Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

How Puppies Learn

Puppies cannot turn their attention to newspapers, books or even the internet for advice when they are trying to learn something new. They cannot even ask their owners for assistance or guidance either.

They depend on us totally to take the initiative and to let them know what certain types of behaviour please us and make us happy with them. Now the only method we can use to communicate these lessons to our puppies is through the use of ‘commands.’

There is something about the word ‘command’ that usually makes people a little uncomfortable. I think the point is that we do not like it when people give us commands so why should an innocent, sweet little puppy like it any better?

This is where people and dogs differ, people believe that once they have reached adulthood  they are more or less free to do as they please. In the world of dogs however there is no such word as ‘equality.’ Whenever two dogs or more meet they quickly decide which dog has more status and which dog has less.

Those with the lesser status view it as their job to obey the higher-ranking dog/s and they react to people in the same manner. They assume that we are the ‘top-dogs’ within the family, and they actually expect us to tell them what to do. This is just the same as they would expect higher-ranking dogs to do.

Every individual puppy will possess likes and dislikes but they share one common factor and that is that they all respond to rewards. This is also true of people, if someone were to hand you money each time you did a certain thing you would do that thing more often. Actually this happens every day already; it is called ‘going to work!’
This kind of learning is entitled ‘positive reinforcement’ and it works just as effectively for puppies as it does for humans.

We ask the puppy to sit, the puppy sits and we give him/her a treat. The puppy then learns to associate the command with the action and the action with the treat. It is an exceptionally simple method of training but also a very effective one.
The only problem with using treats as a reward is the fact that your puppy will come to expect it, there will be trouble in paradise the time you ask your puppy to complete a command and you do not have any treats on you!

The best way around this is to keep your little canine friend guessing, just give him/her treats sometimes when a command is obeyed and not each time. On the other occasions simply praise your puppy but give no treat. Now this to your puppy will be like a game, playing a slot machine if you like. The mere chance of possibly ‘winning’ a treat is enough to keep your puppy motivated; he/she will not know if there will be a treat at the end of the command or no.

Your puppy only wishes to please you, they do not wish to upset or anger you. Puppies love to be praised and to be fussed so they wish to keep you on side.

When you are teaching your puppy to return to you the ‘will there be a treat or not?’ question will be just too unbearable for the young puppy and they will return to you gladly, even if it is just to discover the answer to the question! The end result is a positive one though as your puppy has returned to you and therefore completed the command.

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