Most dog trainers want you to believe there are secrets only they know when it comes to training a dog. However, anyone can train a puppy or dog without spending a lot of money, whether you’re potty training Pugs, teaching them new commands, or working on behavioral issues. There are some Pug training secrets that professional dog trainers use because they work. The best part is you can use them too!
Pug Training Secrets
Regardless of what anyone says, Pugs are incredibly trainable. Like most dogs, this breed needs high-value rewards, a leader, a dull environment, short training sessions, a daily routine, and a positive ending to their training sessions.
There are several ways to train your new pet. Whether you hire a dog trainer, enroll them in obedience classes, or do it yourself, you can implement these tips that most dog trainers have been using for decades.
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There’s no magic bullet when it comes to training a Pug or any other dog, for that matter. All it takes is the following steps:
#1 Training Sessions Can Be Super Short
You don’t need to practice for an hour every day. Long training sessions can have the opposite effect on both you and your dog. You’ll become frustrated and demotivated because your furbaby isn’t listening to you, and your dog will pick up on your energy and act out.
For the most productive results, opt for short 5-minute training sessions. Young puppies have a small attention span, so you never want to drag out a training session longer than it has to be.
You want your puppy to view training as something fun. Once your puppy starts disliking the training session, it will make your job of training that much harder!
#2 Distraction-Free Learning Environment
According to VCA Hospitals, young puppies have very short attention spans, but you can still teach them obedience commands such as stay, sit, stay, and come as young as 7-8 weeks of age.
Now that you know puppies have very short attention spans, it’s essential to choose a distraction-free environment.
This means, if you’re training them in the backyard, pick an area that doesn’t have any sticks, leaves, toys, or anything else that can distract them.
If you have more than one Pug, you’ll want to train them separately. Otherwise, they will start playing with each other and not listen to you at all.
#3 Be a Team Leader, Not a Pack Leader
Many people will tell you that your dog has to see you as a “pack leader” to learn to obey you. However, that’s the old-school way of thinking and trying to gain dominance over your dog.
Dog trainers will tell you that your dog has to see you as a leader but will fair much better when they see you as a team leader. Your dog is a part of your team, aka family. When you’re training your dog, you’re building the relationship and bond between you and your pet.
There’s no need to become alpha and make your dog fear you. Instead, opt to become the team leader and show your dog the same respect you offer the rest of your family when you want them to do something.
If your dog isn’t listening to you, it’s likely because she’s not understanding what you want and needs more help or work. Many people take their dog’s “disobedience” as a personal attack against the handler.
#4 High-Value Rewards Are Crucial
Having the wrong treats can be a dealbreaker in training. They are your dog’s payment for getting them to do whatever you want them to do. If your dog doesn’t like the payment, then your pup won’t be willing to work hard for the payment.
If you’ve ever watched any dog training shows or videos, you’ll notice that dog trainers have a “secret treat pouch.” They have a mixture of high-value treats that the dog is willing to work hard for.
Many store-bought treats have unnecessary ingredients that extend the shelf life. That said, these extra ingredients are not only unhealthy for your four-legged friend but do not taste as good as high-value treats.
So what are high-value treats? Well, they are your Pugs favorite food. Something that gets them to sit, stay, heel, or come at your command. For some dogs, it can be string cheese, cooked chicken, hotdogs, etc.
Ask any dog owner, and they will tell you that you’ll get the best results with freshly cooked food. One of the great things about a Pug is they love to eat.
If you have the right treats, you will be able to get your dog trained in no time at all. Just make sure you don’t overdo it on the portion sizes, as this dog is prone to obesity.
#5 End The Training Sessions on a Positive Note
One rule every dog trainer will agree on is to end every training session on a positive note. Your four-legged friend has worked hard for the past 5-10 minutes to please you.
End the training with a lot of treats, praise, petting, or five minutes of playtime. A good stopping point is when you reward your dog for a behavior you like.
For instance, you spend 5 minutes teaching your Pug how to sit, and four minutes into the session, they finally listen. You give them their reward for listening, and end the training, even though it was shorter than five minutes.
It not only keeps the training session short, but it ends the session on a positive note, which guarantees they’ll be happy to show up for the next training session ready to work and please you!
#6 Be Patient With Your Pug
You know that saying all good things come to those who wait. Well, patience is one of the biggest virtues dog trainers have. Behavior can be changed, and you can teach your dog new tricks, but it won’t happen overnight.
You’ll need to commit to a training protocol and work consistently and patiently with your four-legged friend. If you think about it, it takes humans 18 – 254 days to break a bad habit.
With proper training, it shouldn’t take your dog that long to pick up on the training, as long as you’re working with them consistently.
#7 Be Present
With so many countless distractions in today’s society, it’s important to be present with your pup during training periods. Whether you’re teaching your Pug how to walk on a leash, use the potty, pay attention to your dog.
This will enable you to catch a bad behavior and reward your dog for correct behavior immediately.
During your training sessions, stay off your phone! Give your pup the attention they deserve during the training sessions. Your dog will learn faster, and giving your dog 100% attention during training sessions will strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Most people will say that Pugs are not trainable and you need to hire a dog trainer. Sure, most professional dog trainers will have ideas and insights you don’t have, especially if it’s your first time owning a dog.
The truth is that no trainer in the world can fix your dog’s behavioral problems in one single session. Training a puppy or dog to be a well-behaved dog takes time, and only you, the real owners, will be able to accomplish it.
Implementing the steps above will put you ahead of most pet owners. Once you’ve implemented the steps above, now it’s just time to work with your new puppy regularly.
If you’ve implemented all the steps above and your stubborn Pug isn’t picking up on the training like you hoped they would. Check out Brain Training 4 Dogs.
Adriene Farricelli, a professional CPDT-KA certified dog training, will teach you how to eliminate bad behaviors in dogs so you can raise a well-behaved Pug that listens whenever you say their name!