Everyone who owns a puppy or dog will eventually have to correct less than desirable behaviors. Two behaviors should be addressed as soon as possible:
- Jumping up on people
- Tugging on a leash
Jumping up on People
Jumping is one behavior that many dog owners inadvertently encourage. Jumping up while wagging their tail is adorable in a young puppy. But when that puppy is older, larger, and stronger, jumping up is no longer cute. It also begins to become annoying and even dangerous.
The best time to train a dog not to jump up is when your puppy is still small and easy to handle. When your puppy jumps up on you or someone else, gently place the puppy’s feet back on the floor. Whenever your puppy remains standing, praise them profusely.
It is also important to give your puppy an alternative to jumping up. Puppies jump up on people to express their enthusiasm. So you want to redirect their energy in a more socially acceptable direction. Try teaching your puppy to present a paw instead of jumping up.
When teaching your puppy to not jump up on people, it is important to be consistent. Consistency is important in any training program. All members of your family must understand that the puppy is not permitted to jump on them.
Tugging on a Leash
Your puppy must learn to respect the collar and leash early in life when they are still small and light enough to manage and control. Training a 10-pound puppy will be much easier than training a 150-pound dog.
Using a strong body harness or head collar can be a big help when training a puppy not to pull or while retraining a dog who is already pulling on the leash. When first fitting your puppy with a new harness, allow your puppy to walk around wearing it. Introducing a harness in this way will help them get used to wearing it.
When walking with your puppy on a leash, always keep slack in the leash. As you walk with your puppy, never allow your puppy to pull you around or to forge ahead on the leash. If your puppy begins to pull on the leash, quickly change directions. Your puppy will then find themselves lagging behind instead of forging ahead. The leash will be loose except for the split second it takes to change directions. Use a quick tug of the leash, followed by an immediate loosening, when teaching loose leash walking.
Teaching your dog to walk quietly at your side on a loose lead is the basis of all dog training. Until your puppy has mastered this vital skill, they will be unable to move onto more advanced training.