Decisions have consequences.
Adult dogs teach puppies this valuable lesson with great efficiency. For example, if you leave the older, grumpy dog alone when he growls at you in warning, nothing bad will happen to you. However, if you pester the older grumpy dog when he growls at you in warning, you likely will get snapped at with a stern scolding. Life’s lessons, right?
When raising and training a puppy or dog, it’s important to continue teaching the lesson that behavior has consequences.
Good behavior leads to good consequences: a treat, a meal, play time (with a toy even), exercise, a ride in the car, praise, petting, etc. and inappropriate, unappreciated, or naughty behavior leads to unpleasant consequences: not getting what you want, a scolding, a squirt of water, noise from a rattle can, being removed from a situation, a brief period of alone time, etc.
When a puppy or dog knows what the options are for any given behavior, he can start making intelligent decisions: to behave in a way that leads to something good or to behave in a way that leads to something not so pleasant. As Susan Garrett would say “It’s Yer Choice”, and most dogs, opportunists that they are, will choose something good.
Probably the most important aspect of this process, however, is handler/owner consistency and compliance.
Once your puppy or dog can count on you to reward certain behavior, you will get that behavior repeatedly from your dog. And when your puppy or dog can consistently expect absence of reward or even gentle discipline for a given behavior, you will see that behavior, over time, diminish or even go away entirely.
Remember, you will end up with the dog you are willing to raise and train.
As with everything when raising a puppy or dog, it’s all up to you. So don’t let your dog down and don’t let bad behavior develop by being inconsistent.