Do-It-Yourself Puppy Obedience Training
Part of being the owner of a new puppy is teaching it to behave. We won't get into the advanced training lessons like jumping through hoops, dancing, and tightrope walking just yet, but instead get you started with a few quick tips.
1. House Training
Set up an area inside the house (or in the yard, if you have one) that is designated just for peeing and pooping. Keep a close eye on your pup, so that when it starts sniffing around -- a clear indication it is about to do its "business" -- you can quickly move it to the designated area. Reward your puppy after it is done, either with lots of attention, or small biscuits, especially if the puppy goes to the designated area without any assistance.
2. No Biting
Puppies love to bite in play, and people will often encourage it, thinking it's cute. But puppy teeth grow into big dog teeth -- not so cute. Discourage your puppy from biting before it becomes an issue. Whenever your puppy starts play biting, say the command "no" in a low, stern, and firm voice, and keep repeating this until the pup learns to stop biting. If necessary, walk away from your puppy and ignore it until it has calmed down. Puppies often learn more from being ignored; they can't stand losing your attention and affection.
3. "Come Here"
Very useful for when your curious puppy gets away from you on the street (or out the front door). Say "come here" in a strong voice and reward your puppy with lavish praise and treats each time it comes to you -- treats go a long way toward obedient behavior. Never reprimand your pup when it returns to you, since you want the puppy to associate "come here" with all things good. It helps to always keep some treats on you whenever you venture out with your pup. A baggy of biscuits in the pocket is worth a pound of gold for an eager to please puppy.
Image: jasonedward / via Flickr