What methods do you use when training a puppy?

My chihuahua pup is 10 weeks old. He is doing well with learning how to walk on a leash :) I want to train him to sit, stay, lay down, roll over and high five. I use positive reinforcement, what do you use? Also just today he showed some aggression and tried to bite when I was putting a little sweater on him, how should I combat that? (it gets very cold in the winter and since he has short hair I want to teach him to like sweaters)

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  • Try hand training.

    Chihuahuas are very smart, so you've got a decent chance with them. I've tried training my gfs' little dogs and it isn't always easy. One time I was mauled by a whole pack of Pomeranians because I must have offended them with one of my hand gestures. Don't throw a west side sign to some east coast lap dogs. Those Pomies don't play.

    Here's a good site that talks about an intuitive way to get most dogs to obey, because it comes natural to them to follow your hand movements: link

    As far as the aggression goes, Caesar whats-his-name from the Dog Whisperer is right: make a loud noise - usually a hiss works great, and clap your hands at the same time, or lightly touch them with your foot if you're walking them. Don't punt them. Chihuahuas have great hang time, but they never stick the landing. Just tap the hindquarters or even stomp the ground a little next to him. After several of these, you can nix the stomping and clapping, etc. The effect of the hiss will be the same.

    I always take my dogs to the dog park, too. If you have one in your area, it's great to get them socialized and used to all the sensory input. Just watch out for Pomeranian gangs.

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  • To get them to sit is the easiest!

    Place a treat right over his forehead, and when he looks up at you.. Say "sit" and soon enough he'll be sitting down on command. :P I did this with my baby blue pit. She's now big! and listens. Not sure if it works on chihuahuas but it does on most dogs.

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  • You can train any animal with positive reinforcement, but you have to be stern as well.

    as far as that aggression, he will get used to the sweater eventually, it's a matter of something foreign to him I think.

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  • One word, Treats!

    Get a big container of treats to help reward your dog for doing the right things. You can use treats to teach your dog to sit, stay, speak, and even shake a paw.

    When he does something right, immediately give him a treat and reward him with positive attention. If he is doing something wrong negative attention, say no in a stern voice. He will start to realize that in order to get what he wants (positive attention and treats) he will have to do what you ask him to do.

    That's how we trained my dog.

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  • Well, respond with a verbal "no!" whenever he tries to bit, and if it becomes a problem you can spray things he bits with this 'no biting spray' that tastes really bad to them.

    I used tried using treats with my dog when I taught him to shake, but he kept getting distracted, so I just got really excited with him when he did good, and kept an even tone when he wasn't getting it. It was so funny when he finally learned how to shake, he got super excited when he did it right a few times and started running around the house in circles haha, he looked really proud of himself

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  • I used clicker training. Simple operant conditioning as described by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner.

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  • The most important thing to remember is that he must be taught that you're the assertive leader. Don't take any BS from him. If he gets aggressive, you get aggressive back and show him whose the one in charge. If he bites you, bite him on the paw or ear. Dogs have to be taught who the leader is or else they will challenge whatever comes in there way, be it you, another person, or another animal. Definetely reward him when he does good though. All that said, don't put a sweater on the little guy, I'm sure he hates it. Find something that is specifically made for dogs to keep warm.

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  • Always give praise as a reward before treats. He's still pretty young at 10 weeks, but he may be able to grasp sit and down. As for the aggression, if it was just a puppy nip, then say "ow" and act like he really hurt you. If it was more than puppy mouthing, then poke him back (watch the Dog Whisperer for assistance).

    Chihuahuas tend to get spoiled really easily, so be sure not to pamper him or treat him like an accessory or baby. Chihuahuas like to think they are big, so treat him with respect. And good luck!

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  • i try the "dawwww you're so cuuute *lick lick pat pat*" method. It doesn't work very well..

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  • Awwwwwwww :)))

    Well I suppose if your puppy doesn't like the sweater, try a little hoodie. :))

    Gosh, I can't answer this, its too cute

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  • Positive reinforcement

    Awwwww :3 that's so cute ahhhhhhhhhh

    I would give him a treat before you presented the sweater, as you presented him the sweater, and after you put on the sweater. Over time he will associate the sweater with a reward and become not only consenting to the idea of the sweater but happy.

    I would also suggest teaching your dog through classical conditioning, ringing a bell to go outside is a great skill to teach him, not only is it stimulating but it's rewarding for you and him :) in the end.

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  • I'm not sure a chihuahua is a dog, it's more of a rat

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  • the treats method is good. reward him when he's good, chastise him when he's bad with a stern voice and a finger wag.

    even putting on an excited voice and saying "good boy" and petting him is reward enough.

    but you have to do it immediately (within 30 seconds) because within 30 seconds their brain has already moved onto something else.

    the sweater thing kinda goes against my thinking but any dog I've had have been generally big so they don't lose heat as much as a small dog.

    dogs don't like to feel constrained and the sweater may be making your dog a bit claustrophobic (as if you are trying to trap him)

    so get a little dog coat that just covers his back and straps under his belly and chest

    the back is where most of the body heat escapes from.

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    • Thank you :) I'll try that, now that I think about it he got mad when I put his paws through the little arms, good idea :)

  • Being positive and giving treats is good especially at the beginning, but you need to transition that into them doing what you ask without having to reward them all the time. Some times they just need to do what you say... Constantly spoiling and caving in to your pups demands gives him the impression that he's in charge. If he's the alpha he makes the rules. You have to lead with confidence and say things with absoluteness. Don't be mean or harsh, just command like you know he will do what you say. I don't dress my dog up in sweaters, mainly because I think it's f***ing ridiculous and I wouldn't disrespect my dog like that, but she would wear a sweater if it was what I wanted to do.

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    • Thank you, that's basically what I'm doing :) and my vet actually told me to because he is so small he is at risk of getting sick in the winter -_-

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    • I think it's a cute switch up, plus that saying "clumsy as a moose" fits him well hah

  • I want a puppy so bad :(. I hope to one day get one

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  • I beat him till he does what I say, sort of the same as my children

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  • There are special dog coats which feels better for them. A sweater is probably very uncomfortable.

    That said. You need to be the "alpha male" if you are the owner. If the dog gets aggressive put it in its place straight away. Be it pinning it to the ground, Yelling at it or use minor physical punishment lick flicking him on the nose.

    Its important that he or she understands that you are the one in charge and not to be messed with.

    Then comes the training part. positive reinforcement is the most effective method out there but there is also another aspect that many overlook and that is having the dog wanting to appease you. If the dog wants to do what you tell him to teaching him will be much easier.

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    • Its waaay too late I feel. Typos everywhere. Should be "like flicking him on the nose." Do not lick your dog xD

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    • Im using this method. But I haven't had to be as aggressive lately. My puppy has learned a lot about right and wrong :)

    • Yes they learn by watching how you react to things. They are very intelligent ^^

  • Be calm, give off a good aura, take charge and be the alpha dog and use positive reinforcements.

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  • Me? None. Results have never been that great.

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  • alot of dogs don't like being it on the nose. It's kind of a sensitive spot so if you kind of lightly tap him on the nose and say NO at the same time he'll get the drift. You'll notice that when you do this you'll get his immediate attention and he'll start to cooperate. You have to hit it hard enough that it bothers him but not so hard that you're actually hurting him.

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