|Updated: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm
||Published: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm
It may be cute when your friendly puppy jumps up on you, but you won't like the behavior quite as much when he weighs fifty pounds or more. The time to start training is right away. Your dog will never have a huge vocabulary, but there's one word you should teach it immediately: NO! Whatever behavior you want to discourage, the dog should hear a firm NO whenever it jumps on the couch or chews on a shoe. Don't hesitate. The dog has to associate the two actions, and even a few seconds delay can confuse his little puppy brain. Equally important is to praise your dog for good behavior. If you say no when he does what he's not supposed to, be sure and reward him for being good. Dogs love attention, and a thorough petting can be as much a reward as a chewy treat. A few other commands you should teach your dog are stay, sit, and heel. Invest in a book on dog training or get one from the library. Training sessions can be fun for both of you. If you don't have the time for regular training sessions, enroll your dog in an obedience class. You'll both be happier once your pet has a Ph.D. in good behavior.