Living with your puppy

Training him

Basic rules

Just like vaccination or daily practice of an activity, training is one of man’s duties towards the dog as soon as he decides to make him his companion. It is the guarantee that the animal, his owner and his family circle will cohabit in harmony, but also that the dog will be integrated into society. Puppy training should start at the right time, when his ability to learn is optimal.

Puppy training goes one step at a time. As it is, the puppy has only a limited capacity for concentration: the risk of overworking him may quickly appear if the exercises last too long.



Successful training depends on pleasure and rigor. The puppy naturally likes to play, this opportunity should be seized to make him "work" without constraints through short exercises. Besides games, which enable to train the dog with shared joy, the puppy’s desire to gain his master’s affection and please him should not be neglected in the learning processes. This excludes in no way rigor, which must be the golden rule towards the puppy: he should be treated not like a human being, but indeed like an animal.


A meaningful reward

Reward increases motivation and facilitates training. To be effective, it must be meaningful to the dog, i.e. the master must congratulate him with strokes and warm voice tones synchronous with success at an exercise. On the other hand, reprimand must penalize anything stupid or any adverse behavior, but it should be used only if the puppy is caught out. It should be noted that positive reinforcement learning (i.e. favoring rewards) is much more effective than negative reinforcement learning (i.e. favoring reprimands).



The language used should be adapted to the animal, with simple, short and often repeated commands. As it is, the dog better understands the tone given to the words rather than their meaning: the tone used should therefore change depending on whether you’re giving a command, congratulating or reprimanding. Making a motion is also an effective means of communicating with him.


Teaching him his name

The first thing a puppy should learn is his name. Right on the first day, the call of his name will be followed with a pleasant moment to encourage him to execute orders.


The "No"

As soon as he arrives, it is essential to instill the meaning of the word "No" into the puppy.

  • The "No" will be associated with all things forbidden, whatever they are.
  • It should be categorical and pronounced in a firm and unequivocal voice when you see the puppy committing a forbidden action.
  • At the start of this learning process, you can make the gesture of pushing away the puppy with your hand, saying at the same time "No." Then, you’ll only need to say "No" in a firm voice.



A kitten arriving in a house is generally not housetrained, with the exception of the place where he sleeps. If he has done his business in the house while his master is absent, it is pointless to scold him. Reprimand is effective only if the puppy is punished right away. For the puppy to be properly housetrained, he must be taken out every two hours and imperatively after every meal.


The three basic commands: stand, sit, down

You must be careful as regards the consistency of your commands. What is forbidden one day should not be tolerated the next one by anybody in the household. The three basic commands are practiced with the puppy on a leash.


Walking on a leash

The leash is a control tool, a sign of joy as the puppy is to go out for a walk. It should not be used to reprimand him. Like housetraining, walking on a leash is learned all the more easily as it is started very early. To get your puppy used to wearing the collar, walking on a leash starts in the home, several times a day and always in short sessions. If the puppy pulls at the leash, you must say "No," giving a sharp pull on the leash.



More than a command, recall is an invitation to come back to his master to receive strokes or rewards: recall should be linked to a positive gesture, but requires much rigor. You should start by associating recall with giving your puppy his food and then switch from the house perimeter to the outdoors. If the puppy does not obey the command "Here," leaving in the opposite direction and hiding will make him feel nervous: he’ll come back very quickly!


Treats and meals

Giving out treats or meal leftovers upsets the nutritional balance provided by the complete food which is given to the puppy. Moreover, if it is excessive or regular, it may promote excess weight gain and be detrimental to his health. Meals should also be subject to a code of good conduct that will keep away adverse behaviors if it is adhered to.

  • Until 6 months of age, the proper rate is 3 meals a day, then 2 until the end of growth.
  • The puppy should be given his meals on set hours, in the same clean bowl, at the same place, with a bowl full of renewed water always made available.
  • The puppy should be left alone when he eats and never be given food when you’re eating at table.
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