winning your puppy’s trust, respect and confidence

Many people try to win their new puppy’s love by letting the puppy always have its way. The pup is showered with affection and attention because he is so cute and cuddly. Buckets of affection are a wonderful thing for most puppies, but it must be tempered with respect. If you give in to your puppy’s every whim, your pup will never learn self control and self discipline; and respect for you are the pup’s leader will be harder to earn.

If your puppy does not respect you, it will have no reason to do anything for you. Your puppy needs a leader and a clear social hierarchy.

If you do not take up the role of leader, your dog will – you will end up with an unruly, disobedient, maybe even aggressive dog. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU AND YOUR DOG!

Other people have an equally erroneous misconception of this issue. Instead of showering the dog with love and affection, they think that they must bully or dominate the dog to earn its respect. A dog treated this way will not succeed as a good companion. Respect cannot be forced – it is won. Your dog will not respect you if s/he doesn’t trust you. The old fashioned method of dominance via the alpha roll over does not win respect.

You can win your puppy’s trust and respect by asking for simple compliance to basic training commands and through handling and gentling exercises. Of utmost importance, these routines must be predictable as anticipated by your puppy.

For instance:
Ask your puppy to sit before getting a dog treat or sit before leaving the house to go for a walk. Follow-up by placing your puppy in a sit using your hands if your puppy doesn’t comply (no doggy treat of course, if you have to do all the work! But you must still praise your puppy). Pretty soon your puppy will learn the routine and be more than happy to comply, and all the while you are building a relationship of consistency, love, trust and respect.

You’ve got the idea? – expand on it…
Using your hands, place your puppy in a down and then “examine” your puppy by touching ears, teeth, tail, etc. Let your puppy know this is a fun thing by praising your puppy while you are handling her. An occasional treat while you are handling your puppy should accelerate your puppy’s acceptance of being touched and handled. Of course, any biting while handling should receive a resounding “NO” or “Ouch” in a load voice. When the biting stops, tell your puppy what a good girl she is… profusely!

I’ll expand on these tips with future posts including some recommended Relationship Exercises that will help you to become an effective leader for your dog!

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