A well-trained dog is a delightful companion and an intelligent member of the family. Training is a rewarding occupation requiring patience and kindness, which will bring you closer to your dog.
Puppies have short memories and must learn by repetition. In the early ages aim for short daily training sessions with the minimum of distraction and preferably just before feed time. Encourage the puppy when it has done well; give the occasional titbit, always a word of praise and a pat. Never smack the dog with your hand for punishment, other than on the rump, and never use any physical force on its nose—this is its most sensitive part and the dog’s sense of smell can easily be impaired.
If the puppy must be punished, catch it in the act of wrongdoing; otherwise it will not know what it has done wrong. Dogs understand differences in the tone of your voice, so make your initial reprimand by deepening the tone of your voice and speaking severely. If this does not work after repeated attempts, use a folded piece of newspaper to smack the animal; this makes a lot of noise, indicates to the dog that it is being punished but does not hurt it physically. Do not expect too much -too soon-, many pups will not learn commands until ‘they are five or six months old and. -remain mischievous and destructive until then.. The same basic principles of reward and punishment apply to all forms of training.
From the time it is weaned a puppy can be taught to be clean and to go to a tray containing dirt, sand or ashes to empty its bladder and bowel. Put it on the tray several times a day, and always after it has been fed, and praise any action. It will quickly learn to go there regularly.
As the puppy grows older, put it outside five or six times a day, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night, as well as immediately after eating. If possible, select a spot in the garden and take the puppy there regularly, as the odor emanating from its toilet will stimulate its desire to pass urine or feces. If possible, stay with the puppy until it has performed and then praise it; it will soon learn what is expected.
Older puppies or dogs that have not previously been trained are sometimes more difficult. They require careful watching and frequent putting out. If they misbehave in the house, scold them with words.
If a trained dog has an accident in the house it usually means the dog has a problem. It may be an antisocial jealousy behavior pattern, it may indicate an infection of the bladder, or in older dogs it can be urinary incontinence. Never rub your dog’s nose in the mess when it has made a mistake; take it to the spot, hold it near and say ‘no’ or ‘bad dog’ several times in your scolding voice, then put the dog straight outside for some time as an indication of punishment.