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Puppy Training Tips Every Dog Owner Must Know

There are six standard commands: Heel, Come, Sit, Stand, Stay, and Down. With a new puppy, it does not matter too much where you begin. The important thing is to practice any old time everyday and never to be in any hurry to go to the next lesson. You do not set the pace for learning, you puppy does.

Training sessions should last only two to five minutes, which is approximately the length of your pup's attention span. If you push him longer than that, he will stop paying attention to you. This is FUN stuff! (You may also need to repeat that ten times to remind yourself occasionally.) End every session with a near-perfect performance. That could be one two-second sit, or three little "heeling" steps next to you. Tell him how "perfect" it was. Lay it on him! Really let him know how pleased you are he got it right.

Do not start a training session immediately after the pup has eaten because he'll be sleepy and those treat rewards won't be as enticing. However, you can practice at any odd time throughout the day, even if it is a three-second "stay." Your pup will love the attention.

Motivation for a puppy to do anything at all lies first in his desire to please you. Realistically, treats run a close second. Dog biscuits do not make good training treats because they take too long to chew. Tiny bits of plain cheese are the perfect taste-treat. A thin slice of hot dog will perk up the interest of almost any dog that's not concentrating.

Rewards come in three forms: treats, pats and verbal praise. To grade your "student's" qualification for a reward, consider a treat the equivalent of an "A," a pat a "B," and verbal praise a "C." Any two together equal an A+, so be very careful not to go overboard or you'll run out of appropriate compensation and the pup will quit.

Verbal praise has a range from ecstatic (for the first few correct responses from a very young pup) to a calm "good dog" as Sparky grows up and becomes more expert. Don't overuse cheese or hot dog treats when practicing. As each word command is fully learned, gradually cut back on the treats and substitute "good dog" or just a big smile.

What you say to a puppy and how you say it can determine how quickly he learns. All conversation is perceived by the dog as meaningless sound. Try this: In the midst of some long-winded chit-chat, say his name emphatically and watch him take notice. When using the one-word training commands, remember that lesson. His name gives you his attention; one word tells him what to do. It is "Sparky, SIT" - loud and clear. Never, "Sparky, Sit. Sit. Sit. “Sparky, you're not listening - I said Sit. SIT, Sparky! "That is called nagging, and Sparky will tune you out. The puppy is not being disobedient or stubborn. He's just confused - totally! And avoid sounding like a drill sergeant! Smile, speak clearly and let the dog do the barking!

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