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Want to learn how best to train your puppy? Take a look at these helpful tips for the whole family.

Training your puppy should involve the entire family. It’s a great way to bond with your puppy and bring the family closer together. Not to mention, a well-trained dog makes for a happy life all around.


Take a look at our tips covering some of the basic things you and your family need to know about training your puppy.

Your Puppy’s Motivation

Dogs are social animals — and they are naturally adapted to living in a group — but it’s the entire family’s responsibility to provide your puppy with leadership, consistency, and structure. Only then can he come to respect that the family sets the rules. 

Often times during training, people reprimand their dog when he does something “wrong,” and they don’t provide positive reinforcement when he does something right. Motivate your puppy to follow the rules by making it clear you are happy when he behaves well. You can do this through tone of voice, petting, praise, and so on. 

If your dog needs a bit more motivation than praise, that’s okay, too. Using treats in moderation — or tossing a favorite toy — can help reward a job well done.

Leadership and Consistency

You’ll want to start training your puppy the moment he enters your home. Over time, you’ll notice that when you’re consistent and act like a leader, your dog will treat you like one in return.

Clear and consistent communication is the best way to teach your puppy. There needs to be a constant connection between your dog’s actions and your reactions. For instance, when you teach “sit,” offer a treat or other reward — such as a favorite toy — after your dog has performed well. 

If you don’t want your puppy climbing on furniture, say “No” and guide him off every time he climbs up. Then, praise him every time he gets all four paws on the floor. Make it very clear or your puppy will become confused. If you’re not consistent, your dog won’t be either.

Rewards and Correction

Don't give any “free rides” when it comes to food. Make your puppy earn every treat. Over time, start gradually replacing the food reward with praise. Once your puppy has learned a command, give a treat every other time, then every third time, and so on, always praising lavishly. Pretty soon, your dog will work simply for praise, and the occasional yummy treat.

Dogs are not spiteful. If your puppy is misbehaving, he may well have gotten the idea that it was okay to act that way. You have to teach your puppy otherwise. First, catch him in the act — dogs can’t connect a punishment to an action that occurred hours or even minutes ago. Never hit your puppy. Instead, when you see your puppy doing something wrong, say “No” in a sharp tone. 

When your puppy stops, praise him and give him something else to do like “sit” or “come.” Then, praise him abundantly for responding and behaving. There are many different training methods available, so seek one that makes sense for you and your family. 

How to Teach Your Dog to Sit

Do’s and Don’ts

Do rely more on rewards and less on punishment.

Do reward appropriate behaviors as soon as they occur, even if it’s outside of a formal training session.

Do end your training sessions on a positive note for you and your puppy.

Don’t rely on food as your only form of reward. Praise can be as effective as food for most dogs.

Don’t forget to be patient, have fun, and spread the love — and always remember that training is a family effort. Each member plays an important role, and the greatest success happens when everyone works together.


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