If your puppy has already reached the age of six weeks, then it’s high time you start training it. If you don’t plan on making a show dog out of her, then the training process shouldn’t be anything fancy and you most definitely can do it yourself.
Training your dog is crucial, not necessarily because of all the new things she is going to learn, but because during training you have the perfect chance to gain her respect. An owner who doesn’t have the respect of his dog doesn’t actually own the dog, because the latter has already assumed the position of the alpha. He does what he wants when he wants to with a complete and utter disregard of what you tell her.
That being said, there are some ways to make all this training and learning period as prolific as possible. First of all, you should always keep calm. No matter how long it takes for your puppy to learn something new, you should never yell at her or even worse, hit her. If she will start to feel threatened by you, she will obviously stop considering you a friend and she will completely shut you out. Fear is surely not the way to go when you are trying to educate a dog.
What you can do instead is to always be firm when you give her commands. Keep a cam and constant tone of your voice and firmly say what you want her to do. This is how she learns that you are completely in charge. Never give her a chance to undermine your authority. You need to make her understand that play time and training are not the same thing.
In order to make this process go as smoothly as possible, there are two things you can do. We have already established that negative reinforcement will not work, so you need to be positive. One positive thing you could do is praise the puppy when she does something right. Don’t overdo it, though. Only praise her when the situation calls for it. Constant praising will only lead her to believe that that is your normal tone and your normal attitude towards her. Another type of positive reinforcement is giving the puppy treats. You should always have some handy during the training period. Small pieces of beef are usually the perfect incentive.
So there you have it. Now you know a couple of tricks that will help you to get a better handle on this whole learning period. But above all, the most important thing is that you both have a bit of fun. The fact that you will also get a well behaved dog out of this is only a bonus.