Top Tips for a Well-Behaved Dog


Top Tips for a Well-Behaved Dog

Congratulations to all of the new furry family members added to your pack over the holidays! Puppies are so much fun and can breathe new life into your home, but they also take a lot of work. There is so much for them to learn about you, their new home, and how to behave! While it can seem overwhelming, we have some top tips to help your pup become a well-behaved dog!

Find Their Motivation

Is your dog toy obsessed or will they do anything for a tasty treat? Getting them ‘high value’ treats like hotdogs, cooked chicken or, our trainers favorite, freeze dried lamb liver, will make their training time fun and keep them interested longer. Squeaky toys or quick tug-of-war game can help if your dog is not interested in food. 

Keep Training Sessions Positive and Fun

Training time should be just as fun for you as it is for your puppy! Remember to keep a light-hearted attitude and keep in mind that this time is crucial for bonding with your new friend. If the sessions are fun and exciting, your dog will typically respond faster and learn more in your time together. 

End your session on a positive note! You have both worked hard so leave each session with lots of high praise, treats or a fun game of fetch. It is the best way to keep your pup working hard and waiting for their next training session.

Decide on the Rules of your House

Establish with your family what your new puppy can and cannot do in your home – and be sure all family members are on the same page! Do you want Sparky to be a true couch potato or stay in his own bed? Will parts of your house be completely off limits? Where will he play and where will he eat? Deciding these rules early, even before bringing your dog home, can avoid confusion and keep the home happy! Then be sure to prepare.

For example, the easiest way to prevent your new pup from jumping on the couch or dashing out the door is to put up some baby gates around until they learn your rules. If they are not allowed on the couch, then get them a comfy bed to enjoy time with the family in their own spot.

Crate Training

Dog’s natural instincts are to have a comfortable, safe, quiet ‘den’ when their current space becomes too loud, crowded, or overwhelming. Crate training allows you to provide a space just for them to have all to themselves. In addition, it can be a great tool for house-training, can prevent chewing on your furniture, and can help keep your pup safe while you are away!

The best way to keep your dog willing to go into their crate is to never use it as punishment. Encourage them to go in by dropping a few treats just inside and to the back of their crate, while using a happy tone to your voice say ‘go to bed’. Continue doing this until they learn that ‘go to bed’ means to calmly go into their crate! Also use the crate for meal time. This is another way to encourage positive crate conditioning!

Socialize Early and Often

It is extremely important to get your puppy acclimated to all types of sounds, smells, sights, places, and people that they will experience in their world. Puppies that are well-socialized typically become happy, confident, and well-adjusted dogs. Proper, positive socialization can help to prevent unwanted behavior like fear, aggression, and barking. 
Find dog friendly places to take your dog with pockets full of treats to keep their attention and reward them when something scary happens and they behave appropriately. Allow your puppy to move away if they’re nervous and reward them for being curious of new things with treats and praise. Your favorite pet shop, a hardware store, or even a busy park are great places to get your puppy used to all types of new experiences. 

Wagsworth also provides multiple options for positive, professionally-handled socialization! Give us a call to learn more about our socialization options!

Discourage Bad Behavior Right Away

Puppies love to jump, nip and greet you in not so great ways when they’re young. Discouraging these unwanted behaviors every time will make their training experience consistent and fast! If Sparky is jumping up and down when you walk in the door, do not reprimand them; simply turn your back to them and ignore the behavior. Wait until they settle down before giving any type of positive reinforcement. 

Instead of scolding when they nip or bite, a great way to change this behavior is to pretend that you are in pain when it happens. Loudly explaining ‘OUCH’ should do the trick, most pups are so shocked by the loud noise they will stop this behavior almost immediately. If loud noises do not stop them from nipping at you, try swapping your hand for a toy. Grabbing a toy or bone when they are starting to bite will redirect this behavior. 

Having a well-behaved dog who’s the talk of the town (in a good way!) is possible! Still feeling overwhelmed or need support? Wagsworth Manor Pet Resort is here for you. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (610) 251-9247 to learn more about our unique socialization and training options. We have programs specifically designed for the unique needs of your new puppy!