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  • Set rules immediately and stick to them.

  • Immediately set rules for your puppy and stick to them.

  • Supervise the puppy at all times. This means with your undivided attention.

  • Keep the puppy confined or tethered to you at all times until he is completely trustworthy.

  • Encourage and reward good behavior as often as possible with praise, treats and attention.

  • Avoid situations/actions that encourage or reward inappropriate behavior. (Rough play, tug-of-war)

  • Stop inappropriate chewing/mouthing immediately. Offer the dog its own toy, then reward and praise.

  • Socialize your puppy to interact with a variety of people and animals in different environments.

  • Make sure your dog is getting sufficient daily exercise - go for walks, play ball, play hide and seek with toys.

  • Only correct a dog if it is “caught in the act.” Punishment after the fact is counter-productive and may lead to even worse behavioral problems.

  • Train your dog to submit to grooming and other necessary treatments.

  • Use a grooming table or other raised surface to help control your dog for grooming or medical treatments.

  • When training your dog, give only one command, immediately lure or assist the dog into the correct position, praise and reward. Repeating a command several times teaches your dog to wait until the second or third command before responding to the command. If you are not careful, you will teach your dog “sit-sit-sit” or “down-down-down” not “sit” or “down”. Your dog will learn EXACTLY what you are teaching. Be sure you are teaching the correct lessons!

  • Choose a name for your pet that is simple and easy to use when training. Do not choose a name that is used in everyday language or that sounds like a command or reprimand.

  • Always use your dog’s name in a positive manner. Never use the dog’s name to call him to you for punishment. You want the dog to associate his name and being called to you with good things happening – attention, treats, a walk or ride in the car.

  • Watch for problem behaviors and try to prevent them before they occur. (To prevent jumping on people, ask the dog to sit/stay when greeting guests. Offer a toy or treat to distract the dog from your dinner plate.)

  • Use appropriate commands to control the dog’s behavior and for specific corrections – “Sit”, “stay”, “down” to stop unwanted behavior or “off” to get the dog off of the furniture.

  • Keep your dog motivated by making up new games and activities.

    •  Play hide and seek – distract the dog or have someone else take him outside to go potty. While he’s gone, hide some of his toys in one or two rooms and then ask him to find them. Or have the kids hide somewhere and ask the dog to find them! Reward Fluffy with praise and treats when he finds his toys or the children.

    • Use supplies around the house to make an obstacle or agility course in the backyard (or make one up as you walk through the park) - low jumps, poles or trees to weave through, landscape timbers to walk over, hills or terraces to go up and down, cardboard box “tunnels” to explore. For added incentive, hide some treats along the way for Fluffy to find!

  • Dogs do not “look” guilty. Dogs may exhibit signs of submission (ducking down, submissive urination, running away, hiding) if your body language and tone of voice indicate that you, the leader of the pack, are angry and upset.

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Copyright © Sandcastle Kennels 2004

Last revised: January 06, 2006