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Training the Family as Well as the Dog

 Training the Family as Well as the Dog

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You have added a new member to the family, a bouncing little puppy, congratulations. Now that he is home it is up to you as an owner to start training him. But before you can even start house training a dog you have to train the rest of the family. This is especially important if you have young children in the house. Puppy training can be relatively easy but everyone in the family must work together.

In order for your puppy to learn anything he has to be given clear, precise and consistent commands. This applies to everyone in the house including the children. You will also have to get everybody in the family to treat the dog the same way. You will probably find it harder to train the human members of the family than the dog. 

A perfect example of this is trying to teach the puppy not to jump when someone comes into the room. The correct method would be to have everyone who comes in the door ignore the dog’s bouncing. As soon as the dog starts jumping the person coming in turns around and completely ignores it’s behavior. When the dog settles down the person then rewards and praises the puppy. In theory this is great. It works very well until your 12 year old comes home with friends and they think it’s fun to have the dog jump up on them. They laugh and pet him. Now your poor puppy is totally confused. He is not sure how to behave when someone comes in.

Another prime example of this is when the dog starts barking in his crate when it is bedtime. Ideally everyone is supposed to ignore this behavior. But your daughter feels sorry for the little guy and goes and gets him a treat and sits with him. Your pet has just learned that if he barks in his crate, someone will come with treats and keep him company. Not exactly what you had in mind. Your dog has just trained your daughter.

Another very important factor is making certain that all members of the family use the same command words. One person cannot use the command ‘down’ to tell the dog to stop jumping when everyone else is using the command word ‘off’. This is especially important if you are using the ‘down’ command to tell the dog to lay prone on the floor. Your puppy will become totally confused by the use of the word in two different situations.

Consistency in house training a dog does not just apply to the “dog”. It applies to everybody. The whole family has to take part in the training of the animal. And everyone .must be aware of which commands to use and when