Life with your new puppy pal is everything you have imagined and more, but how do you start going about training them to become the well-behaved pup you have dreamed of? Dogs love learning, especially with a little edible incentive on offer, so with a little perseverance you can transform your puppy into the cleverest boy or girl ever.
Like humans, dogs respond well to positive encouragement, and nothing says positive encouragement to a dog quite like a tasty treat. Food-lure training is one of the most effective ways to show your puppy in a very yummy way they are doing the right thing. There are loads of different dog treats available so find something irresistible to your pooch’s tastebuds. No matter what you’re teaching your puppy, food-lure training will be at the heart of it.
Simple, yet impressive tricks to get started – “sit”, “down”, “stay”
‘Luring’ is an unbeatable technique to teach your dog numerous tricks. It works by using treats to capture your dog’s attention, and then, by moving the treats into position, you can get your dog to achieve the desired command.
By holding a treat above your puppy’s head and slowly moving the treat over them, your pup should “sit”, and whilst bringing a treat to the ground, your puppy should “lie down”. Accompanied with the key command and followed by lots of praise and their treat, after a few repetitions your pup should be the model student. “Stay” is an important skill for your pup to master.
Begin by placing your puppy in the sit position then take a step away giving the command “stay”, then return to your dog rewarding them with a treat, whilst saying your release word “OK/free”. Gradually get further away from your pup, as well as extending their “stay” time until the command is second nature.
Perfect that recall – “come”
If you are planning to let your dog off the leash when out, making sure your dog’s recall is robust is essential to ensure the safety of your pet. Turning this training into a game will ensure you have your dog’s full attention. Be sure to practice in an enclosed space until recall confidence is achieved. Let your dog wander off, then get their attention by holding up a fun toy or treat (squeaky toys work excellent for this). Once your dog begins moving towards you, add in the recall word “come” or an alternative and begin praising them. Once they are back to you reward them with a treat and verbal praise. Gradually increase the distance and begin removing the treats and toys until they reliably come back with just the recall command.
A dog’s learning is never complete – throughout their life there’ll be plenty of new things to learn. The same rule applies no matter what your pooch is trying to learn – discourage bad behaviour and reward good behaviour with lots of patience and practice.