Whatever happens to a dog in its first 4 to 9 weeks of life will be engrained in its mind forever. That means that any action by a puppy's mother or owner will affect it permanently.
When a puppy becomes rowdy and make its litter mates hyper, the mother will grab that puppy by the scruff of the neck with her teeth and growl until the puppy submits and calms down. So whenever a human grabs the scruff of a dog's neck, it will remember that motion and its association with puppyhood, and will calm down more quickly.
If a puppy is unfortunately abused at an early age, they will remember all the details. So if a tall man wearing a hat abuses a puppy, every time the dog sees a tall man with a hat, it will become very submissive and think it will get hurt.
The earlier you start training your puppy, the better. They are little sponges and absorb it all. Obedience training with different commands is so important for the peace in your household. You gain dominance over your dog and the dog gets more tired than just running around and playing because dog training takes mental stimulation.
Dog are capable of learning thousands of one or two word commands. You must say the commands firmly and succinctly, because if you draw out the command (siiiiiiittttttt) you are asking the dog instead of commanding it. A dog’s psychology and a child’s psychology are almost exactly alike because if they know that they can get away with just a little bit, they will push it for everything they can.
Don’t make excuses for your dog and you do not have to feel bad for reprimanding them for doing something wrong. Try to catch them in the act of doing something that they should not be doing and firmly command them to stop.
Never give up when commanding your dog! Remember, practice makes perfect and by sticking to your commands, your dog will learn that it needs to behave.
This post was written by Tony Collazo of Smart Start Dog Training. Tony has over 12 years of dog training experience and is certified with the Animal Behavior College. Pet Assure is not affiliated with and does not endorse Smart Dog Training. Pet Assure is presenting this guest post for the benefit of its readers and retains no financial interest in any future transactions.