When my husband and I got our first puppy, a crazy 7 week old Siberian Husky, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. About a month later, we adopted her a little brother pup, a sweet 6 week old shepherd mix. Whenever I start on a new adventure, I am the type of person who likes to research, research, research.
Now, let me tell you right now, I am NOT an expert on training dogs. My pups have a mind of their own and while, they may know a lot of commands, they still get themselves so excited when someone walks in the door, they all but lose their minds… I am still chalking it up to being puppies as the both just turned two.
One of the most important things that we wanted to teach out pups was not to be food aggressive. This includes how they act with food, treats, and bones.
Here are the main training points we focused on:
- Anytime we fed the puppers, we made them sit, which is sometimes difficult to do with puppies because they get EXTREMELY excited for food. We would make them sit, even if we had to hold them back, then give the command “OK” before they were allowed to eat. This helps the dog to understand that they are not in control of their food.
- As soon as we got them we were constantly playing in their food while they were eating, pulling on their faces, feeding them out of our hands, and taking their food away and giving it back while they were in the middle of a meal.
- When giving our pups a treat, we always gave the treat while holding it completely covered by our fingers. If they used their teeth, we made a high pitched “yelping” noise, which is communication between puppies that shows they are hurt. This forced them to gently take a treat out of our hand because they had no way to take the treat without being gentle.
- When it comes to bones (rawhides, chewys, etc.), we still follow all of the above ways to ensure they are not aggressive. We make them take the bone gently and while they are eating it, we constantly give them commands to drop it, pull on their faces and take the bones, which helps them to understand that the bone is not solely theirs and that it can be taken at any time.
All of this being said, this is what worked for us and our fur babies, but it took a lot of research and a lot of patience to discover what worked for us. Even just between the two pups, now our husky is not motivated by treats but by praise, where as our shepherd mix will do whatever you want if there is a treat involved.
**My number one piece of advice, no matter what training you are working on with your fur baby, is to BE PATIENT!! They are little and they want to please you, so make sure you are patient, do NOT get frustrated, and make sure to give them lots of love when they finally do get it**
I hope that this helps you some and I will provide links below to pages/videos I found helpful.
- Start around 2:40 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jW-VkBm904
- I am a big fan of Cesar Milan and this is one of his most popular books: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307461300/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=inspiredbylem-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0307461300&linkId=fa8f8449c00dae6d0aa7ad5123a1bd36
These are our fur babies (they LOVE the lake!)
I hope these tips help you train your angle pups!
Please feel free to comment any feedback or other resources you have found to help train your puppies.