the treat in your hand above your puppy’s nose.
  4. Without speaking move your hand to the back of your puppy’s head (your puppy’s eyes should follow the treat causing their bottom to lower to the floor).
  5. As their bottom touches the ground say SIT in a clear, steady tone.
  6. Reward your puppy with the treat.
  7. Follow the treat with some affection in the form of a pat, kiss or cuddle.
  8. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

DROP

  1. Find a quiet location free from distractions.
  2. Command your puppy into a sitting position using the steps above.
  3. Allow your puppy to smell and see a small treat in your palm.
  4. Hold the treat between your palm and thumb with the other four fingers pointing up. This hand position will capture your puppy’s attention.
  5. Without speaking move your hand towards the floor, stopping in between your puppy’s front paws.
  6. Once you have your puppy’s interest, slowly move the treat away from their paws causing them to stretch out.
  7. As their torso touches the ground say DROP in a clear, steady tone.
  8. Reward your puppy with the treat.
  9. Follow the treat with some affection in the form of a pat, kiss or cuddle.
  10. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

LEAVE IT

  1. Find a quiet location free from distractions.
  2. Allow your puppy to smell and see a small treat in your palm.
  3. Close your hand and hold the treat within the puppy’s reach without allowing them to have it.
  4. Wait until your puppy stops whinging, nuzzling or pawing at your hand for the treat.
  5. As they stop these behaviours say LEAVE IT in a clear, steady tone.
  6. After your puppy focuses their attention on you and ignores the treat say OK in a clear, steady tone.
  7. Reward your puppy with the treat.
  8. Follow the treat with some affection in the form of a pat, kiss or cuddle.
  9. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

STAY

  1. Find a quiet location free from distractions.
  2. Command your puppy into a DROP position using the steps above.
  3. Hold your hand out with the treat between your palm and thumb with the other four fingers pointing up and say STAY in a clear, steady tone.
  4. Stand still for 3 seconds with your hand out and if your puppy doesn’t move say OK in a clear, steady tone and reward them with the treat. If your puppy does move, ignore the behaviour and start again.
  5. Once your puppy has mastered this skill, command your puppy into a DROP position and take a step backwards.
  6. Stand still for 3 seconds with your hand out and if your puppy doesn’t move say OK in a clear, steady tone and reward them with the treat.
  7. Continue this process, taking an extra step backwards each time to gradually increase the distance at which they can STAY.
  8. Follow the training session with some affection in the form of a pat, kiss or cuddle.

HERE

  1. Find a quiet location free from distractions.
  2. Command your puppy into a DROP and STAY position using the steps above.
  3. Move 3 metres away from your puppy with your hand out and wait for 3 seconds.
  4. If your puppy moves during this time, ignore the behaviour and start again. 
  5. In a crouched position say HERE in a clear, steady tone. If your puppy does not immediately come to you, try patting your knee or clapping your hands. Do not call any other words as this will confuse your puppy.
  6. As your puppy comes to you repeat HERE in a clear, steady tone.
  7. Reward your puppy with the treat.
  8. Follow the training session with some affection in the form of a pat, kiss or cuddle.

2 thoughts on “Positive Puppy Training Basics

  • 30/03/2019 at 3:54 pm
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    Excellent information. Well written.

    Reply
    • 26/05/2019 at 11:03 am
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      Thanks Ron for the excellent feedback!!

      Kind regards,
      Anthony

      Reply

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