Have you ever had a problem with a dog misbehaving or not listening to you when you really needed him to? As people we learn to have manners and how to properly behave ourselves in the appropriate situations. We learned this from our parents when we were raised as kids and then through personal experiences once we reached adulthood.
Your pug is no different. As he grows up he begins to learn how to conduct himself. He learns what he can and can’t do. He does this whether you train him or not. In fact if you’re not training him to behave, you’re training him to misbehave!
Without any kind of training your pug will be forced to learn what he can and can’t do on his own. He will do this by seeing what he can get away with. If your pug starts to steal shoes and chew them up (read more: Common Disobedience Problems) and he sees that you aren’t doing anything about it, then he will think it is alright and he will continue without a reason to stop. Your pug won’t understand that he is misbehaving. Therefore it is your responsibility to teach him the proper ways of behaving.
Because you are the most important person in your Pug’s life, he will always want your attention. As soon as you get your puppy he will begin to learn how to get your attention.
There are two types of attention you can give to your dog. One is negative and the other is positive. By getting positive attention your pug is reinforced that doing that same thing he did over again will get that type of attention again. The same goes for negative reinforcement
Negative Reinforcement – This is most likely attention your pug will receive from you when he does something wrong. If he grabs your phone and starts to run around and you chase him yelling to get your phone back then he will learn that if he does that next time then he will be able to get that kind of attention from you.
Positive Reinforcement – Pugs love to make their owners smile. When they do something that grabs your attention and you praise and tell your pug what a good dog he is, he is learning that doing that good thing will give him the attention he wants. This is the kind of reinforcement you want your dog to get because it encourages good behavior.
The kind of reinforcement you want your pug to get is the positive reinforcement. By giving attention to your pug when he does good things you are teaching your pug to keep on doing those good things.
Any owner of a pug will tell you that the best pugs are the ones that behave. In order to have a well behaved pug you must know how to teach him to behave. It is in your interest to start as soon as possible. You don’t want him to form any unwanted habits. Because once bad behavior turns into a habit, it will be that much harder to unlearn.
I know that I have mentioned positive reinforcement many times already, but that’s because of how important it is. The number one way your pug learns what the proper way to behave is by trial and error. He will do something and he will look at you to see if you give him a reaction. It is your responsibility to praise him for the good things your pug does and to stop and correct any bad things he might want to do but shouldn’t.
Now you may wonder how you should correct your pug’s behavior when he does something bad. The first thing I will tell you is that you should not get angry and yell or use aggressive body language. This will only stress your pug and make him afraid of you, and nobody wants their precious pug to be afraid of them. You mean the world to your pug and when someone so close turns aggressive or abusive, they will start losing trust in you.
The best thing to do is to simply correct your pugs mistake. If you see your pug biting your shoes just calmly take the shoe away and hand him his toy that he can chew on. After you do this several times you will see that your pug will learn that chewing your shoe is wrong and chewing on his toys is ok.
If you are a Pug owner and want to learn more about Pug training, care and health then I highly recommend you read this book about Pugs.