We have a problem. Our family has just acquired a new puppy and we don't know anything about them. It is our first one and after countless nights of begging, pleading, and whining, I finally gave in to my two older kids. Keep in mind that we not only have a puppy but we have a toddler - the plot thickens. What am I supposed to do with a puppy and a toddler? After researching how to train a puppy, I realized something: they are just like toddlers. I know how to raise a toddler so it shouldn't be that far off.
1. The value of repetition. Whether it is your dog or your toddler, repetition is the only way to reinforce good and bad behaviors. When my dog gets into the trash and I catch him, he is in trouble. When my toddler hits me, she is also going to time out...every single time. This repetition allows everyone to know what to expect if they misbehave.
2. Keep them active. It can be said for both kids and dogs. If you keep them active (and tired) they are much better at home. I try to take my dog out for a walk or a run or to the dog park almost every single day. If he is tired when home, he is much less likely to jump up onto the table to eat the kids' food. Similarly, if I take my toddler with me on the walk and let her walk, bike, skip or play along the way, she is much more likely to have an on time nap schedule and an easier bed time routine.
3. Keep their diets clean. For dogs, it is important to have a clean diet. Our dog has a very sensitive stomach so he only gets sensitive stomach dog food (after a severe bout of diarrhea in my CAR). My daughter also has a fairly clean diet. No sugared drinks or candy and occasionally, I will let her have a few gummies as a super special treat.
4. Lots of praise. For both the dog and my toddler, praise is a very important thing to keep in mind everyday. When the dog sits, he gets praise in the form of petting, kisses and maybe a belly rub. When my toddler listens to me and helps put her toys away, or eats all her food at dinner, I make sure I praise her and let her know what a big girl she is. We also find lots of time for kisses and hugs!
For more helpful tools, check out the Secret To Dog Training Review or Overcoming Child Anxiety Review