What could be sweeter than a large breed puppy. Those clumsy, oversized paws, that big, disproportionate head, those floppy, velvety ears – perfection!
As sweet as your new pup can be, they need to start learning boundaries right away so they do not become difficult to manage when they’re bigger. It’s never too early to start training your large breed puppy. You’ll love watching your pup grow up to be a polite, well-mannered family dog who’s fun to be around.
Loose Leash Walking For Large Breed Puppies
One of the biggest training issues parents of large breed dogs have is loose leash walking. A large dog that pulls can cause scrapes, pulled muscles, broken bones, or even a dislocated shoulder. Ouch!
It’s no wonder that some large dog parents turn to aversive tools like prong collars. But the truth is, it’s not necessary to cause your dog pain to keep yourself safe from injury on walks.
You can use training tools to help prevent your large dog from pulling. A front-clip harness connects to your dog’s leash at the front of their chest so that when they try to pull, they’re redirected towards you. A head halter connects at their chin and allows you to steer your dog more easily.
But training tools are no substitute for training. They’re more like a seatbelt. They keep you and your dog safe, but you’ll still need to learn to drive.
Review our article on teaching your dog to walk beautifully on the leash. Make sure you’re consistent about redirecting your dog when they see a squirrel, rabbit, or other exciting critter. You can teach your dog from an early age that it’s more rewarding to pay attention to you than to try to bolt after a critter, and that they must look back at you for permission before they can greet a doggy friend across the road.
Training Your Large Breed Puppy Not To Jump On People
While it may be cute when your puppy puts those big paws on you when you get home, this habit might become hard to manage when they get bigger. Even if you don’t mind being jumped on, those big paws can knock over a child or an elderly relative.
The only thing cuter than a puppy jumping up for a hug? A polite puppy sitting patiently, tail going on turbo, waiting for their hugs and kisses.
When your dog jumps on you, it’s important that you do not push them down or engage physically. Doing so will only make an overstimulated puppy more bouncy and excitable. If your puppy jumps on you, turn away so you’re no longer facing them, and if they won’t let up, you may need to take another walk outsideand try again.
Only when your puppy backs up and sits patiently, stoop down and give them all of the love and attention they’ve been waiting for. Though it’ll be time-consuming at first, puppies catch on pretty quickly when they get their favourite reward – you!
Stealing Food And Counter Surfing
When your growing puppy realizes that they can reach food on your dining table or on your kitchen counters, it’s game over for leftovers. Teaching your dog “leave it” at an early age, long before they can reach those surfaces, will save your food.
Even so, no matter how well your dog is trained, you should never leave them alone in a kitchen with, say, an entire turkey on the stovetop. Human food like cooked bones can be incredibly dangerous. Training, in this case, acts as a backup in case you do leave food unattended, and it’s always better to be proactive in case the temptation is too great.
Professional Help For Training Your Large Breed Puppy
It’s never too early to start training your puppy. You can even consult with a professional trainer before your puppy comes home to ensure you have the communication skills and tools you need to start them off on the right paw.
Whether you have a training issue or just want help raising the perfect, well-mannered family dog, Healthy Houndz can help. Healthy Houndz dog training offers private, in-home training for dog parents in Toronto and North York, and virtual training services via Zoom for dog parents around the world.