Puppy Kindergarten Early Conditioning

The neat thing about puppies is that they haven't experienced anything yet. Their minds are free from worries. They think they are perfect just the way they are, and if you approach training with the same outlook— that your puppy is perfect just the way he is—you both will have a much more pleasant experience.

That said, puppies can be really frustrating. They have a lot of energy. Their curiosity is constant, and they explore everything—with their mouths. In fact, it would be unusual if a puppy didn't make house-training mistakes, chew, nip, run wild circles around the floor, and jump to say hello. These misbehaviors, as you might call them, are all actually wonderful signs of a puppy who is developing and bonding normally.

The goal of this chapter, aimed at puppies who are two to six months old, is to help you understand your puppy's motivations, impulses, and needs in order to better prepare you for the months ahead. Knowing what to expect, and knowing that your frustrations are shared and are normal, will help you separate your feelings from the daily realities that may overwhelm you sometimes. In addition, you can use the many exercises in this chapter to condition your young pup to commands and routines that will shape your lives together.

Meeting Your Puppy's Needs 64

Say YES More Than NO and Say It Often 65

Structure Spaces 66

Condition Your Puppy to Wear a Collar and Leash 68

Introduce Stairs 70

Teach Early Manners 71

Discourage with EP, EP 72

Distract Your Puppy 73

Puppy Point 74

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