How Do Puppies Learn

By May 18 | See Comments

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How Do Puppies Learn
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If you are a new pet parent, or looking to bring a puppy home, then it is important to understand how puppies learn. Puppies usually act up when they are bored. Training can be a great way to channel your puppy’s energy, and give him something to work on.

Learning from littermates

Puppies should be allowed to spend the first three months with the other littermates, before they are ready to be adopted. Puppies weaned too early miss out on key skills that they otherwise pick up from their littermates.After the initial few days, puppies spend more and more time in the company of their littermates, as the mother leaves them by themselves for longer durations. This is when they learn to not overstep each other boundaries while biting or play-fighting. Their key social interaction skills develop during this period as well. Once you bring the puppy home, you want to talk and play with him often, to hone his social skills.

How do they learn?

Puppies learn through signals and reinforcement. You will need training aids and treats on your side while training your new puppy. Sound, gestures and facial experience will be crucial factors that can help your puppy interpret your reactions.You want to follow up your puppy’s behavior with reinforcement responses, so they gradually learn behavior that is allowed and otherwise. Treats, toys and praise work as good positive reinforcements. Dogs are also capable of social learning. The important thing to remember while teaching your pet is to maintain consistency in the training style.

What should you teach them?

When your puppy first comes home, you want to get him exposed to as many new situations, sounds and people as possible. Pick a name that is not too complicated or with too many syllables, and teach your pet to respond to it. You may want to use a clapping gesture every time you call your puppy by his new name, so you catch his attention. If he turns and looks at you, reward him with a treat.Once your pet gets used to the name, you can move to basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘heel’, ‘come’, and ‘no’. You will need consistent and repetitive training sessions before your pet masters these commands. You can then move to potty training your pet, and teaching him to walk on a

leash

. It’s important to get your pet to socialize at an early age, and it becomes easier to introduce him to other pets, once you have these basic commands and rules established.You also want to get your pet to grow accustomed to being by themselves for a couple of hours, so they do not start whining or displaying other problematic behaviors when left home alone.

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