Puppies are very much like young children, as they explore the unfamiliar world around them and training a puppy is all about clarity and consistency. Start how you mean to go on and make sure that he or she knows what is OK and what is not and by rewarding with some dog chews, your new pet will soon get the hang of things.
The Initial Homecoming
Bringing the puppy home for the first time might seem like a fun event, but for a young puppy who has only just left his mother, it can be a stressful experience. Give the puppy time to sniff around and leave a bowl of water in the location you have chosen, thus designating the food and drink area, which should be outside the back door or in the kitchen. It is natural for a puppy to want to fully explore its new environment and this might take a few days and the important thing is not to stress the puppy, rather allow him or her to slowly acclimatise. It is always a good idea to take out some form of pet insurance, which will cover vaccinations and any emergency treatment the puppy might require.
Leader of the Pack
Dogs are naturally pack animals and when a puppy is born in the wild, they will look to the Alpha dog (pack leader) for the right behaviour. When you decide to bring a puppy into the family, you are essentially the pack leader, as in the dog’s eyes, the family is their pack. Some breeds are easier to train than others and dogs, like people, are individuals and some are more stubborn than others. It is vital that you are always in charge and when you introduce toys, make sure that you are in possession of the toy when it is time to cease playing.
Act Like the Alpha Dog
It pays to always remember than you are in fact, the leader or the boss. You lay down the law and the puppy will have no issues with this, providing you are clear in what you expect from the new family member. Puppies love affection and are always out to please, so when the behaviour is positive, reinforce that with some affection and when the puppy fails to conform, make sure that they are made aware that you are not happy. If, for example, you are walking through the home and the puppy is laying directly in your path, do not go around him, rather make him move out of the way. Little things like this will instill in the young animal exactly who is boss and training a puppy only becomes difficult when the adult has not fully established that they are in fact, the Alpha dog.
Like a child, a puppy will respond to repetitive instruction and this should help to establish certain ground rules. A puppy might try to get the upper hand and in such cases, you must remain firm and ensure that you call the shots. Be consistent in your behaviour and you will find the puppy will do the same.