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Dog Training Advice to Keep in Mind

You've just brought a new puppy or rescue dog home. The next item on your to-do list: Training. Our Flat Rock vets share dog training advice and tips for new owners to remember.

Our Best Dog Training Advice & Tips

A new puppy or rescue dog has just joined your household. Now it's time to train him! In this post, our veterinarians in Flat Roc share their best dog training advice for new owners. 

Whether you decide to train your pup or rescue dog yourself, check among fellow dog owners for recommended training classes or hire an instructor, every dog can benefit from some basic training tips. 

To begin, think about having your puppy spayed or neutered when she reaches appropriate age, since dogs who have been "fixed" are more calm, less aggressive and potentially more receptive to training. 

Decide house rules to be followed

Dogs are similar to people; they respond best to consistency. To be fair, get clear with yourself, your family and anyone living with you on what's expected of your new pup before he comes home. Decide what he is and isn't allowed to do. For example, can he claim a spot on the couch? Sleep in the kids' beds? What about rooms — are any off-limits. Establishing crystal clear expectations avoids indecision and confusion later. 

Teach her to come on command

"Come!" is one of the first basic commands to practice with your furry friend. Always use her name when commanding her to come, followed by positive reinforcement. As she develops, try the command in other situations, like when her attention is elsewhere, to help her get used to responding. 

Reward good behavior and be quick with treats and praise

One of the main principles of dog training is to always reward good behavior with positive reinforcement. Whether you pat your pup on the head, dole out belly rubs, scratch his favorite spot or offer a treat or toy, your pup lives to please you. 

Related note: Ask your vet how many treats your dog should have and how often. During your pup's annual routine exam, we can offer nutrition advice and make sure he or she is at a healthy weight for their size. 

Puppy-proof your house 

If you have kids, you’ll remember child-proofing your house to keep them safe and reduce risk of danger - or your prized possessions getting destroyed. Do the same for your puppy by providing a safe place to put him when he’s not being directly supervised, such as a crate or pen, with safe toys that are exclusively his.

Don’t delay teaching moments

Just as you want to reward good behavior, you want to recognize teaching moments as they happen.

Seasoned dog owners will tell you that pups live in the moment and need lots of repetition; if you’re going to enforce a rule or lesson, it has to be done immediately after they do the deed - they’ve already forgotten what they’ve done a few minutes later, so they will truly be confused and unable to make the association between their actions and corrections or training techniques unless they’re done right away. Consistent repetition gets results.

Remember: dogs do what makes them feel safe or happy

One of the most common mistakes we see dog owners make is that they attribute human emotions to their furry companions. While we love them dearly and they feel like a member of the family, they’re not human, meaning they aren’t vengeful creatures who plan to upset us or tick us off. They do what makes them feel happy or safe at the time, and that can be both good and bad.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have questions about dog training or your pet's health? Contact our Flat Rock vets at Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital & Veterinary Emergency Hospital today to book an appointment for your dog.

Dog Training Advice, Flat Rock Vet

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