Puppies are as precious as a newborn baby. At 3-months old, you can expect your puppy to be full of energy, having potty accidents all over the house, and chewing everything their little underdeveloped jaws can get ahold of.
If your new 3-month old furbaby is wreaking havoc in your household, this article will guide you through steps to put this behavior to an end.
Positive reinforcement simply means rewarding your puppy’s good behavior. You can use positive reinforcement to let your baby know they’re on the right track using these three steps:
1. Choose the reward: Whether it be positive praise, treats, affection, or toys, you’ll need to choose the reward that your puppy responds well to. If your puppy is like any other puppy, all of these methods will be excellent for positive reinforcement.
A great way to use positive reinforcement is to combine these rewards. For example, you might reward the desired behavior by giving them a treat, giving them affection, and saying phrases like “good boy” at the same time.
2. Reward immediately: Living in the moment is in a dog’s nature; thus, positive reinforcement is only effective if your puppy is rewarded immediately after their positive behavior. If you wait hours after, your puppy won’t know why they’re being rewarded.
Positive reinforcement is a piece of cake, but refraining from disciplining your puppy can be challenging. You think your puppy is an adorable angel until they get ahold of your favorite pair of shoes or the new t-shirt you just bought.
In situations like these, feelings of annoyance, anger, and frustration can take over and cause you to lash out at your puppy inappropriately - But you should never discipline your puppy by screaming, yelling, or using physical aggression.
This is called negative reinforcement, which will scare your puppy and lead to a classic case of “puppy anxiety.” Many of us humans know the terrifying struggle of anxiety - definitely not something you’d want to put your precious furbaby through.
Puppy discipline is as simple as a firm “no” to let them know that their behavior is unacceptable.
But positive reinforcement alone is enough to discipline a puppy properly. They’ll start to notice why they’re not getting rewarded and will want to please you with good behavior for your affection, treats, and other goodies they anticipate.
Puppy owners are no strangers to nipping and biting. Similarly to a newborn baby, puppies around 3-months old start going through the teething phase. Here are a few tips and tricks to stop your puppy from chewing on everything they’re not supposed to.
1. If you’re playing with your pup and they start biting your hands, firmly tell your puppy “no” and immediately stop playing. They’ll get the message that hand-biting means playtime is over.
2. Stock up on biting-approved toys for your pup. Your nearest pet store can guide you on the best toy options for teething furbabies.
3. Direct your puppy to chew on a biting-approved toy whenever they’re up to no good, looking for the next piece of clothing to get ahold of.
Puppy training requires consistency, time, and patience. At 3-months old, your puppy is still a baby. Whether you’re training a newborn baby or a furbaby, no baby will be fully trained overnight.
So go easy on your furry child; their tiny paws will be knocking on the backdoor for a proper bathroom break in no time.
Accidents on your fresh bed sheets and chew trips to your shoe-closet will be a thing of the past. Staying consistent with positive reinforcement will turn your energetic, troublesome puppy into a well-behaved angel!