How can I prevent my puppy from becoming a disobedient dog?
An early start to training and frequent exercise sessions are necessary to prevent puppies from becoming too rowdy. Waiting to train your puppy until it is 5 or 6 months of age can often let these disobedient behaviours take hold. Then you have to undo behaviours you don’t like in order to get the ones you want. Puppies are like sponges and learn very quickly, but they also have very short attention spans. Motivate your puppy to perform using positive reinforcement; i.e. make training fun! Exercise should be frequent but not excessive for young dogs; make sure it’s not just physical exercise but include enrichment and socialization as well. With early training, excitable puppies can often have their behaviour channelled in the correct direction.
Hints and Tips
Reprimands and punishment are often unsuccessful. Punishment may reward behaviour by providing attention. Punishment that is too harsh can lead to anxiety, fear of the owner and problems such as fear aggression, submissive urination & displacement behaviours.
Sometimes demanding behaviour is rewarded while quiet behaviour is ignored. If this is what is happening in your home; deal with it by treating all demanding behaviour with inattention and reward calm, non-demanding behaviour with play and attention.
Energetic dogs need exercise every day. The more active the dog, the more exercise it needs. Without it your dog will vent its energy into undesirable behaviour and this can also lead to disobedience.
It is very important to practice the training that you may ultimately need & practice this in different situations (calm and quiet first and then introduce distractions).
An example of this is training the dog to sit and stay near the front entrance.
How will the dog know to sit and not run out the door when people come to visit, (a highly excitable event), if the dog has never practiced doing so? (Both when things were calm and then at distracting times).
Another example is training classes; the time when you really need your dog to respond to you is likely to be when they are distracted or in a busy area. Make sure you take your dog to training classes so they can practice training in a busy, distracting environment; don’t just practice at home!