Training a puppy or a dog does not mean harshly disciplining him. If you go about it properly, he will think it more fun than any game. Some dogs are more obedient than others, while few fail to recognize the “I mean it” voice. Remain calm, firm, and repeat the words if necessary, time after time until obedience is given.
Work with a puppy alone and not too long. His capacity to concentrate is limited, so stop when you see he has had all he can take. Try to stop on some achievement, which means praise, petting, and perhaps a treat. If each session ends on a positive note, he will gladly welcome the next lesson.
Keep him on a long leash when teaching new lessons. He cannot run off or get away with ignoring your commands. Although you should work with him without other people or dogs around in the initial sessions, as he learns you can gradually train him to obey commands as they would be given in normal surroundings. He must obey not just when you are alone with him, but in all circumstances of ordinary daily life. Learning to behave in all situations is essential.
When he is older, he will enjoy attending the obedience classes. For most pets, however, home training is sufficient. This is particularly so for the fundamental obedience of the commands “Come,” “Sit” “Down,” and “Stay!”
Some puppies seem to take naturally to the collar and leash, while others have to be patiently accustomed to the restraint and guidance that they provide. Start yours with a narrow collar, giving as little contact around the neck as possible. Be sure it is loose enough for comfort but not so loose that he can back out of it or scratch it over his head.
Repeat the word collar always in a tone of excitement and pleasure. Some pet owners never put a collar on a pup when he is indoors. However, it has the advantage; if put on immediately in the morning and taken off at bedtime, this suggests to the puppy that he is dressed for the day. Sometimes a pup will bring the collar to his owner’s bedside to suggest that it is time to get going.
Also, a collar that is on all the time is a convenience to the owner, it is easier to grab and catch a collar, as a puppy dashes by, than soft, slippery skin! A word of warning: if your pup is turned loose in a fenced yard, be sure the collar will not catch on a post or protruding wire.