Puppies Do What Works for Them

How do puppies learn good manners?

Puppies will do those things that work for them. They will try all sorts of different things and those with positive consequences, are the ones likely to be repeated. However, puppies can only learn from immediate consequences, so rewards must be given within a few seconds of executing the desired behaviour e.g. coming to you when called.

Catch them doing it right:
You should consciously look out for behaviours that you like. When you catch them doing something right reward them!

Rewarding a puppy:
Find out what your puppy likes:

• Food treats
• Tug games
• Special toy
• Cuddles
• Ride in the car
• Run in the garden

Use these rewards every day to reinforce good behaviour. The timing of rewards is crucial as puppies need immediate feedback in order to learn effectively.

Don’t reward unwanted behaviour:
Any form of social contact and interaction is considered very rewarding and highly valuable by most puppies. Even negative interactions such as shouting or pushing him away can be misunderstood by your puppy and seen as a reward, thereby reinforcing the bad behaviour.

Ignore unwanted behaviour:
Ignoring means that you have no eye contact with your puppy, you keep quiet, keep your hands to yourself and turn your back on your puppy and walk away. This is effective for most nuisance behaviours such as jumping up or excessive barking.