It’s crucial that you begin training your new puppy almost as soon as you bring him home. Puppies learn quickly, and you can start them on the right track early by getting into good habits instead of bad ones. Every moment with your puppy can potentially be a great training moment for teaching good habits. Take a look at these six tips for training your new puppy.
Tip One – Housebreaking
Housebreaking is one of the most crucial parts of training a new puppy. Young puppies need to go out almost every hour to relieve themselves. In the early stages, you can expect to devote a good chunk of your time to housebreaking your puppy. When you take them out, it’s important to put them on a leash so that they get used to it. Your puppy doesn’t know yet that they need to wait to go outside to relieve themselves so it’s up to you to praise them for going outside and take them out consistently, especially for the first few months until they can hold their bladder a little longer. Try to notice any changes in behavior when your puppy needs to go so that you can make sure they go outside and not on your carpet.
Another good strategy is to make an exercise pen that includes a bed, some toys, water, food, and a piece of sod where they can eliminate. The goal is to get them used to the right habits and not spend time correcting them when they mess up.
Tip Two – Leash Training
Part of helping puppies become well-behaved adults is starting on everything early. Some people don’t like to put puppies on leashes right away due to concern over collars. However, if you invest in a dog pulling harness, then the puppy will be securely supported and easier to control. Harnesses also fit easier on puppies due to how adjustable they are. You won’t have to worry about the puppy slipping out as they might with a collar. Having a leash on your puppy consistently will help them get used to it so they don’t bite or pull at it when they’re older. It also helps to make sure that you can still get to them if they run under the bed or behind furniture.
Tip Three – Stop Play Biting
Puppy play biting is a very common behavior that is also very normal since puppies explore with their mouths. However, it’s not a behavior you should encourage. New puppy owners often make the mistake of playing with a puppy using their hands, and that tends to encourage the biting. Use toys to play with your new puppy and head off the biting behavior early. If your puppy does bite, make an exclaiming noise, and pull your hand away. Walk away at that point to indicate that the playtime is over. Eventually, your puppy will understand that he can’t bite if he wants to keep playing.
Tip Four – Socializing
If you want your puppy to be well-adjusted around other dogs and people, then you need to start socializing him right away. Some people are hesitant to expose their puppies to other puppies until all their vaccines are finished, but the Board of Veterinary Behaviorists recommends getting your puppy into a puppy class between eight and twelve weeks of age. Puppies need to learn how to play with other puppies and how to recognize safe people and environments. Behavioral problems in adult dogs are almost always due to the lack of proper socialization.
Tip Five – Control Chewing
New puppy owners often wonder and worry about what their puppy will do when they leave the house. To put it bluntly, your puppy will chew and soil your house when you’re gone if they’re not confined. This is where it’s important to crate train your puppy early. You can also use the aforementioned method of creating a puppy-pen in your house where they stay in a confined space, but still have toys and water and a place to relieve themselves.
Tip Six – Jumping
Jumping, like biting, might seem harmless when your puppy is a tiny ball of fluff. The problem is that when your puppy becomes an adult, he’ll still think it’s ok to jump and bite. Why do dogs and puppies jump? The main reason is that they’re excited to see you and they want attention from you. When your puppy jumps, don’t give him attention. That means don’t go down to his level and ruffle his ears or pet him. Instead, turn away and avoid him until he sits nicely. Once he’s sitting, then you can bend down and give him attention. He will eventually learn that sitting will give him the attention he wants versus jumping.
Consistency in everything is probably the most important puppy training tip to remember. Dogs learn through repetition. Just make sure that you’re repeating and reinforcing the behaviors you want your puppy to have and not the bad ones.