Just like vaccination or daily practice of an activity, training is one of man’s duties towards the dog as soon as he decides to make him his companion. It is the guarantee that the animal, his owner and his family circle will cohabit in harmony, but also that the dog will be integrated into society. Puppy training should start at the right time, when his ability to learn is optimal.
Puppy training goes one step at a time. As it is, the puppy has only a limited capacity for concentration: the risk of overworking him may quickly appear if the exercises last too long.
Successful training depends on pleasure and rigor. The puppy naturally likes to play, this opportunity should be seized to make him "work" without constraints through short exercises. Besides games, which enable to train the dog with shared joy, the puppy’s desire to gain his master’s affection and please him should not be neglected in the learning processes. This excludes in no way rigor, which must be the golden rule towards the puppy: he should be treated not like a human being, but indeed like an animal.
Reward increases motivation and facilitates training. To be effective, it must be meaningful to the dog, i.e. the master must congratulate him with strokes and warm voice tones synchronous with success at an exercise. On the other hand, reprimand must penalize anything stupid or any adverse behavior, but it should be used only if the puppy is caught out. It should be noted that positive reinforcement learning (i.e. favoring rewards) is much more effective than negative reinforcement learning (i.e. favoring reprimands).
The language used should be adapted to the animal, with simple, short and often repeated commands. As it is, the dog better understands the tone given to the words rather than their meaning: the tone used should therefore change depending on whether you’re giving a command, congratulating or reprimanding. Making a motion is also an effective means of communicating with him.
The first thing a puppy should learn is his name. Right on the first day, the call of his name will be followed with a pleasant moment to encourage him to execute orders.
As soon as he arrives, it is essential to instill the meaning of the word "No" into the puppy.
A kitten arriving in a house is generally not housetrained, with the exception of the place where he sleeps. If he has done his business in the house while his master is absent, it is pointless to scold him. Reprimand is effective only if the puppy is punished right away. For the puppy to be properly housetrained, he must be taken out every two hours and imperatively after every meal.
You must be careful as regards the consistency of your commands. What is forbidden one day should not be tolerated the next one by anybody in the household. The three basic commands are practiced with the puppy on a leash.
The leash is a control tool, a sign of joy as the puppy is to go out for a walk. It should not be used to reprimand him. Like housetraining, walking on a leash is learned all the more easily as it is started very early. To get your puppy used to wearing the collar, walking on a leash starts in the home, several times a day and always in short sessions. If the puppy pulls at the leash, you must say "No," giving a sharp pull on the leash.
More than a command, recall is an invitation to come back to his master to receive strokes or rewards: recall should be linked to a positive gesture, but requires much rigor. You should start by associating recall with giving your puppy his food and then switch from the house perimeter to the outdoors. If the puppy does not obey the command "Here," leaving in the opposite direction and hiding will make him feel nervous: he’ll come back very quickly!
Giving out treats or meal leftovers upsets the nutritional balance provided by the complete food which is given to the puppy. Moreover, if it is excessive or regular, it may promote excess weight gain and be detrimental to his health. Meals should also be subject to a code of good conduct that will keep away adverse behaviors if it is adhered to.
Dog training centers are an opportunity for the puppy to encounter other dogs of his age and to show himself to be less fearful or less aggressive towards fellow dogs. For the owner, it’s a guarantee of practicing the right learning processes and of sharing a moment of complicity with your animal.