Training a Stubborn Puppy: Patience, Creativity, and More Patience
Training a stubborn puppy is a challenge... made even harder because puppies are so adorable! All puppies, however, should learn the rules of the household as well as good doggy manners - and it's best to do so right from the beginning before they develop any hard-to-break bad habits. Dog training is therefore a must, right from the time the cute little ball of fluff joins the household. Here are a few suggestions on training a stubborn puppy:
- Does your puppy refuse to walk on leash? Be positive and relaxed, even though that can be difficult. Try carrying your pup a short distance from home and then leading him back on leash. If he still doesn't want to move, take him within sight of home - and have something he wants at home (another family member happily calling his name; another pet; a favorite toy; etc). Try to keep the leash loose while you walk. Leash-training your puppy early will make it much easier to safely exercise and socialize him.
- puppy training pads would help. These are specially scented, absorbent pads that encourage dogs to eliminate on them. You can use them both indoors and outdoors (but don't leave them outside! Puppy pad training has its uses, and the pads are relatively affordable and convenient to use. Just take them out, encourage your pup to use them, then discard full pads or bring unused pads inside for later use).
- Does your puppy bite or nip you while trying
to play? This behavior needs to be corrected, as
it might be "cute" when a small puppy does
it, but it's not so cute when puppy grows into a big
dog! It's important to
train your puppy not to bite,
right from the start.
Although sometimes it feels like you may need the patience of a saint, calmly and consistently showing your puppy what's okay and what's not will eventually get through to him. Remember not to engage in any type of play or attention when your puppy bites - just stop immediately and walk away. Your puppy will eventually learn that biting or nipping puts an immediate end to your attention and makes all the fun stop.
These are just a few ways puppies can be stubborn! Remember to use positive reinforcement training so that training is fun, and never physically punish your dog. This can lead to aggressive or fearful behaviors.
Consider taking your little one to puppy training classes. These fun classes are a great way to learn from the dog professionals. It gives your puppy a chance to socialize with other dogs, learn good manners, and gives you the opportunity to learn and observe positive training methods that work with all sorts of canine personalities, including stubborn puppies!