Important Do's and Don'ts with Puppies


Be Consistent


It’s important that all behaviors, acceptable and unacceptable, be

managed consistently by all family members. And remember that any

method you try will probably not be effective unless you work hard to

teach your puppy an acceptable alternative behavior.


Children and Puppies


It’s very difficult for children under eight or nine years old to practice the

kind of behavior modification outlined here. Children’s first reaction to

being nipped or mouthed by a puppy is to push the puppy away with

their hands and arms.  This will be interpreted by the puppy as play

and will probably cause the puppy to nip and mouth even more. Adults

should closely monitor all interactions between their children and dogs.



What NOT to Do


Attempts to tap, slap, or hit your puppy in the face for nipping or

jumping up are almost guaranteed to backfire. Several things may

happen, depending on your puppy’s temperament and the severity of

the correction:


The puppy could become “hand-shy” and cringe or cower whenever a

hand comes toward her face.


The puppy could become afraid of you and refuse to come to you or

approach you at all.


The puppy could respond in a defensive manner and attempt to bite

you to defend herself.


The puppy could interpret a mild slap as an invitation to play, causing

her to become more excited and even more likely to nip.


Never play “tug-of-war” or wrestling games with your puppy if you’re

having a nipping problem. These types of games encourage

out-of-control behavior, grabbing, lunging, and competition with

you—behaviors you don’t want her to learn.


Never chase or lunge at your puppy trying to catch it.   This

can lead to a fearful dog that will run from you when you call it by name.

Always try to coax or call the puppy over to you then pet and reward

the puppy when they come to you. If you need to retrieve the puppy

try to move slowly towards them always pet and reward when you

get your puppy.  No matter how frustrated or angry you are at the

puppy for not coming to you scolding or punishing the puppy may

teach your puppy that coming to you when called is not rewarding

and cause your puppy to avoid contact with you.  In other words it

teaches your puppy to "RUN and HIDE" when it hears its name.


Always stick with easy simple commands:  Short and simple

commands work best.  Try not to overwhelm your puppy with to many

commands to learn at the same time.  Teach one trick at a time.

When teaching verbal commands try to associate the verbal command

with a hand signal or visual command at the same time.   You never

know as your puppy grows and enters his/her senior years whether they

will loose their sight or hearing. 

By teaching both verbal and visual commands you prepare yourself and

your dog if they ever become hearing or sight impaired.





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