|By Becky Turner||Discuss This Article at our Sheltie Forums|
It's essential for Shetland Sheepdog mommas and poppas like you to know what factors affect your relationship with your Sheltie puppy very early on. Armed with this knowledge, you can quickly come to understand how to train him effectively.
Before you begin training your Sheltie puppy in the ways of toilet training, obedience training, leash walking and many others, it's essential that you build a loving bond with him. This helps you understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Shetland Sheepdog to have complete trust in you.
Building a bond with your Shetland Sheepdog is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Sheltie home, you should start to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence.
When puppies are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to your training commands. Like any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your dog.
Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness. Without enforceable limitations, respect can't be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Shetland Sheepdog is almost impossible.
Building a bond with your Shetland Sheepdog will not only help you manage him better but will also make him be a calm, quiet and an extremely well-adjusted pet.
In short, love your Shetland Sheepdog and he will love you back!
Sheltie puppy training can be divided into five phases:
1. The Teaching Phase - This is when you must physically demonstrate to your Shetland Sheepdog exactly what you want him to do.
2. The Practicing Phase - Practice makes perfect. Once a lesson is learned, practice with your Sheltie what you have just taught him.
3. The Generalizing Phase - Continue practicing in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Sheltie out for a walk, or go to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you've taught him.
4. The Testing Phase - Once you're sure that your Shetland Sheepdog has achieved almost 90% success, start testing his accuracy in locations with many distractions.
For example, take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope! The idea is to test your Shetland Sheepdog to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your dog.
There are two possible outcomes:
Keep doing your Sheltie puppy training in new and distracting locations until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps: Patience, Persistence, Praise.
5. Internalizing Phase - This is the final and extremely rewarding phase where your Sheltie dog does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.
Becky Turner is the creator of Sheltie Planet. She lives in New Zealand with her partner, Peter, and their son, Fox. Becky is 100% owned by Howard and Piper Woofington Moon, the Shelties who inspired this site. Visit them on Facebook or The Sheltie Planet Forums.