As with all puppies, they require training. I have had my fair share of puppy training over the years; mostly as I have had a number of dogs over the years.

What I have learned about the NWFT (Northwest Farm Terrier) is that they are absolutely adorably cute. They are extremely smart, and can be  very, very stubborn. Add these things together and you have… trouble. Well, not exactly.

So, at almost 15 weeks, our puppy has mastered “sit” “down” “follow” “come”; we are still working on the leash training and stay. Now, when I say he has mastered these things what I actually mean is that he knows what he is suppose to do. However, this is where ‘stubborn’ comes to the forefront. You can tell him to sit and you can see the wheels in his mind turning as he decides whether or not he is actually going to do what you say. Basically, these dogs have the “whats in it for me” type of attitude.

Now, I have never owned a terrier before, but I have owned a couple of dalmatians, and not since my dals have I seen this look of quiet rebellion overtake them when they are told what you want them to do – while they decide if they are actually going to do it. As I said, smart. Unlike the dals, the NWFT have a much more expressive face (in my humble opinion), so they can work their outright stubbornness with a touch of ‘but I am cute’. I can not express this enough, you must not allow your NWFT to take advantage of you (too much) if at all by using this ‘cuteness’. You must be the alpha, as every small inch you give them, they will take a stubborn mile with it.

Now, I will offer a few comparisons to the dal here; I think this occurs as they share some of the same genetic ancestry in their breeds. They are very loving dogs, they both learn much faster with positive rewards than with anything else. As an example, I was training the puppy to lay ‘down’, I train both with voice and with hand signals. As sometimes I just prefer to instruct my dog without a vocal cue. Anyway, I was teaching him ‘down’ and he would do it with a vocal cue, but not the hand signal. I was simply using a treat. So I changed up and when he reacted to the hand signal, not only did I give him a treat, but I gave him a lot of added verbal praise along with it. That was all it took for him. Now he will follow both the verbal and/or hand signal with no problem; except for the occasional “do I really want to do this” response. {Puppy hood, you gotta love it.}

Just remember, in my opinion, any “smart” dog will respond much better, faster, and reliably to praise reactions (vocal and/or treats) than to anything else. Like a stubborn child, if you scold them to much they will rebel, rather than do what you want. After all, any attention is good attention, right?

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