The most important time in a dog’s life is the early development months when your puppy is so impressionable. That’s the time to shape his general behaviour.
It’s easy to teach a young dog not to jump up or pull on the lead when he is a young puppy – but not so easy when those unwanted traits become a habit.
Rough play is not something to encourage, as it won’t appear quite so funny when he’s bigger and older.
All this early puppy training can be done constructively with treats, play and voice intonation and it should be fun for you and your puppy.
The reward for this early training is owning a well-behaved adult dog that is welcome everywhere you take him.
Nipping and biting should never be tolerated and a firm “leave it” and a good chew toy is usually enough to prevent this unwanted behaviour escalating.
It is vital that your puppy sees you as the best game in town and does not grow up believing that other dogs are far more interesting. Keeping your dog’s focus on you vastly enhances your control. Allowing him chase around after other dogs, squirrels, birds etc will result in you having no recall whatsoever.
He can, and should, of course be introduced to other dogs but you should choose your dogs carefully and do it with both dogs on lead where you can safely conduct the exercise.
Chasing is a very dangerous habit. The number one cause of this is leaving your dog unattended in the garden, where he will soon learn that chasing leaves, birds etc is very exciting. If you want to play with him in the garden, then by all means do so – just don’t leave him there unattended.
Teaching puppies to do their toilet duty on command is a very useful exercise and can be taught by using a command (I use “hurry”) and praising them afterwards.
We teach all this in our puppy foundation class, which you can join on line at vicbarlow.com or by text to 07590 560 012.