GOLDEN RULES FOR DOG TRAINING
Preventing mistakes is easier than curing wrongs
Make absolutely sure your dog understands what you want of him.
Praise the attempt
Keep your dog's attention
Never train when tired or ill tempered
Take each exercise by sections then fit them together
Use patience and perseverance
Each dog is different...know yours and adapt your training to suit him
Repetition helps learning but watch out for boredom
Train in short spurts of 5 minutes, then follow with a game and reward (natural liver treats) and a rest in bed. Puppies have very short attention spans. Your tone of voice is very important so change it to suit the situation. If your puppy withdraws from any situation, do not baby him. It should be ignored. Praise him only when he goes forth and deals with the world in a positive way. Encourage confidence not timidity.
Remember THINK BIGGER when he is still cute and cuddly. Do not encourage him to do things as a small puppy that you will not want to live with when he is huge. Help him to grow up to be a mannerly dog, one that you will be proud of and not an undisciplined monster. If you show him who the Boss is when he is young you won't have to fight him when he is fully grown.
In order to love you, he must respect you - so be firm! He really does want you to be the Pack Leader and to please you! Praise and reward good behavior.
If you have a dog that is self-confident, secure and knows he can trust you, you can ask him to do certain things. Take the time to explore your puppy’s personality. We like to handle the puppies constantly, beginning immediately to turn them gently on their backs and rub their tummies. To lie on one's back is to be utterly defenseless and by making this routine exercise a pleasurable one from the beginning, you set in motion a bond that will become absolute trust.
When you feed the puppy, make a clucking noise and say (Puppy's name) -come and within a few days this call will bring him instantly and eagerly to you. Keep a few kibbles of his dry puppy food or liver bites in your pocket, call the puppy to you and reward him with a treat. Eventually you can praise lavishly in place of food and the puppy will still come when called. Put a harness around the puppy for brief periods until he becomes accustomed to it.
Between 7 and 12 weeks the real training begins. The period establishes a time for the puppy when he is removed from the dominance of his mother and the interaction with his brothers and sisters and taken off into the world to be your very special dog.
Snap a lead on the harness and the puppy will usually trot right along with you but not always. Comfort the puppy with your clucking noise and because that sound has always meant “on your feet-good things are coming”, the puppy will be happy and willing to follow you. Once in a while you will run into a puppy that is not going to co-operate and sits down solidly, refusing to budge. Let him sit-he'll soon be bored with that! When he moves, go right along with him. Soon enough he will be going along with you. Introduce the sit, the stand and the stay...always briefly without force. If he is already doing it, tell him what he is doing. When the puppy is headed for one of us anyways, we introduce the “come” again with no forcing, no dragging and no corrections-just suggestions about what the puppy was about to do anyway, always with lots of praise.
At this point you will get the feeling that the baby is training you. If all this sounds like we're suggesting you're creating a spoiled puppy who gets praised for doing exactly what he wants to do anyway...let us correct that impression. We do believe in discipline! An undisciplined dog is not a secure dog because he does not know what you want and constantly has to face your displeasure. Moreover, an undisciplined dog is a danger to himself and others.
There are several stern corrections that we do to impress upon puppies and there is no nonsense about it. One of these lessons is regarding a running car. Let the puppy wander in front of a car whose motor is running. When the puppy gets to the critical spot, a loud blast on the horn is usually enough to convince them to avoid cars whose motors are running. If you have a pool attempt to teach them how to swim and how to find the steps of the pool. These lessons will literally save their life.
****Bulldogs often can not swim! ANY dog you will need to ensure that they can't get near your pool without a lifejacket on.****
The word NO is completely eliminated from teaching until the dog is older and trained. “No” is reserved for specific crimes like chewing the couch, puddles on the rug, or biting ankles. If the puppy is wriggling and refusing to stand, keep repeating the stand command telling him what you want, not that he's not doing what you want.
The gnawing and biting that reaches a peak in the seven or eight week old puppy, can usually be stopped quickly by returning the pressure on the jaw when the puppy takes your hand in his mouth.
The puppy will only be interested in spitting it out. If you hang on for another few seconds, he'll be delighted to get you out of his mouth and will not be so apt to chew on you again. He must learn that it is unacceptable to chew on people!!!!!
Once the puppy is going well on the lead, he/she should be exposed to different kinds of terrain, flapping canvas, lawn mowers and bicycles. He learns to go over small obstacles, go around others, in and out doors and up and down stairs. In the house he meets the vacuum cleaner, noisy pots and pans and assorted household confusions. Do not force him...just carry about your business and praise his bravery when he investigates new things.
By this time, you should have your puppy lying happily and quietly on their back for a tummy rub and you are ready to tackle...Nails and Grooming.