How to Train Your Puppy Consistently

Medium
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

They’re just so cute you want to squeeze them and cuddle them all day! Your favorite thing is taking your puppy out for walks and stopping as everyone wants to say hello. But not spoiling the little fuzzball is proving somewhat challenging. How can you not give them food when they look so cute or pull their leash back when they’re enjoying exploring so much? But deep down you do know that it’s not good for them, so it’s time to start training your puppy consistently. 

You’re worried that if you don’t start sticking to your rules and training the pup may turn into a handful when they’re older. This could make it challenging to take them to friends' houses, particularly if they’re a large breed. Getting used to saying 'no' now will also make it easier further down the line. Finally, you don’t want to worry that you will lose control of the dog when you’re out in public! 

Defining Tasks

Consistently training your puppy may sound straightforward, but finding that willpower when they’re so irresistible isn’t always easy. It can be made even harder if you have others in your house who are more than happy to spoil your puppy at every opportunity. Luckily, ensuring consistency when they are a puppy is the perfect time as this should mold them for life. Not to mention, their brains are like a sponge when they are young, so your pup should soak up plenty of information. The trick is training yourself to be consistent as much as training is about focusing on them!

You will need to use obedience commands and a number of positive reinforcements to ensure they stick to the rules. Also, don’t forget, it’s only too easy for dogs to unlearn all the tricks and rules you enforce when they’re a puppy, so you will need to train them consistently when they’re older too! 

Getting Started

As is often the way with dog training, you will need to use lots of treats to reward your puppy for consistently following your rules. You will also need a calm environment to train in, away from distractions. You’ve probably already realized how easily distracted little puppies can get. So a quiet space in your house or a yard should do the job.

You will also need toys for one of the training methods. Lastly, if you live in a busy house, try and have one person who leads the training, this will prevent your little puppy getting confused.

The Timing & Approach Method

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Start small
Lots of owners want to see their puppy doing high fives and rolling over straightaway. But you should always start with basic commands, such as 'sit' and 'stay' first. You’ll struggle to ensure consistency if you skip the basics and go straight to the advanced commands.
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2
Always finish
It’s just as important you finish training your puppy one trick before you move onto the next. It needs to be properly drilled into their brain before you move onto the next command. Otherwise you may simply confuse them.
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3
Short sessions
Your puppy won’t be able to concentrate for a long period of time. So stick to short training sessions of just a few minutes each day. You will achieve consistency by opting for the short and frequent approach.
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4
Rewards
Make sure you use appealing rewards when you train. Puppies will learn best when there is the promise of food on the line. A delicious treat will help that training stick in their mind.
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5
Don’t use punishment
Unfortunately, too many owners resort to punishment to enforce consistent rules. Rather than achieving consistency, such techniques will only terrify your puppy, who then may develop a number of problematic issues for you to deal with.
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The Routine Method

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Start early
You are in the best position to enforce consistent rules because your dog is just a puppy. Any habits you form now they may well stick to for the rest of their life. So the earlier you say 'no going on the furniture', for example, the sooner they will accept that as a rule for life.
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2
Household consistency
There’s no use enforcing rules if everyone else in the house lets your puppy do what they want. So make sure they all react and stop them doing any habits you want to break.
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3
Meal times
Part of ensuring consistency is getting your puppy into a routine. One easy way to do that is to feed them their meals at the same time each day. This will help build a schedule they will get used to sticking to--not to mention it could reduce begging.
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4
Bowl only
Leading on from feeding them at the same times, try only feeding them from their food bowl. Food is a major attraction in their life. So setting the rule early on of only eating from their bowl will help achieve consistency later on.
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5
Toilet visits
It’s also important to regularly take them out for toilet visits. Again this helps reinforce a consistent routine. You will find over time a food and toilet routine will help get your dog used to consistency, which will make sticking to training easier too.
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The Emotion & Variation Method

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Step
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Don’t repeat commands
If you want to consistently train your puppy, you need to make sure you don’t repeat commands. This will only teach the pup that they don’t have to follow your instructions until you’ve pestered a few times. So get in the habit of just giving a command once. This will ensure consistency in the long run.
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2
Different scenarios
Lots of owners master the 'sit' command, for example, in a quiet living room, but then never continue training with distractions around. If you want to ensure consistency, you need to train your puppy in a range of environments.
Step
3
Don’t over use treats
If you want consistent results in the long run, you don’t want to focus too much on treats. This will only make the dog fixated on food and then weaning them off it may prove challenging later down the line. So use high-pitched verbal praise and toys from the beginning too. You can then transition from treats to healthier rewards far easier.
Step
4
Emotions
Your puppy will look to you for consistency. So if one day you’re training while in a great mood and the next you are miserable, they will be confused and may not respond to training so well. So although it may be difficult, try to stay in a positive mood each time you train.
Step
5
Be confident
Dogs are pack animals. So if you want them to consistently follow your instructions and rules, then you need to show that you are always the pack leader. So don’t show weakness, be assertive, control when they eat and go out for a walk, and don’t give in to begging.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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