Puppy Obedience Training, Part 2: Common Problems

What are the common issues encountered while teaching/training puppies?

If you want a well-behaved adult dog in the future, you have to start teaching your puppy now.


Puppies may not be as mature and mentally developed as adult dogs but this doesn’t mean that they are unteachable. Puppies younger than five months can be taught simple yet useful concepts such as voiding in a certain area or keeping off the couch.


Every owner’s training journey is unique because like people, dogs have different needs and personalities.


It would be wrong to lump together all dog breeds into one general category. There is still a need to observe your dog for peculiar traits and behavior patterns so you can use the correct training methods.


Owner-trainers often encounter odd problems when training puppies and young dogs. We’re going to explore some of the more common issues in today’s post so you will know exactly what to do when you encounter these problems.


  1. Lack of Self-Control


What can we do about a puppy’s self-control level?


This is one aspect of puppyhood that we can’t modify or improve until five months of age. Like babies and toddlers, puppies don’t have a very good grasp of self-control.


They tend to chew on everything and they void whenever they feel the urge to do so. At this point in a dog’s developmental timeline, instincts reign supreme.


Canine instincts aren’t “bad” in the strictest sense of the word. However, a puppy’s most active instincts can be classified as incompatible with human homes. If you intend to keep your puppy indoors most of the time, you need to create a specific zone in your home for your puppy so you can limit where “accidents” take place.


As the owner and pack leader, you have to think of ways to reduce the mess associated with taking care of a young puppy. Do not expect your small puppy to know how to behave in different situations. If your puppy makes a mess during a party, you would be wholly responsible because you weren’t able to prepare your puppy beforehand.


  1. Lack of Focus


Can a puppy be taught to focus from an early age?


As you may already be aware, puppies can’t focus too well. Young pups get distracted easily and they also lose interest very quickly, even if you’re holding a treat in front of it. A dog’s attention span increases as it ages so until the fifth month, make your teaching sessions extra short and sweet.


If you are having trouble catching your puppy’s attention, it would be helpful if you can use a trigger item to gain its attention. A trigger item can be a chew toy, stick or any other object that the puppy can play with. Eventually, the puppy will create a positive association with the object and it would be easier to catch its attention with the object.


III. Sudden Bad Behavior


Why do puppies suddenly misbehave?


The most common cause of misbehavior in puppies is mental fatigue. Even if your puppy is fed well and doesn’t go outside very often, it can still become mentally tired after some time. If your puppy begins to nip or bark for no reason, it’s probably tired.


At this point in time, the best recourse would be to bring the puppy back to its box, crate or sleeping pad. Having a fixed sleeping area and play area for your puppy is essential because your pup is creating the vital connections that it will utilize later in life.


Don’t let your puppy sleep anywhere it likes. Remember: dogs need structure and rules!


  1. Potty Problems


Potty-training a puppy that is younger than five months can be very challenging because they are physically incapable of controlling their bladders and tummies at all times.


Potty training is only practical when your puppy reaches the third month so before this time comes, it would be nearly impossible to accomplish.


Cleaning up “accidents” inside your home can be frustrating to say the least. To minimize these “accidents,” you need to establish a potty routine so that your puppy can relieve itself outside as frequently as possible. Having a potty routine will also condition your puppy to “hold it in” when it’s inside your house.


Again, creating different zones inside and outside your home will provide your puppy with the structure it needs to learn and adapt. I know that this can be challenging but it will be all worth it in the end when you see your puppy behaving well and getting along with your family members and other pets.

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