Training Your New Puppy
Is there a new puppy in your life? Are you in love? Are they the best thing that has ever happened?
Congratulations on your new bouncing (literally) bundle of joy!
You’ve probably imagined all of the amazing things you’ll do?
- Walks in the park
- Playing fetch
- Showing them off to your friends
- Snuggling on the couch
- Chillin’ and watching Netflix
Have you named them? If so, do they know it? Now’s the time to start teaching the newest addition to your family their name. It will be helpful during the rest of their training.
Everyone knows a well-trained dog means a happy dog and a happy family.
The big question is when should you start training your puppy? The answer – right away! The sooner your puppy learns the rules of the home, the easier it will be to transition from puppyhood to adulthood.
Remember, as cute and cuddly as they are now – puppies grow! So start them off right when they are young!
A puppy is similar to a human toddler:
- Being curious is their favorite hobby
- A quiet puppy is up to something – find them – quickly
- Puppies discover the world with their mouth – dog-proof your home
- They aren’t born knowing what’s safe and what isn’t
- If it looks edible, they’ll try to eat it – well, they’ll try to eat it no matter what it is
- If something belongs to you, it also belongs to them
What should they learn first? There are several different commands you might try:
The #1 safety command is “come.” And it should be taught early. “Come!” may save them from harm.
How to train: When training your puppy, follow these tips.
- Be consistent – everyone in the household needs to be on the same page
- Keep training short, positive, and fun
- Practice everywhere – but start in your home
- Realize it’ll take longer than you think – daily practice is necessary
- Be patient
- Positive reinforcement
- Show your dog what you want, rather than forcing them into submission
- Clicker training reinforces an offered behavior – your puppy is likely to repeat it
- Soft, smelly, small treats – it might take some time to find the right ones
- Use high-reward treats for essential skills
Potty Training: Who likes accidents? That would be nobody.
- A bathroom routine is important (every two hours to start)
- It takes time and patience
- Teach them to let you know when they need to go outside
- Stand by the door
- Use a doorbell
- On average, a puppy can hold their urine for their age in months plus one, converted to hours Ex: If your puppy is two months, they should be able to wait three hours before needing to go to the bathroom
Social skills: Teach your puppy to greet people and other dogs politely; be comfortable with being touched in sensitive areas; to share; and that it’s okay to be alone.
- Meet people as soon as possible
- Wait on meeting dogs until your puppy is up to date on their vaccinations
- Touch their ears, mouth, and paws – this will make life easier when visiting the vet and having someone in their personal space
- Hand-feed so they don’t show aggression when someone touches their food
- Designate “their” space, so they have a place of their own
Many basic skills can be taught at home using YouTube videos, other online/virtual resources, and books. But it may be necessary to seek professional guidance through a puppy training class.
When your puppy is well-trained, you will have the freedom to take them anywhere they’re allowed, without concern for their safety and the safety of others. Train them now so you have a dog that will know what’s expected.