Training the Lhasa Apso Puppy

A solid education in obedience and leadership is essential to teach your Lhasa Apso the rules of his new human world.

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Then, when your puppy is comfortable in the collar, attach a small lightweight lead. The one you select must have a secure catch, yet be simple to attach and release as necessary. Until now, your puppy has simply gone where he has pleased, and will find it very strange to be attached to someone restricting his movements. For this reason, when training my own puppies, I like to allow them to "take" me for the first few sessions. After a few times, I begin to gently guide the pup, and soon enough training can start in earnest, with the puppy coming with me as I lead the way.

It is usual to begin training the puppy to walk on your left-hand side. When this has been accomplished to your satisfaction, you can try moving him on your right, but there is absolutely no hurry. If you plan to show your Lhasa Apso, you will generally move your dog on your left, but there are occasions when it is necessary also to move him on your right so as not to obstruct the judge's view.

As your puppy gets older, you can teach him to sit, always using a simple one-word command, "sit," while exerting gentle pressure on his rump to ease him into position and show him what you expect. This will take a little time, but you will soon succeed, always giving plenty of praise when appropriate. Never shout or get angry when your dog does not achieve your aim, for this will do more harm than good. If your puppy is destined to be a show dog, you may decide not to teach "sit," as in the show ring he will be expected to stand.

When your Lhasa Apso puppy can venture into public places, begin by taking him to quiet places without too many distractions. Soon you will find his confidence increasing and you can start introducing him to new places with exciting sights, sounds and smells. He must always be on a thoroughly safe lead that cannot be slipped (quite different from the type of lead that is used in the show ring). When you have total confidence in one another, you will probably be able to let him off the lead, but always keep him in sight and be sure the place you have chosen for free exercise is completely safe and securely enclosed.

Whether you have a show dog or a pet, you will need to train your puppy to stay in a crate when required. At shows in most countries, Lhasa Apsos are housed in crates for at least part of the time while not actually being exhibited in the ring. Crates are useful for safe traveling and, if used in the home, most dogs seem to look upon them as a safe places to go and don't mind staying in them. The crate can be helpful at times when you need to go out or otherwise cannot supervise your pup. And, of course, crate training is the most reliable method of housetraining.

When you commence crate-training, remain within sight of your dog and give him a toy or something to occupy his mind. To begin, leave him in the crate for very short periods of just a minute or two, then gradually build up the time span. Always create a positive association with the crate and the dog should learn to love it.

Next step: Training Overview

Reprinted from Breeders Best: Lhasa Apso © 2004. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.

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