The Complete Guide to Training Your Puppy
Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting time! But it also comes with the important task of training and socializing your furry friend. Proper training is essential for raising a well-behaved and happy pup. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through all the tips and techniques you need for puppy training success!
Establishing a Training Routine
Set a consistent daily schedule for feeding, potty breaks, training sessions, play time, and more. Puppies thrive on routine.
Keep training sessions brief – 5 to 10 minutes for young puppies. Their attention spans are short.
Use potty breaks as training opportunities too. Give verbal cues like “Go potty” so they associate these words with the action.
Finish each session on a positive note with praise and rewards to keep your puppy motivated.
Potty Training Fundamentals
Take your puppy out frequently, at least every 2 hours. Puppies need to relieve themselves often.
Choose a bathroom spot outside and take them to the same spot each time. This builds a habit.
Use a verbal cue like “Go potty” when they eliminate in the correct spot. Reward them too!
Limit access to rooms in your home until they are potty trained to prevent indoor accidents.
Clean all accidents thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate odors.
Crate Training for Housetraining
Introduce the crate slowly. Make it comfortable with a bed and toys inside.
Use treats to encourage your puppy to enter the crate on their own and praise them.
Keep crate times brief at first, then gradually increase duration.
Avoid using the crate solely for timeouts, as this can create a negative association.
Stick to a potty schedule and take your pup straight outside when leaving the crate.
The Power of Positive Reinforcement
Use praise, treats, toys and play as positive reinforcement during training.
Reward your puppy immediately when they demonstrate the behavior you want.
Keep rewards small so your puppy stays motivated to earn more.
Use a clicker or marker word like “Yes!” to precisely mark desired behaviors.
Never punish or scold your puppy for mistakes – stay positive!
Important Commands to Teach
Name recognition – Say their name before giving any command so they learn to respond.
Watch or focus – Gain your puppy’s attention and eye contact.
Sit – Have them sit before giving food, toys, going outside, playtime, etc.
Come – Call your puppy to come back to you and reward when they do.
Leave it – Stop your puppy from taking undesirable or dangerous items.
Stop Unwanted Puppy Behaviors
Redirect your puppy to appropriate chewing items if they chew furniture.
Use baby gates to restrict access if they beg or counter surf.
Walk away and ignore attention-seeking behaviors like nipping.
Teach the “Quiet” command if your puppy barks excessively.
Use tethers to keep your puppy close if they don’t come when called.
Socializing Your Puppy
Introduce your puppy to new sights, sounds, people, and dogs in a calm, controlled way.
Let your puppy explore new environments at their own pace without forcing interactions.
Enroll in a puppy kindergarten class for supervised socialization with other pups.
Avoid dog parks or areas with unknown dogs until fully vaccinated.
Invite friends with calm, vaccinated dogs to your home for playdates.
Proper training and socialization from a young age will set your puppy up for success! Be patient, be consistent with the techniques, and remember to keep the process fun and rewarding. With time and dedication, you’ll have a happy, well-adjusted canine companion.