Training is really the same as teaching. You will show your puppy what you would like them to do and then reward them when they succeed. You will also learn how puppies learn. If you understand how a puppy sees the world, it will make you a better teacher. Puppies need to repeat things many times in order to learn. That means to be a good trainer, you need to practice with your puppy often. But puppies also have short attention spans, so each training session should be very short. Try to practice regularly with your puppy. For example, do a quick session when you get home from school, another when you finish your homework, and one more after dinner. On weekends, you could do five or six sessions each day. Each session only has to be around five minutes long.
What counts is doing things the same way each time, so make puppy training a new habit, and keep building upon your successes. Training commands may be given to your puppy with hand gestures and words. When you teach your puppy, you will teach them both the gesture and the command word or phrase. Your puppy will learn the gesture first and the word second.
Training your puppy means keeping calm. Losing your patience will slow down puppy training. Worse, think of the fear phases. Your puppy could develop some behavior problems if they are afraid.
The type of training you’re learning isn't jumping over playground equipment - it is called positive reward or positive reinforcement . It is all about teaching your puppy that while you may be the boss, you are really their kind and generous leader.
When your puppy does something you love that they’re supposed to do, say YES! and clap, laugh, and smile. Think of your voice and positivity as having the power to show your puppy what you want. In dog training, this is called shaping . The positive feedback increases the closer your puppy gets to performing the exact behavior desired.
A puppy's brain can only connect a reward to an action if they get the reward within two seconds of the action. Imagine you tell your puppy to sit and they sit. You dig around in your treat bag, get a treat, and take it over to your puppy. Your puppy has already seen you digging for goodies and hopped back to their feet, wagging their tail. Then you give your puppy their reward. About five seconds have passed since your puppy sat.
At the moment you give the treat, what is your puppy doing? Standing and wagging their tail. You have just taught your puppy how to stand and wag their tail, not to sit.
That won’t work. What you really need is some kind of bridge that connects the correct behavior to the treat that will come a few seconds later.
Our bridge is the happily exclaimed word YES! When your puppy sits, you say YES! right away to praise their behavior. Then you can give the treat, even if it’s a few seconds later.
You are using YES! as your bridge. It is what we call a verbal marker . It is a spoken response.
YES! is a powerful word in puppy training. It lets your puppy know they have done the exact right thing to make you happy. And it takes only a fraction of a second for you to say it.