Pugs are some of the most popular pet dogs, owing to their gentle disposition and playful nature. They are also tiny and adorable, with their wrinkled faces, round eyes and slightly drooping ears. This makes them ideal for any family, since they also get along well with children.
However, their endearing appearance belies a stubborn nature, which makes them quite difficult to train. Training pugs can therefore be a frustrating experience, especially for people with limited experience in handling them.
However, training pug dogs is very important for their safety and happiness. Pugs can be trained quickly, but they are a little bit on the stubborn side, which means that a pug owner needs to have a firm grasp on what works for training pug dogs so that they doesn’t start to take control. Following are ten tips to keep in mind while training pug dogs.
1. Start Training When Young
Training a should begin at a young age, so a person should never allow the pug puppy to get away with unacceptable behavior. This is because pugs are not only stubborn, but they are also intelligent. Consequently, undoing improper behavior that has already been learned will be almost impossible. Additionally, allowing improper behavior and then backtracking later will only confuse the pug, making training more difficult.
To avoid this, a person needs to be clear about what is acceptable right from the start and be firm about it. If for instance the pug is not allowed on the bed, this rule should be enforced right from the beginning.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Rewarding your pug for good behavior is far more effective than punishing them for bad behavior. Dogs are hardwired to want pleasure, just as if humans are, so if they start to associate pleasure by doing the things you want, then it will make training much easier. Positive reinforcement comes in the form of treats, hugs, pets, and love.
3. Establish Leadership
Your pug needs to know that you are the boss, and they should respect you as such. If they feel that they have control of the situation, then they may only listen when they feel they need to. You need to use your body language and your energy to show them that you are the boss.
This means you have to maintain a calm, relaxed, and in control attitude, that displays the message of an alpha in the house. If you are freaking out and very high energy, then your dog may feel the need to take the alpha role. This is just basic dog instinct, as dogs need a place in their pack. Therefore, ensure that you take the alpha role quickly so that they can settle into a less dominant role with you.
4. Be Consistent
Once the pug owner has decided what is acceptable and what is not, there is need for consistency in training. Acceptable pug behavior should always be positively reinforced, while unacceptable behavior should be discouraged. This means that a person does not keep shifting the rules, allowing the pug to occasionally get away with improper behavior.
If the training is not consistent, the pug may just learn to ignore the commands it is given. It is also important to observe consistency with regard to the commands used during training. In this case, one should use the same words consistently when giving a certain command, so that the pug is not confused.
For instance, if you let your pug jump up on your family members, then they may think that jumping up on strangers is okay as well. They cannot make the distinction between whom they can and can’t jump up on, but they can learn that jumping up is bad, so you need to be consistent and make everyone the same in their eyes.
5. Start With The Basic Commands
When training a pug, it is advisable to start with the basic commands, moving on to others once the pug has mastered the basics. Teaching new commands to the pug should be a gradual process, which usually becomes easier as the training progresses.
Basic obedience training lays a good foundation for success in pug training, and consists of simple commands such as ‘stay’, ‘sit’ or ‘down’. Unless the pug has fully mastered the basics, it would be unreasonable to expect him to learn new commands in future.
6. Be Persistent
Training a dog should also be persistent, since the pug will certainly not acquire proper behavior in a day. Positive behavior should therefore be reinforced repeatedly, until it becomes inculcated in the pug. This can be accomplished through daily training sessions to speed up the learning process. These sessions should however be short and fun, or else the pug will loose interest in the training.
Positive reinforcement during training may take the form of dog food or vocal praises. When training a pug, it is advisable to focus on vocal praises, given that pugs are sensitive to their owner’s voice. The use of food as positive reinforcement should be minimized, since pugs are tiny and can easily become overweight.
7. Do Not Inflict Physical Punishment on The Pug
Pugs are stubborn and training one may be hard, but under no circumstances should a person hit the pug. This will only end up harming the training process, as it will instill fear in the pug. A fearful pug is unlikely to respond to his owner’s commands, since the outcome of such commands is uncertain. It is therefore important to exercise patience no matter how obstinate the pug might be.
A pug is a delightful dog, and is normally a welcome addition to any family. However, training a pug can be a daunting task, given that the pug breed is rather stubborn. Fortunately, this need not hinder a person from owing a pug, as he can be trained successfully. Pug training should begin early, before negative behaviors have been learned and adopted.
Training should also be consistent and persistent, to ensure that positive behaviors have been instilled in the pug. Physical punishment should not be part of the training, as it can actually derail the process. Through it all, there is need for patience, since training a pug can be a lengthy process. The good thing is that once a pug has been trained, there are no regrets whatsoever.
8. Maintain Proper Exercise
You will find that an exercised dog will be easier to train. It will be hard to train your dog with mental activities if they are too high-strung to focus. They need to burn off their energy first before they can focus and listen. A good walk can burn off a ton of energy. They not only get physical exercise on a walk, but they also get mental exercise from experiencing the world around them.
9. Give Some Daily Love
Some dogs were bred to hunt, but the pug was actually bred to be a loving companion. Dogs are pack animals, and they need to be a part of a family, but not all dogs will enjoy sitting on your lap as much as a pug. Your pug will feel much better about themselves, and your bond, if you give them some daily love and attention. While dog training is a form of attention, it does not replace a good cuddle and petting session.
While most pugs will pick up your messages very quickly, some may take a little longer. Your greatest asset when it comes to training a pug is patience. If you are patient and understanding of your dog, then they will learn much quicker than if you are short-tempered or give up trying. You owe yourself and your dog that patience.
In conclusion, it doesn’t matter how you go about training pug dogs if you are not using the above seven tips. Your pug should start training from day one, and they need positive reinforcement, leadership, consistency, exercise, love, and patience in order to do the best job they can for you.