How to Train a Saint Bernard Puppy

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The Saint Bernard is a large breed dog known for having a gentle and intelligent demeanor. The breed is eager to please and takes well to training. Successful training requires a dedicated owner and a consistent approach to potty training and teaching commands. Patience is required as your dog learns new habits and takes to your training program.

Potty Training

Potty training is one of the first things you will approach with your new puppy. Expect your puppy to go indoors numerous times before learning to go outside. Monitor your puppy after feeding and drinking for signs of a need to urinate or defecate. Sniffing, pacing and walking in circles are all signs of a need for relief. Take your puppy outside when relief is required. Carry treats and use a positive rewards system each time your puppy goes outside. Do not hit or punish your puppy for going inside but use a strong scolding tone of voice.

Teaching Commands

Practice basic commands on a daily basis. Teach your puppy to sit, lay and stay using a combination of voice and hand signals. Hold your hand upright in a stop position and tell your puppy to sit in a stern voice. Physically help your puppy by applying slight pressure to the rear until the sitting position is assumed. Reward with a small treat when your puppy assumes the position. Repeat for the lie down command but lower your hand to indicate the position change. Point at your puppy and use the stay command as you back away slowly. This teaches restraint and builds trust between you and your puppy.

Curb Chewing

Your Saint Bernard will attempt chewing on shoes, cords and other household items while teething. Curb chewing by providing chew toys and hiding other items. Put away your shoes and use a stern "no" command when you witness chewing. This also will occur during play. You must tell your puppy when the limit of chewing and biting is reached.

Limit Barking

Saint Bernards are not obsessive barkers but they will make some noise. Barking is typically a sign of protective behavior or loneliness. Excessive barking requires a look at the social habits of your puppy. Provide your puppy with attention when barking does not stop after a minute. Training with a bark collar is also effective. The collar will interrupt the barking with a beep or vibration.

Tip

    • The Saint Bernard is a social breed and regular attention is important. 
    • Do not leave your puppy alone for long periods of time. Loneliness leads to behavioral issues such as barking, chewing and jumping. 
    • Take your puppy to the dog park after he receives all of the mandatory vaccinations. Have play dates with other dogs, play fetch and take your dog out for daily exercise.   

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