The biggest key to training a puppy (or any dog really) is catching them “in the act” of whatever bad thing they’re doing… because they are going to do bad things.
Trying to correct their behavior after the bad thing happened doesn’t work. Most of the time they have no idea that they did something bad.
Just because they look guilty doesn’t mean they know what they did wrong. Usually they are just reacting because they can tell you are not happy about something.
- Did She Do Something Bad… Or Not?
How do you actually catch them being bad? You have to watch them ALL THE TIME.
People usually play with the puppy for a bit, then get busy doing something else and then notice 10 minutes later they pee’d on the floor or chewed on something bad.
If you try to correct the puppy AFTER something happened, they have no idea what they did wrong. It may make you feel better to yell at them, but they have absolutely no idea why they’re getting yelled at except that you’re mean and you might not like them.
Yes… it’s easier to block them off in the kitchen when you’re too busy to watch them, but that only means they’re free to do bad stuff and you’re not going to see them do it.
It’s hard, but if you watch them ALL THE TIME while they are blocked off in the kitchen you can actually see them when they pee on the floor or eat the sock (one of Scout’s favorite tricks) or chew on the drawer, or do any of the other 300 bad things they will do while they are puppies.
If you catch them in the act every single time they do it… and correct their behavior every single time they do it… they will turn into the perfectly trained dog (like me!!) you’ve always wanted much, much faster.
You have a decision to make. Do you want to expend more effort (to constantly watch them) now when they are just starting to learn right from wrong or do you want to expend more effort as they continue to grow and still haven’t learned the rules yet?
More effort for a shorter period of time -or- less effort over a longer period of time?