Your Lhasa Apso puppy is likely very cute and has many sweet qualities you adore. However, you’ve likely come across a few behaviors that aren’t so appealing. Some owners may think there is no harm in letting these bad behaviors slide, after all, the Lhasa is only a puppy and doesn’t know any better. Unfortunately, what owners don’t realize is that by letting these unwanted behaviors go undisciplined; a dog grows up believing these negative traits are acceptable.
It is far more difficult to train bad behaviors out of full grown Lhasa compared to a Lhasa Apso puppy. The reason is because puppies, like children, have the mental capacity that allows them to learn faster due to the fact that they have yet to fully develop regimented behaviors and traits. Therefore, it is easier for a puppy to be taught what is considered unacceptable, because they are in the “live what you learn” stage of life.
Furthermore, puppies are less likely to resist change. Dogs are creatures of habit, and once a habit has been completely developed, it is very difficult to break them of it. Remember the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. This is certainly the truth when it comes to changing behaviors in adult dogs.
Thus, it is your goal to ensure that your Lhasa Apso puppy is taught what is right and wrong behavior. The following is how you can encourage good traits in your dog.
Don’t allow your pup to get away with poor behavior once – This is imperative. If you want to teach a dog, you need to be consistent and never break from your rules. For instance, if you don’t want your adult dog to lie on your sofa, you need to make sure he/she knows this as a puppy. Therefore, every time you catch your dog on the sofa, you need to say “off” and then proceed to pick him/her up and place them on the floor. Once on the floor, praise your dog. Each time you catch your pup on the sofa you repeat this process until he/she responds as you wish on command.
If you make the mistake of allowing your dog to lie on the sofa just one time without enforcing your rule, you will only confuse your dog when you reinforce your rules the next time. Don’t send your Lhasa mixed signals. Let them know where you stand.
Note: If you don’t want your Lhasa Apso puppy on the sofa or other furniture, be sure to provide him/her with a nice pillow or bed so they have somewhere comfy to relax with you.
Discover the root of the problem – Sometimes negative behavior may be the result of another problem. For instance, if you are not providing your Lhasa with enough exercise, playtime, or attention, he/she may be releasing their excess energy through destructive behaviors as a way to vent frustration or get your attention. Moreover, you should make sure that negative behavior in a puppy is not being caused by a health condition. Thus, it’s not a bad idea to have him/her checked by the vet.
Know when and when not to discipline – Remember, in order for your Lhasa Apso puppy to learn acceptable behaviors, he/she requires both praise and discipline. That being said, both training techniques should only be applied to the dog directly after a deed is done.
In example, if you decided you don’t want your Lhasa on the sofa, but there is clear evidence your pup was on the sofa while you were out, but you didn’t actually she him/her on the sofa, you cannot discipline the dog. The reason is because dogs will only associate your reactions to the action they just committed. Therefore, if you yell at your dog about being on the sofa and he or she is playing with a toy, they won’t understand what you are upset about.
Don’t confuse your dog!
Make sure everyone is on the same page – If you have a family, or live with someone else, make sure everyone in your household follows the same rules when it comes to encouraging good dog behavior development in the puppy. If the dog is allowed to get away with certain behaviors with one person, but not with another, this will only confuse and frustrate your dog. It’s a good idea to discuss dog training and the house rules before you bring your puppy home.
Be thoughtful of others – Finally, remember that although some of your Lhasa Apso puppy behaviors, such as jumping up to greet you, won’t bother you, it may bother your visitors. Therefore, if you are going to allow you Lhasa to jump up on you, make sure he/she knows the “come” command so you can properly prevent him/her from jumping up on others, without discouraging the habit entirely.