Puppies are Supposed to Misbehave so Don’t Blame Them!
3 February, 2016
When you welcome a puppy into your home, your puppy will inherently misbehave. After all, everything is new to them and they can and should be expected to misbehave. Therefore, it is up to you to steer their behavior in the right direction. Each experience they encounter and how you react to it teaches them how to behave which is why it’s important to start training your puppy from the start (and with kindness).
Make time each day to train your puppy or enroll him in a training class
It’s important to establish a training groundwork for you puppy. NEVER punish your puppy for unwanted behavior, but train your puppy to perform the behavior you desire. Get the help of a class instructor, private trainer or behavior specialist to learn what behaviors your puppy needs to learn.
Make training fun and practice every day
Make training fun for your puppy and practice every day. Then when your puppy misbehaves, you can immediately switch into one of the trained behaviors and have the puppy doing the right thing instead of the wrong thing. With consistent practice and encouragement, your puppy will eventually develop the habit of doing the desired behavior instead of the undesired one. Have treats handy and/or always reward your puppy for doing the right thing.
Teach your puppy to give you things and don’t run after your puppy
If you can teach your puppy to give you things, rather than go after him or her, it can minimize aggressive behavior. When a puppy takes something and runs off, don’t chase after your puppy. The pup is playing and if you run after him or her, your puppy will become either fearful or aggressive in self-protection and might even bite you. If your puppy takes the wrong item, simply hand him a toy and praise him for choosing the right one and the other thing was a ‘no no’.
Use your voice and body language to give directions to your puppy
You want your puppy to trust the touch of humans and to relax when touched. This is not the instinctive response of a dog or even of a person and needs to be taught. A positive response to touch is learned. It takes a lot of good touches to develop this positive response and let your puppy know that you’re encouraging and loving him. For some puppies, it’s inherent while others need a little coaxing to know touching and petting is good!
Try not to excite your puppy by jumping or grabbing anything
Instead of grabbing, jerking, and jumping around with your puppy, slow things down so your puppy can stop and think. Don’t ever encourage your puppy to put teeth on human skin (even if your puppy is teething). Similarly, don’t let anyone pet your puppy when he or she is jumping up on them. Only pet your puppy after he or she has calmed down and reward him for the correct behavior.
Don’t ever overreact or yell at your puppy for misbehaving
If your puppy reacts inappropriately and tries to antagonize you, try not to overreact. Instead, stand your ground and give your puppy the time to realize those tactics just don’t work with you. Don’t fight with your dog, and don’t back down. Simply be firm and try to show your puppy the correct behavior.
If you spend some time training your puppy and use positive reinforcement, it should help tame any misbehaving. You need to practice and be encouraging and try not to yell or get angry at them when he or she misbehaves. We all lose it from time-to-time, but your puppy will only react the right way with love, training and encouragement.