3 Advanced Puppy Training Tactics
1. Focus your puppy’s attention
Dogs can only focus on one thing at a time, and if you’re already the centre of your dog’s attention, you’re on to a great start! Having a dog who will give you their full attention when you ask is the first step in every other part of your advanced puppy training.
Begin by teaching your pup to look at you when you say his name. This is something you should have been doing since puppyhood, but it’s always good to have a refresh. Have treats prepared in your pocket and when your dog isn’t expecting it, say their name brightly and enthusiastically. If they look at you, drop a treat on the ground so your dog moves towards you to get the treat. This teaches the puppy that their name means “give me your attention and good things happen”. Start doing this at home when there are no distractions around and build it up until you can do it everywhere, no matter what is going on. Positive association like this is an important step in teenage dog training.
Only use your dog’s name for good things – do not use it under negative connotations as you want to build up purely positive associations.
Another way to be your dog’s focus is to pay as much attention to them as you want them to pay to you! This means interacting on your walks, playing games and spending quality time together. Reward your pup frequently with treats and be unpredictable. In other words, don’t be boring! Being successful with advanced puppy training is all about building a great relationship with your pup.
2. Learn to walk on a lead
There is no joy in walking a dog who drags you around all the time, especially with an enthusiastic teenage puppy. Luckily, putting some effort into teenage dog training and teaching your puppy to walk on a lead can help put this right.
If your dog has got into the habit of pulling, go right back to basics. If your dog gets ahead of you, stop and encourage them back to you with your voice, a toy or a treat and then continue. Practice is key to advanced dog training – do this every single time you walk your dog, so they learn that if they want to get anywhere, the fastest way is if they stay beside you.
If your dog is becoming too strong for you, do not resort to using any equipment that would cause your dog pain or discomfort however, consider using an anti-pull harness to give you more control.
3. Use puppy recall training
Recall is the most important thing you can teach your dog. A dog with a good recall can get far more freedom and exercise – and even more importantly, you can keep them safe.
As part of the advanced puppy training focus exercise above, you probably have already taught your dog to look at you when you call their name, and this is the perfect start to having a reliable recall. When dropping a treat as a reward, they may already be moving towards you upon hearing their name – but now you can drop it at your feet and also add in your recall word to link that to the action of them coming towards you.
Reward your puppy with a treat or a game when they get to you and always look pleased to see them! Practice this everywhere – in the house, garden, and eventually out and about, but on a long training lead to start with. Very soon your pup will remember what the recall word means and link it to coming back to you every time.