One of the more challenging things you will face as a new owner is how to teach your puppy better control, and tone down her enthusiasm. Yeah, you already know what we mean, don’t you?
Puppies are naturally hyperactive creatures. And why not??
They’re brand new in the world, everything is super exciting and interesting, and their senses are going crazy.
But understanding why your puppy is going hyper doesn’t really help you. Not when you’re constantly stumbling over him around the house or cleaning up the messes he makes.
So what can you do to teach your puppy better control?
Why Teaching Your Dog Better Impulse Control is Important
It’s not just about good behavior at home and in the presence of others. Teaching your dog better control is also important from a safety perspective, as well as making training smoother.
If your puppy tends to get distracted a lot and follow his urges without thinking, it could lead to problems bigger than annoying your neighbor or other dog walkers.
Think about it.
A puppy with poor impulse control will be hard to handle eve when leashed, especially as he grows. Besides, teaching your dog impulse control also does wonders for his training!
As your puppy learns to focus on you and be patient, he will take in more while you train him. That will definitely shave off a significant period of time spent in training!
So how is it that one goes about teaching a puppy impulse control?
4 Simple Tips to Teach Your Puppy Better Control
Whether your puppy is just too hyper for his own good, or just likes to ignore you, these simple tips will really help you reign in his attention and behavior. And with that, you will also find that progressing to more advanced training gets much easier.
Pretty logical, right?
So let’s get into our tips for teaching your new puppy better self control…
1. Start With the Basics and Teach Your Puppy to Pay Attention to You When You Call
It’s the simplest step to begin with. Use a cue of your choice, be it verbal like his name or a command like “here” or “look”. You can also use a clicker.
When he looks at you, you need to make him understand his response is correct by praising him and dropping treats immediately. And repeat the cue to reinforce his response.
Be patient, he won’t get it right away. He might ignore the cue a lot in the beginning. But as long as you’re consistently rewarding him when he stops and looks at you, and reinforcing it with the cue, your puppy will learn eventually.
As he responds better, gradually up the levels by making him wait slightly longer each time for the reward.
2. Rewards Are Everything!
Rewards are the only sure-shot way of achieving good results in training. A reward, whether it be praise or a favorite treat, reinforces desirable actions.
And you must be consistent! If you aren’t, it’ll only confuse your dog, and he wouldn’t learn exactly what kind of behavior you really like.
Makes sense right?
Once your dog knows to focus on you on cue, you can gradually expand the exercise to other actions. For example, quietly waiting for meals rather than jumping at you or getting too excited. Or sitting calmly when the doorbell rings.
3. Exercise Really Helps
For particularly hyper and excitable puppies, it’s best to expend that excess energy before really diving into training.
Take them out for a good run around, or even just a simple walk. Let them play a bit with their favorite toy, and they’re bound to calm down after a bit.
For some dogs, calming treats work like a charm too!
There’s no harm in using something extra to help you along your way. Use everything you can that helps you teach your puppy better control.
4. Short Commands and Short Sessions are the Byword
This is really important. Since your puppy already has trouble focusing and controlling his energy, trying to keep his attention on training exercises for extended durations won’t really work.
It defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Don’t try for sessions longer than five minutes to start with. As your puppy gets better at it, you can increase the length. And even the time you make him wait for treats.
Also, train your puppy in useful short commands that demand his attention, such as:
- Come Here
- Quiet/Settle Down
These are great to teach as you’re training your puppy better impulse control, as they follow a similar technique. For commands like sit, using his leash is ideal for gently showing him what you want.
Once your puppy learns these commands, training him in more advanced exercises will become a piece of cake.
Lastly, remember that punishment or showing overtly negative emotions while trying to teach your puppy better self-control will only be counter-productive.
The occasional scolding is ok if you’ve caught your pup in act of doing something bad. But being constantly negative, especially when he can’t possibly understand the reasons behind it will only instill fear and confusion.
We hope you find great use for this post on how to teach your puppy better control! If you have questions or anything to share from your own experiences, do let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image by instagram.com//watchodingrowup
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