New puppies are cute, but it can be a challenge to train them.
Training puppies takes timing, motivation and consistency. That's the word from Jeff Postle, Training Director at Alpha Dog in Quincy.
"Being consistent means leaving the leash on, having rewards readily available when the dog is still in training and being aware of what the dog is doing," Postle said. Click here to hear tips firsthand from Postle from KHQA This Morning.
It's also about timing. Immediate corrections allow dogs to connect behaviors with their consequences.
"You have 1.3 seconds to correct a dog for negative behavior and 1.3 seconds to reward a dog for correct behavior," Postle said. "The consequence has to come within 1.3 seconds for the dog to connect the behavior with that consequence." Click here to learn more about timing and how a dog's brain works.
One of the most common issues for new puppies has to do with potty training.
Alpha Dog Owner Elizabeth Boyer says it helps to monitor food and water intake.
"Keep your puppy where you can see him," Boyer said. "Anytime he is eating or drinking anything, he will have to go out to the bathroom. So limit food and water, and then time it so you can teach them the proper way to use the restroom."
"House training is all about supervision and confinement," Postle said. "When we can't control the variables and control the behaviors, the dog should be in a crate where he can't make any errors."
Also make sure to help your dog stay on track by giving him a crate that fits his size. Click here to hear more potty training tips from from Postle from KHQA This Morning.
"You want to have a size-appropriate crate for your puppy," Boyer said. "If your crate is too big your puppy is going to go to the bathroom in it and you've created a whole other problem you have to deal with at that point."
A puppy's training is all about consistency, so when you visit a home where a puppy is in training you need to watch what you do as well.
"If you can walk into someone's house, if their dog is very excited the best thing to do is to ignore their dog," Boyer said. "Wait for their dog to calm down. Once the dog has calmed down you can pay attention to the dog. You want to reinforce calm behavior versus sporadic, behavior. Even if you're brushing them away the dog is viewing you as playing with him, not necessary trying to get him away."
In all, it takes time and patience to train up a dog. But a good effort early on will help make everyone down to your four-legged friends happy for a lifetime.
Click here to watch how older dogs can be trained to deal with distractions.
Click here to watch "Ed" perform "scent discrimination."