That old, tired maxim, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” just isn’t true. Dogs are learners. In some ways, they are so much smarter – or perhaps just more astute – than us. Sometimes it just takes the right motivation, like a delicious new chew or treat. But puppies? Puppies can learn nine new things before breakfast! If you want your puppy to be successful, be sure to focus on good behavior rather than the bad, which only reinforces fear or shame. Positive training works well with puppies and old dogs alike. Here is a list of 5 tips to help train your puppy or dog:
Understand the difference between need and want. Dogs know what they need. They need shelter, food and love. Our job is to provide those three things and regular vet visits. But where’s the line between need and want, and does it matter? It sure does when it comes to dog treats. And dog treats are just that: treats. Treats are meant to be dessert, not a meal. Give them sparingly, and tear or break them into tiny pieces. Your dog may tell you otherwise, but for their own benefit, refrain from feeding them an entire bag of treats in one sitting.
Encourage exercise and activity: Exercise helps our pups maintain a healthy body weight, regulates better sleeping patterns and leads to a longer life span. Treats are a great way to encourage exercise, but don’t always have to be the only way to get your pup to learn and run around. Find toys or activities which your puppy will see as rewards, whether it’s a ball, or a good game of fetch.
Reward Desirable Behavior: Positive training, positive rewards – this will keep your puppy or dog learning and growing for a lifetime. Don’t give up on your puppy, especially when it’s teething and tearing things up. Your pooch needs to be scolded to prevent future inappropriate behavior, but too much scolding can teach your pup that whatever they’re doing wrong, whether jumping, biting or barking, is a way to get attention. When your pup is behaving correctly, make sure to praise him and reward him with a small treat. Puppy classes or obedience classes will help to train both you and your puppy and are great bonding experiences too.
Monitor dogs with bones. When giving your dog a bone, make sure the bone is large enough for the size of your dog. If the bone is small enough to fit in your pup’s mouth, it is too small. Also, when the bone has been gnawed down to a considerably smaller size that will fit in your dog’s mouth, it should be taken away. Bones can splinter, whether you buy them at the butcher or from the pet store. We slow bake them with moisture settings to simulate a raw bone, so it’s safely baked, but not brittle.
Feed your dog only all-natural foods and treats. A healthy dog is a happy dog. Success starts with your pup feeling good, not lethargic, overweight or sick. Our new Jones Select line of limited ingredient treats feature nutritional blends, exotic proteins, organic recipes and training treats. Perhaps just as important as what is in the treats is what is not: As with all our products, Jones Select treats do not contain any chicken or poultry by-product meals and are made using natural ingredients, sourced and processed exclusively from the United States, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. For an all-natural treat, our new Training Treats are a wholesome option that help support your dog’s strength, health and well-being. These bite-sized treats are great for dogs to learn commands and practice validation.
Having a dog can be a time-consuming, demanding job. But all the training, exercise and healthy habits pay off when you set your furry friend up for a lifetime of success. Happy training!