Training Tips: Puppy Brains

Despite the progress in training methodology some people still choose to listen to old myths about training their animals.

This is a big mistake when it comes to training an animal–especially when it comes to puppies.

Although puppy training is different from training older dogs (they have puppy brain which essentially means the attention of a gnat) it is best to begin training what you want right away.

The big problem is consistency.

For instance, my friend’s teenager just acquired a chihuahua/dachshund mix (being marketed by some as chiweenies). Chihuahua’s can be difficult to house train and dachshunds are distracted by their noises…this pup is no exception.

The pup is smart but there is so much inconsistency that things are not getting better.

It snows in this area and grandma’s household uses pee pads for their small dogs instead of attempting to dig paths in the snow for their animals.

Although you should teach what you want, when visiting grandma’s house the pup has not been monitored and so often pees and poops in the house but not on the pads.

The teen discourages the use of the pad.

Instead of teaching the pup various substrates and proper toileting practices, the idea behind not encouraging the use of the pad at the other home is because the teen wants the dog to only toilet in the back yard.

Unwittingly, she has confused the dog and trained the dog to only choose to eliminate in the back yard and not on walks.

Also, the problem is that the pup is confused when at the other home where the dogs are allowed to use the pads.

She looks up to these pets and mimics their behavior. Since she is discouraged by her “mom” to use the pad, she goes into another room to pee and poop if she has to go.

Clarity for this pup doesn’t exist.

Another complicating factor is instead of picking up the food when the pup visits–she gets to munch on the dog food at grandma’s house–which also does not help with house training practices especially when the teen is so distracted that she doesn’t watch the animal.

Raising a pet is a family affair and everyone should be on the same page of what is to be taught when.

There are about six people around this animal giving commands–which is a normal situation but they haven’t agreed on what is actually to be accomplished.

Also, older dogs help to train puppies by example, by setting limits, and keep the pups under their paws.

In this case, the older dogs are scolded for disciplining the pup or while attempting to teach limits.

This is a big mistake that can result in disastrous consequences down the road.

Fortunately, the teen is reviewing my house training booklet and we are also beginning to clicker train the pup–who is proving to be a tough study.

If you are seeking to get good behavior out of your pet–start early. Set your goals and start teaching the animal what the rules are as soon as it arrives into the household.

If you are struggling with puppy potty training check out my series on the topic which discusses a variety of topics including house training aids and dog potty training system reviews.

You can also order my house training booklet from our shop.

I’ll have more updates for you on the chiweenie–you can be sure of that!

If you have an animal training question for either a wild or domestic animal be sure to subscribe. I tackle training issues once a week here.

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