Puppy education is most effective if it is based on:
- Reward the puppy when it does the right thing (with a “well done!” followed by a food reward).
- Ignore and never punish the errant puppy. If he picks up something unwanted in his mouth tell him “NO” and give him an alternative to that thing (a toy he can bite) = barter.
An example: to teach him to poop outside you have to take him outside often (in particular every time he wakes up) and reward him when he does it outside, but if he does it inside, you either ignore him or pick him up and take him outside (when you catch him in the act).
The puppy between 2 and 4 months (and throughout its first year of life) should have as many experiences as possible, and thus be able to socialise with:
- Several dogs (possibly of different ages and sizes) so that it learns to communicate and play with its peers.
- Different people, in addition to family members (children, the elderly, tall people, …).
- Different environments, not only the park, but also the city, the market, the shopping centres, the station, etc.
Not to mention the importance of taking it by car and possibly also by bus or train.
It is essential to remember that a puppy is like a three-year-old child, and must know the world, otherwise it will be afraid of it in the future. This can then be a problem for a dog that has to live in a society such as ours. In all 3 points mentioned above, it is very important that the puppy marks the new experience positively, so always associate it with a food reward (something pleasant).
From day one it is good to set some handling rules for the puppy. In this way you give him clues so that he understands what his role is within the “group-family” (he cannot be the coordinator of the group).
- FOOD: The puppy receives his bowl with the meal 3 times a day, which is left on the floor for 10 minutes and then removed (he must not be allowed to eat when he wants).
- RESTING PLACE: the puppy must have its own resting place, chosen by the owner, avoiding the central areas of the room and those passing by (it must be rewarded every time it spontaneously goes to the kennel, to educate it to calmness).
- INTERACTIONS: Although it is not very simple, the puppy should not be considered every time he asks for attention. When he gets quiet and ignore the owner, that is the moment to call him to interact/play with him.
- ON THE GUARD: It is important to teach the puppy not to pull, because the owner is the “coordinator”, so he is the one who decides which direction to go in and at what speed.
N.B.: In addition, from 4 months of age, it is also necessary to get the puppy used to being home alone (first only 10 minutes, then half an hour, then more, etc.), otherwise it may not be able to do this afterwards.
Il gioco è uno strumento importante per lo sviluppo del cane. Facendogli fare giochi diversi, gli si forniscono nuove competenze, e di conseguenza lo si rende “più intelligente”. Un cane può essere capace non solo di andare a prendere la pallina e riportarla, ma anche di metterla in un cestino, oppure di portare una borsa. Basta insegnarglielo con un gioco.
A questo proposito consigliamo un libro ricco di giochi da fare con il proprio cane. L’obbiettivo è di avere a fianco un compagno che sa fare tante cose, e può quindi essere ancora più partecipe nella vita di tutti i giorni. Di fatto il cane è un animale sociale, e se può collaborare con il gruppo è più felice.
“GIOCARE CON IL CANE” di C. Sondermann, Ed. De Vecchi
“DIZIONARIO BILINGUE cane” di R. Marchesini, Ed. Sonda