Introducing a puppy into your family is a wonderful and exciting bond you’ll share for some time!
Like any newborn, a puppy is going to demand a lot of time and patience. They aren’t computers preloaded with apps and commands; you’ll have to train the puppy yourself.
Whether you’re new to caring for a puppy or been around the block before, we’ve got some puppy training tips to bear in mind as you grow and discover with your new, furry friend!
8 Puppy Training Tips
Here are our top 8 tips for dog training techniques.
Remember, as much you’re teaching your puppy, you’ll be learning from them, too! Take it in strides and you’ll both be doing fine in no time.
1. Carrot or the Stick
Puppies, like most humans and animals, are quite fond of treats!
Fortunately for you as the trainer, these treats are also quite handy as a training tool for rewarding good behaviour. Other forms of rewards can be a belly rub or a walk around the neighbourhood.
Use these rewards frequently while training to reinforce the desired manners and behaviours you’re teaching your puppy. This technique creates a positive experience for your puppy whenever they perform well, wanting them to perform well again for another treat. Crafty creatures!
Similarly, when your puppy performs poorly, give them a consequence. Most of the time, all you have to do as punishment for your puppy is to immediately disengage and ignore them. Puppies are social animals, so when they lose our attention, they will eventually learn that this behaviour is unfavourable to you.
Keep rewarding your puppy with treats and attention for good behaviour, and soon you’ll have a well-behaved dog.
2. Communicate the Rules
Puppies have just a few things on their mind: eat, sleep, play, poop. The most determined of them might try to do it all at once.
You’re going to have to mould and shape them into the proper doggos that you want them to be. To do that, you’re going to have to clearly and effectively communicate the rules to them. Things like:
- Where to sleep at night
- What furniture they can lay on
- When barking is accepted
- Why biting and whining aren’t allowed
- Shoes are not toys
- Garbage is not food
…just to name a few. (Reminder: puppies and dogs are like little humans and should be treated as such, not as props for pictures).
Your list of rules will grow as you and your puppy do, but take each one a step at a time.
3. Short and Concise
Puppies have an attention span longer than a goldfish, but not by much. So keep the lessons short and sweet!
For the most effective puppy training, do one command or behaviour lesson at a time, and for about 5 minutes between naps, walks, and playtime. Focus on the one skill at a time with positive reward techniques until they’ve mastered it. Make sure to end every session on a happy note so they’ll be excited when their next lesson comes!
Also, you need to be consistent with your puppy’s training regiment and exercise. Like a child, you need to teach them in increments that they can learn and build upon as you continue further training.
4. Potty Training
Housebreaking your puppy so that they don’t soil your carpets is one of the toughest (and most important) tasks in training your young pup.
You’ll want to keep your puppy confined to a defined space during potty training. This can either translate to a confined space, like a crate, or contained space, like the length of a leash.
Here are some general guidelines to help you housebreak your puppy:
- Keep a regular feeding schedule with no access to food between meals
- Take the puppy outside or put in their crate in the morning, and then every hour or so until bedtime
- If outdoors, go to the same spot each time so your puppy becomes familiar with the scent
- Stay with your puppy so they feel protected
- When your puppy successfully does their duty, reward them!
And for yourself, be calm and patient.
5. Chew Toys and Playtime
Puppies need a lot of things to chew on, so if you don’t want it to be your shoes then get them some toys!
Dogs are descended from wolves, so they still have their natural instincts within them to hunt. Instead, we let them play. In doing so, they can release some energy, and we can teach them proper behaviour while doing it.
You’ll want to focus all of the rough-housing on the toy itself. This way, your puppy will learn that nibbling or clawing at you is not allowed.
There are all sorts of toys you can gift your puppy, be sure to find what they like and let them play often!
6. Manners and Commands
Teaching your puppy to be polite is a benefit for everyone. It means they can feel confident out in public and in their homes, you can feel proud of having a well-behaved dog, and others will be at ease around them.
Like the rules, make sure you clearly and effectively communicate the commands.
When training, first make sure they understand how to do the action or behaviour. Then, using rewards again, associate this action with a command, either verbally or with hand signals.
The more you teach your puppy, the more they’ll know. Start simple with commands like “sit” and “no.” Teaching them to sit will give you the foundation to teach them other skills. And teaching them “no” will make sure you can clearly communicate when they’ve done something wrong.
7. Meeting Guests
It’s good to introduce your puppy to new friends at an early age. It can be quite exciting and overwhelming to a dog to meet someone new—they can be timid and shy or eager to play!
Take it slow, and make sure to reinforce what you’ve taught them about manners and proper playing techniques.
Also, be sure to make them familiar to children—they’re a lot handle, even for a puppy!
8. Doggie Acquaintances
You should start introducing your puppy to other dogs and animals at an early age, also.
It’s best to keep them on a leash, even inside, so you can best control their behaviour. Over time, when your puppy becomes familiar with their furry friend, you can let them play more freely.
Also, as a safety precaution, please make sure to have all shots and vaccinations before introducing your puppy to other pets.
All Puppy Prepped!
With these puppy training tips, you’ll be well on your way to a well-behaved dog in no time!
Well, some time. But it’ll go by pretty fast, so enjoy all the puppy snuggles while you can! Doggie cuddles are pretty cool too, though, so you’ll be warm and fuzzy for years to come.
Let us know of any tips you might have, and be sure to share with a friend!