Puppy training basics
Puppy training basics

Join Expert Dog Trainer Kathy Santo as she goes through the basics of puppy obedience training. She’ll show you how to train your puppy to follow three basic commands: “sit”, “lie down”, and “stay. Then she’ll discuss how proper nutrition plays an important role in the overall training process.

 

Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and today we're going to discuss basic puppy obedience training. Obedience training is one of the best things you can do for you and your puppy. So this video will focus on the three basic commands: sit, lie down, and stay. A puppy can learn a great deal, even as early as seven weeks of age, if learning is fun and presented in the form of play. To establish a positive rapport with your puppy and prevent many future problems, start training a few days after your puppy settles in. A relationship based on friendship and trust will ensure that he tries hard to win you praise and approval. Before giving a word command to your puppy, speak his name to get his attention. Then speak a one word command, such as stay, sit, come, or heel. Your puppy won't respond to commands until he knows his name. Don't get impatient. The quickest way to teach your puppy his name is to reward him every time he looks at you. Always train when your puppy is hungry, lonely, or bored. When all his needs are met, he won't be as motivated to do as you say. For example, training right before meals will help him associate his meal with a reward for the training, and also make him more interested in the treat you use in your training session. Also, remember to use motivation, not negative reinforcement. Reinforce desired behaviors by offering toys, food, and praise, so the puppy wants to obey. Different dogs value different rewards. Some may think a tennis ball is the best thing in the world, while another puppy may find a tennis ball meaningless, but would do nearly anything for the chance to have a treat. Never use physical punishment on a young puppy, as you may scar him both mentally and physically. Also, refrain from calling your dog to come to you for punishment, because this will teach your dog not to come on command. Dogs can feel human emotions, so stay relaxed, firm, and confident. Be sure to keep any frustration out of the tone of your voice. And if you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break. Your dog can sense this, and will start to associate training with your unhappiness. Most puppies, like young children, enjoy learning, but have short attention spans. Training sessions should be frequent and short to prevent your dog from becoming bored. 10 to 15 minute sessions, two or three times a day, is ideal. The first command I'm going to show you is sit. Your puppy's on the leash, and you're sitting on the ground with a leash under your legs, so he can't take a field trip away from you. Hold your hand high over his head with the reward in it. Your dog will look up at the reward. Use your other hand to gently guide your dog into a sitting position, and say in a clear, firm, tone, "sit," while still holding the reward in the air above the dog's head. When your dog sits, give them the treat, and verbally praise him. The second command I like to teach is lie down. Have your dog sit. Let him know you have the treat, but don't give it to him. Slowly lower your hand with the treat to the floor to bring your pup's nose close to the ground. When he starts to follow it, say "lie down." Once he's fully on the floor, you can give him the treat. Repeat saying lie down and rewarding correct behavior. Now for stay. Have your dog sit. Let him know you have the treat, but don't give it to him. Go in front of your puppy, raise your open hand, and say "stay" firmly, so your puppy can associate your open hand with what he's learning. Start to move away from your puppy while occasionally repeating the stay command. Start with only a few seconds of staying at a time, and then move to slightly longer amounts. Always come back and reward your puppy if he follows instructions. The last thing I'd like to talk about is nutrition, and its implications on puppy training. Good nutrition leads to a healthy dog with higher quality of poop, and more predictable and balanced behavior, so he's easier to train. Make sure your puppy is getting the well balanced diet he needs for optimal development. For more information on puppy nutrition, watch the video "What is the best puppy food for your puppy?" I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition into your family.

  • Is Your Mature Dog Eating Less?
    Is Your Mature Dog Eating Less?

    Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.

    “It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.

     

    article is your mature dog eating less header

     

    6 Ways to Encourage Your Senior Dog to Eat More

     

     

    1. Mix Dry Food with Moist Food

    Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.

     

    2. Warm It Up

    Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.

     

    3. Try a Change

    Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.

     

    4. Stay Close

    Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.

     

    5. Keep the Fresh Water Flowing

    Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.

     

    6. Offer Praise

    Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.

both email signup

STAY INFORMED

Enter your email for customized pet advice, product updates, brand news and more!

SIGN UP

Shop Dogs

Shop Cats

Why IAMS™

© 2021 Mars or Affiliates. US Patents Pending. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
chat icon

CHAT WITH AN EXPERT