New puppies are cute, cuddly, and lots of fun. But just like kids, they need to have rules to live by. You'll find others will think your puppy is just as cute as you do, if your pet has good manners.
And good training can save your puppy's life. For example, being able to stop your dog from running out into the road can save your precious pooch from serious injury, or worse.
You're the boss
In the wild, dogs live together in "packs." Each dog has its special place in the pack. From the time dogs are born, they follow their leader dog.
When a puppy comes home to live with you, it needs to know that you're in charge. The puppy should learn how to follow your rules and obey your commands. You are its new "leader dog."
Say what you mean
Puppies are a lot like babies. They're still learning what to do and what not to do. If your puppy behaves badly, try to be patient. Tell him, firmly but kindly, what he did wrong.
Dogs understand simple commands, like, "No!" and "Don't!" Some dog owners even say "Phooey!" in a loud voice when their dog does something wrong. By doing this, you also are helping remind your dog that you're in charge.
Never hit your dog on its head with your hand. Use your hand for pats on the head and good words.
When dogs do really bad things, some people use a rolled up newspaper on their butts, so it makes a scary noise but doesn't hurt.
Use lots of treats
Just like you, dogs learn better when they are praised for doing a good job. In school, for example, you might get a sticker or a pencil as a reward. Dogs, too, like lots of treats.
Every time your puppy does what you want her to do, pat her on the head, say "Good dog!" in a friendly voice, and give her a puppy treat. This will encourage her to repeat the "good behavior" again and again.
And that's exactly what you want!
Be consistent and easy with your pup
Teach your pet one thing at a time. Start with easy commands, like "Sit" or "Stay." Use the same words and motions over and over, until the command is well understood.
When your puppy is ready, you can begin working on more tricks, like teaching him or her to play dead or sit up. The secret is to work with your pup often and patiently. Remember math in school? It took you a whole year to master it!
Meet new people
If you want your puppy to be friendly around people, let him meet lots of people. This is called "socializing" your puppy.
If your dog isn't comfortable around people, he could become grumpy and jumpy whenever your friends come over to play. Your friends won't like that, and neither will your puppy.
Some dog owners like to take their dogs for walks in busy places, like a park. This is a good way for the dog to meet new people and get used to different smells, activities, and areas.
Remember to observe city leash laws—which means, whenever you take your dog out into public, you must have her or her on a leash.
And be sure to clean up after your dog.
Love your puppy
Most important, give your new puppy lots of love and attention. Play games with him, go on walks, and reward your pet for good behavior.