Alternative Techniques for Training Your Puppy

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Clicker training

Training methodsThe principle of clicker training is to associate the "click" with the right behavior, reward that behavior, and make sure your puppy understands why he got the reward.

By using the "click" to mark the correct behavior, your puppy will know exactly what he did to be rewarded.

Start by giving treats as rewards and then, as you progress with each command, move to using praise and a little fussing as his reward.

Leader of the pack

Dogs are pack animals and are used to having a leader. In this case, the leader is you. To feel secure and understand his place, your puppy needs to think of you and your family as above him in the pecking order. The following rules will help you establish this:

Table manners

In the wild, the leader of the pack should always eat first. Your puppy will accept this but you must reinforce it. Your puppy's mealtimes should be separate to yours. If you do feed him scraps while you're eating, he'll think he's in charge and it will be very difficult to get him to stop bothering you. This can make life difficult, especially when you have visitors.

Bedside manners

The leader always gets the best place to sleep, so your puppy needs to know that your bed is a "no-go" area. If you start letting him on or into your bed, you'll never get him out. Worse than that, he may become very territorial about it, thinking the bed is his area.

He's not always the center of attention

As leader of the pack, you must ensure your puppy respects your need for time alone. If you don't, he'll th,ink you want him involved in everything you do — even following you to places you'd rather he didn't. To help him get used to not being fussed over, set aside a period of 20 minutes to half an hour when you do not give your dog any attention at all. It sounds harsh, but he should get used to not having you at his beck and call.

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