Training

Tips For Taking Care of Your Puppy

If you are thinking about taking on the responsibility of becoming a dog owner, this article will give you the information you need on how to take care of a puppy. The number one thing that puppies need is love and patience. They also need proper nutrition to help them grow. As a dog owner, you should take your puppy to regular visits with a veterinarian for check-ups and vaccinations. You also need to train your dog to be obedient. Training is crucial for establishing good behavior in puppies. It can also be a great bonding experience.

If you have taken care of another animal, you probably know how to take care of a puppy. Love and patience is always the first ingredient in puppy care. They are cute and cuddly, which makes it easy to love them. But they are also a lot of hard work, especially when they go to the bathroom on the floor or chew through your favorite shoes. You need to be realistic in your expectations. It will take several weeks, sometimes even months, before your puppy is house-trained. You should begin training your puppy immediately, but don't expect to see results immediately. Be patient.

Keeping your puppy physically healthy is very important as well. Give your dog food that is formulated for puppies. Your puppy needs good nutrition in order to grow big and strong. Some brands of dog food that are more expensive do contain higher-quality ingredients. However, you do not need to buy the highest-priced dog food on the market to meet your puppy's nutritional needs. Talk to your veterinarian about the right dog food to feed your puppy. Make sure you take your dog in for several visits during the first year. This will ensure your puppy gets all the right vaccinations and essential checkups.

The most popular topic when discussing how to take care of a puppy is training. You want your puppy house-trained, of course, but you also want your puppy to be obedient. Learning how to sit, stay and come will help your puppy better interact with strangers and the outside world. Ask your veterinarian for specific tips on obedience training. If you need more guidance, seek out a class that offers advanced training. Most dog owners will find that they can teach their puppies the basic tricks and commands.

If you are concerned about how to take care of a puppy, don't be. It's simple. Giving your puppy attention is the first step in having a healthy, happy dog. Make sure you are feeding your puppy the right foods. Check in with your veterinarian for check-ups and vaccinations. Spend time working on obedience training during the puppy stage so that you will have an obedient adult dog. Above all else, be patient with your puppy and be very loving.

Grace Temple is an author and avid dog lover. For more information how to potty train puppy and other puppy care information, visit PuppyCareInfo.com

Dog Training Fundamentals

Dog training means different things to different people. Dog training in this article means teaching your dog to obey verbal or visual commands, refrain from doing those things that he is taught is forbidden, and eliminating any bad habits that your dog may have acquired.

A well trained dog will immediately do what you want him to do after telling him only once. He will seldom, if ever, do what you taught him is forbidden. Once you know and can execute the fundamentals of dog training, training your dog becomes very easy. It may take some time, especially in breaking bad habits, but it is not difficult. There are only three fundamentals of dog training. They are: Timing, Motivation and Consistency. There are some characteristics that the trainer should possess that makes dog training more fun, and they are persistence and patience.

Timing
Timing is very critical in dog training. Dogs don't remember like humans do. Their association to their last act lasts only about 6 to 9 seconds on average and 15 second at most. For puppies, their association to their last act is only about 5 to 10 seconds. Thus, is if you correct your dog more than 9 seconds after the mistake is made, he has no idea why he's been corrected.

Likewise, if you praise him or give him a treat more than 9 seconds after he did what you wanted, he likes the praise and the treat, but doesn't relate it to the act. This means that the reward or correction has to be given immediately after the act to be effective. To be able to do this, you have to be prepared to give the correction or the reward as soon as the dog responds - or doesn't - to your command.

Motivation
Here's another instance where dogs and people don't think alike. A person will do something that a friend asks because he likes the friend, or because that's what friend are for or because it makes him feel good to help other people but not because they expect a reward for doing it or something distasteful for not doing it. Dogs don't think that way. They don't do what you tell them to do because they like you or because you're the one that feeds them. They do things that they are told to do (you don't ask a dog to do something, you tell it) because of the reward they get for doing it, or because of the correction they get if they don't do it or both.

The correction may be verbal, physical or just the lack of a reward. The reward is usually praise, a treat, or both. The point is that they need a reward or correction to motivate them to do what they're told. They understand the praise, especially if its lavish praise, (and it should be) but they won't understand the correction unless it gets their attention. If the correction is physical, such as a quick pull and release (jerk) of the leash connected to the dog's training collar, it should be just strong enough to get the dog's attention. If he ignores your correction, it's obviously not strong enough.

Consistency
Consistency means that your dog must be made to obey your command every time you give it. When you're just starting out with the training, the dog doesn't know what the command means. You have to show him. If the command is to sit, you say, sit and make the dog sit. There are many ways to get a dog to go into the sitting position. One way is to gently push down on the dog's rear end while lifting the dog's head using the collar and leash. But every time you say sit, the dog must sit.

When I was teaching 4H kids how to train their dogs, I told them, while their parents were listening, that if they tell their dog to sit at the same time as their mother calls them in for dinner, they should make sure the dog sits before they go in for dinner. If you give your dog a command, and, for whatever reason, you don't make him obey your command, you have just set your training significantly backward. Your dog just learned that he doesn't have to do what you say every time. That means he's going to test you to see if you really mean it. If you aren't consistent, your dog will do what you say when he feels like it. If you are consistent, your dog will do what you say every time.

Hirsh Marantz is a retired dog trainer and editor of the dog training web site www.trainyourfirstdog.com where you can learn all you have to know to train your dog to always do what he's told. Get your free special report "About Dogs And Dog Training" at www.trainyourfirstdog.com.