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Paula The Whippet Pup
Basic Training For Your New Puppy (1)
Basic Safety Commands to Teach Your New Puppy
You may not have a lot of time to teach your puppy to do elaborate circus tricks but every puppy needs to learn some basic commands. For your pups safety and your sanity, start with these few basic commands. A couple of minutes a day on each is all that is needed to start – your puppy is still a baby so his concentration doesn’t last long!
Teaching your puppy the “leave it” and “release” commands can keep your youngster from doing something dangerous, such as eating mouse poison, rotten food and other yucky stuff, and “wait” can prevent him running into the path of a speeding car.
For this you will need your puppy on a leash and you should have some treats in your pocket. Walking briskly along you should stop in your tracks whilst saying ‘Wait’ in a firm voice. Obviously, your pup will stop as you have him safely on a leash, so bring him to your side. When he is standing calmly next to you (probably with a puzzled look on his face…), give him a treat whilst saying ‘good boy’. I use treats for this exercise as lavish and enthusiastic praise promotes excitement and I prefer a calm approach whilst teaching this exercise.
Repeat when you are waiting to cross a road or where you have to stop for a few seconds. You will be surprised at how quickly he learns this simple command.
When he has mastered this on a leash, take him to where you let him have some free time and let him play for a minute or two. Then, when he is close enough to hear you, say his name and ‘Wait’ in the same tone you used previously. If he ignores you, just try one more time then go back to the leash for a while to reinforce the command. However, if you have been thorough in your on-leash training he should stop and wait for you to go to him. Then you can give him a treat and praise him lavishly.
This one command, learned properly could save your new friends life!
2. Leave It
With your puppy on a leash, walk by a tempting item, such as food or a toy (you can pre-place items for this exercise). When your puppy tries to pick up the item, give a short quick tug on the leash and say, “Leave it.”
Enthusiastically praise your puppy for doing the right thing. You can offer a treat reward at this time if you prefer, but lots of praise works just as well. Repeat this routine at home.
Here's another method you can use to teach your puppy the leave it command: Hold a food treat in your closed fist. When your puppy noses your hand, say “Leave it,” and keep your fist closed. When your pup stops nosing your hand, reward with praise, then give a verbal release command (such as “okay”) and let your puppy have the treat. Continue working like this until your puppy will sit quietly without touching a nearby treat until you give the release command.
When your puppy picks up a forbidden object, say, “Release!” and walk over to your puppy. If your pup won't release the item, offer him a tempting treat as a trade for the item. When your puppy drops it, offer praise and a safe substitute – preferably one that's more enticing than the forbidden item.
If your puppy runs away from you, don't chase him – he'll think it’s a new game. Instead, ignore him and walk the other way. Say his name to get his attention but keep walking. If you have established yourself as the ‘pack leader’ he will follow you. When he returns, always praise him and let him loose again. Don’t put the leash on him the first time he returns, wait until you call him the second time then give him a treat and put the leash on him. He will (eventually) see that you don’t always intend to stop his playtime and when you put his leash on it is always good. Never punish your pup if it takes a while for him to return to you – he will associate coming back to you with bad stuff.