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General Training:

  • Start training your puppy as early as possible, even as young as 2 months old.
  • The younger it is the more patience you will need.
  • Note that a dominant dog will try to assert itself almost from infancy. If you don't train such a dog, it will display leadership traits later in life and may consider itself top dog -- even over its owner.
  • Successful training depends upon patience, repetition, consistency, and your tone of voice.
  • The commands should be short and direct, spoken firmly, but not harshly.
  • Note that a timid dog can become dangerous. Such dogs should always be trained gently with a lot of patience and encouragement.
  • Begin to accustom your dog to the collar at the age of 2 1/2 months. You can do this by putting the collar on at each feeding.
  • The first walks on the leash should be inside the house. Initially, the dog will probably try to pull backwards. Be patient and praise the puppy when it walks forward.
  • Perhaps the easiest command to teach your dog is sit. With your dog on the leash, have the dog on your left, holding the leash in your right hand. Press down on the dogs hindquarters with your left hand, using the leash to gently keep the dog's head up. Say "sit". Then praise your dog and/or give it a treat.
  • Look for dog obedience classes in your area and enroll your dog when he/she is old enough. A well-trained dog is a better, happier pet.

Source: The Reader's Digest Illustrated Book of Dogs, 2nd ed., The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York, 1993, pp. 314-316.