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Blog New Puppy? 4 Steps To Developing a Well Behaved Puppy

Developing good behavior in your puppy and preventing bad behavior is largely a matter of Four Simple things:

1. Do Not Reward Bad Behavior
Do not encourage your puppy to do anything you don’t want him to do as an adult. This makes sense, but it is all too easy to get into bad habits because of a pup’s overwhelming charm.

For example: Your puppy pounces on your sneaker as you walk past. You laugh and move your foot around as he growls puppy growls and shakes his head back and forth. This moment will not be fun in six months when your sixty-pound dog attempts this game with new expensive loafers or perhaps with your child’s foot.

2. Actively Develop Good Behavior
Most of us want puppies that listen and are “well-behaved,” but what do we do to create that behavior? You must teach your puppy to accept all kinds of handling, start when he is relaxed and resting.

For example: Stroke him gently all over. Always stroke, slowly and calmly, in the direction the hair goes. Rapid, short, abrupt stroking energizes most dogs. Gently handle his paws, run your hand down his tail, look in his ears. Be calm, move slowly, and speak kindly. Mix this type of handling in with his regular petting sessions. This exercise will slowly get him used to being touched everywhere and will pay big dividends at the veterinarian, groomer and at bath time.

3. Make him say “Please” by sitting
Make him sit for all treats, meals, before exiting through or entering into open doors, to receive his favorite toys, to receive some loving and affectionate petting, etc. You want him to be so used to saying please by sitting that he does it nearly automatically.

4. Prevent the unwanted
Supervision and confinement are the keys to this step. If you leave a pup to run loose in your house when you are gone, expect him to discover the thrill of un-stuffing your pillows, defecating behind the couch and raiding the trash. Confining him in a crate or a smaller room allows him to develop a sense of space and control and give hi m less opportunities to learn bad habits. Then, when you are home, expand his space while you can keep an eye on him: encourage the good, discourage the bad, and you’ll be on your way to a well-behaved adult dog.

VIP EXTRA TIP:
If you are using a crate, never use it for punishment. This should be your puppy’s safe place for sleeping, eating, relaxing and learning. If you use the crate properly it will become a welcoming place to spend alone time while you are not home.

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