Dog parents are just as proud of their babies as human parents are of their offspring. But sometimes they go too far when training puppies and overwhelm the young dog. There are only eight things a puppy should really be able to do. There is time for everything else later too!
Here are some lessons your puppy should learn in the first few months of his or her life:
The name is important, so the whole family should agree on a nickname for the puppy. Later you can call him “little mouse”, “slacker” or “superman”. But in the first few months the puppy has to recognize its name and understand it as an invitation to communicate. You call and he looks at you. So “Leo” remains “Leo” until he automatically interrupts everything and waits to see what you have to say to him.
Being on a leash is important. In the case of the puppy, however, this does not mean that he has to walk accurately alongside you. He should just not move forward and also not lag behind hesitantly. You practice this with a soft puppy harness, treats in your pocket and encouraging words.
But be careful: when the puppy is on a leash, you are the great protector. Do not tolerate curious dogs pouncing on the baby dog or people who want to hug him in delight. The leash – he learns that very quickly – offers him a lot of security.
A puppy should learn to walk on a leash. © Stock.adobe.com/LifeGemz
You also have to be a little frustrated. The puppy has to get to know taboo areas and learn that he is not allowed to do everything. For example, if it gets too violent in the game, get up and move away. If he picks up on one of your shoes, take it from him with a sharp “No!” away and stow it away puppy-safe.
You can also interrupt or end other undesired actions with the same “no” or “end”. This will quickly make your puppy understand when he has gone too far.
The “out” of something indigestible or poisonous is an indispensable lesson that you should practice over and over. When he gets hold of a ball, let him play with it for a few minutes, then challenge it by pushing the ball a little harder towards the dog’s snout. This opens the teeth, the puppy is praised and (from time to time) receives a treat for it. Later, you practice the “off” immediately when he wants to take something in his mouth that he shouldn’t.
Puppies should learn the command to stop at an early age. © Stock.adobe.com/Inna
Teach the puppy from the start that puddles and piles belong outside and not in the apartment. This is not so hard. If the puppy wakes up after a sleep break or becomes restless after eating, carry the puppy out to the place you have chosen and put it down there.
Whisper to him in delight when he has broken up and assign a key word to the act: puddle, lake, puddle, whatever you want. If you stick to it consistently, it will soon work even after being asked. And if something goes wrong: ignore it, wipe it up without a word and wait for the next chance.
All dogs have to learn to inhibit bite. Among dogs, puppies learn in play that vigorous biting brings a ruffle in adult dogs. The quickest way to learn with humans is to pull your hand or foot away with a squeaky “ouch” and ignore the “biting” dog for a few minutes.
The puppy is also not allowed to bite. © Stock.adobe.com/DoraZett
Not on the first day, but in the first week with you, you should leave the puppy alone in a room for a few minutes. Best when he’s asleep. Gradually lengthen these minutes. There is no big farewell beforehand, and no “reunion” is celebrated afterwards.
This is the quickest and most sustainable way for the puppy to learn that you keep coming back and that staying alone is not much of a drama.
You do not have to train the “here” with a puppy, it will follow you in the first few weeks anyway. Even so, you should make a ritual out of it. Because when the young dog reaches puberty and increasingly orientates itself to the outside world, the “Here to me” then sits so firmly that it gains the upper hand over curiosity.
How can you train that? When he gets back to you on your call, offer him something: a little treat, a short favorite game or a cuddle session at eye level. In this way he learns that it is always worth coming to you when you call him over.
If the above lessons sit well, your pup can be proud of. It is best to postpone all other lessons such as “Sit”, “Down”, “At your feet” and other commands to the second half of the first year of life. After all, the baby dog has to cope with so many other experiences and also needs enough free time. It’s still a child!
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