How to Train an American Eskimo Puppy

Once upon a time, American Eskimo dogs performed in circuses, wowing the crowd with numerous tricks. Now your Eskie puppy is most content running around your home and pouncing on his newest toy. The Eskie is easily trainable, so long as you show consistency and love.

Step 1

Start immediately. The first day you bring your Eskie puppy home is the first day of school. Start instilling good behavior in him the minute he walks through the door so he knows exactly what's expected of him. Eskie puppies are intelligent and learn new things easily, so don't lose that early opportunity to teach him good manners. Basic obedience commands, such as sit, down and come, help set the foundation of control so you then can stop other bad behavior as it crops up.

Step 2

Be firm and consistent. The Eskie's intelligence makes him a boundary tester. Assert your role as the leader and don't let your puppy get away with anything. One or two “just this once” slips marks you as a pushover and your pup will take advantage of that. Stay firm on what is and is not allowed.

Step 3

Use positive rewards, not negative attention, to reinforce good behavior. Yelling at your Eskie puppy only makes him afraid of you, and not likely to listen to anything you have to say. Reward good behavior with treats, play time and praise. Ignore the bad behavior, or simply offer a firm “NO!” to get his attention. Redirect him toward the behavior you want from him and reward that.

Step 4

Use a leash to help keep his attention. Leash training is important in its own right, but keeping him controlled also can help direct his attention to where you want it. Keep the leash short and give him a slight tug to stop bad behavior before it starts, or to get his attention for a command. Teach him to heel and not yank by holding him close to your left knee as you walk. If he tries to go his own way, pull him back and change direction. He'll soon learn to stay by your side and follow your lead as you walk together.

Step 5

Control his barking. Eskies are barkers and the high-pitched quality of their cry can become a problem to everyone within earshot. You won't stop his tendency to bark completely, but you can control it by acknowledging his ingrained urge to guard his home. See what he's barking at, then tell him “It's okay.” Tell him “Quiet” as you make a noise that's sure to get his attention, such as with a training clicker or soda can filled with some pennies. Making an attention-getting noise will shock him out of barking, and associate the command “Quiet” with the action. When he quiets, offer praise to encourage his good behavior.

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