Interactions between dogs and their owners are important, and this relationship can affect different aspects of behaviour, including the development of fears.

Inconsistencies in training and how different family members respond to behaviour can cause conflict and anxiety, which may lead to unwanted behaviours. It is more effective to train your puppy through rewarding behaviours you like, rather than punishing those you do not.

Rewards can be used to reinforce desirable behaviours, and to create positive associations with stimuli in the processes of socialisation and habituation. Studies have shown that reward-based training enhances learning, and supports a stronger bond between you and your puppy.

Effective rewards should be highly appealing, and might include a particular toy or special food, such as small pieces of meat or cheese. Favoured rewards should be delivered immediately when your puppy performs a desired behaviour, and reserved only for these times to maintain value. Attendance at a puppy class can help teach you good timing and, if family members attend, ensure consistency in training.

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