4. Speak properly.
When you teach your pup the essential basic cues, make sure the tenor of your voice is friendly, confident and encouraging. If you project frustration or impatience, those emotions can make it harder for him to learn.
5. Stick with tiny treats.
Training time should be a pleasant experience for your puppy, so that’s why using treats works so well. However, keep those tasty tidbits tiny enough for him to bite once and swallow. You’ll keep his attention on you by using small treats, rather than becoming distracted by consuming a large treat.
6. Keep lessons brief.
Puppies tend to learn better in training segments that are 10-minutes or less. These mini-training sessions also work better for you since they fit easily into your busy schedule. For example, you can squeeze in a short training lesson before you head off to work or when you get home after a long day.
7. Think Las Vegas, baby!
Slot machines do not deliver a payoff with each grab of the handle. If ever time you played a slot machine, it paid you exactly the amount you put in, you would quickly become bored and stop playing. Gamblers are attracted to slots because of the hope of hitting a jackpot. Psychologists call this “intermittent reinforcement.” Apply this theory to training your young canine student. Once you’ve taught the basics, bolster compliance by offering a treat intermittently. Keep your pup guessing about when he’ll be rewarded – and how much — and he’ll work harder for that tasty “jackpot.”
Parting tip: Your pup needs and deserves plenty of structured training, so be sure to enroll the both of you in a puppy obedience class taught by a professional dog trainer who subscribes to the positive reinforcement training approach.