6 Puppy Training Basics
Puppies are amazingly cute and the majority of people love puppies. I must admit that when it comes to puppies, I do get excited with every new puppy who comes for training.
Training puppies for me is really rewarding, starting out with a blank canvas, training them and watching them flourish is an amazing process.
Here’s a few important puppy basics when it comes to training – Boots and paws dog training and behaviour version.
1. Show your puppy what you like
Puppies have a tendency to do a lot of things wrong. They jump up at people that they meet, they have toilet accidents inside the house, they chew on things they shouldn’t and they like to bite hands.
But saying that, puppies do also do a lot of things right, as well! Owners tend to miss the good things as they are so tired from having to deal with all the things that puppies aren’t good at just yet.
Try to pay attention to all the things that your puppy is doing right. Are they sitting next to your feet whilst your having a relax on the sofa? If they are then that’s great! Give them a fuss, try praising your puppy and give them a treat. You want your puppy to repeat the behaviours that you like and the best way to do this is to show them that they can earn your attention, petting and treats by doing the behaviours that you like.
Let your puppy know every time they are good and have done something you like. They will certainly flourish with all the reinforcement, your puppies behaviour will drastically improve, and you’ll be more positive, and it’ll definitely be required in those moments of stepping in your puppies poop during the night.
2. Have routine
Puppies constantly want to play, explore the world and they never seem to want to sleep, they are just like toddlers.
But, your going to need some downtime and some sleep from your little bundle of fun.
Try making some sort of plan so it’s fair and obvious for you and your puppy. You don’t need to follow it 100%, but by having some sort of guideline will make your life a bit easier.
This will also help to allow your puppy to understand when they can play and when they need to sleep. They will soon learn to unwind, and your puppies digestion and toileting habits will soon become a lot more predictable if they are on a set programme of eating, playing and sleeping.
3. Start taking your puppy on walks now
Young puppies have a brilliant little training hack. They never want to be away from you. Depending on the age and the breed of the puppy this lasts until around 3-4 months of age, Young puppies have a tendency to not wander very far from their owner.
So its time to start taking your puppy on walks. Only if its safe to do so and there are no dangers like cars, other dogs etc. Take your puppy out on a walk without being on the lead to help them get it deep rooted that they stay with you no matter what.
Once your puppy is old enough to even consider wandering off from you on a walk, your puppy will already have the habit of staying with you.
2-3 small walks a day for a couple of months, will mean an average of 150 walks of your puppy staying by your side. There will be plenty of experience for your puppy to form a habit, it will soon become second nature for your puppy to never just wander off.
4. Teach your puppy how to without using the crate
Its always tempting to put a puppy that is wound up in a crate, close the door and let them calm down and deal it with themselves. Sadly, it can quite quickly get to the point where this is the only way the puppy can calm down.
A vital skill for puppies is to be able to switch off without any issues. If you teach your puppy now that they are able to relax while there's other things going off, it will be easier for you to take your dog out with you on day trips, cafes, or even the park.
So if your puppy is going mad and needs to take a nap, then try securing your puppy to yourself. Put the lead on them and sit down with them somewhere. It can be whilst your sitting on the sofa relaxing watching TV or reading etc. If your puppy throws a tantrum and wrestles with the lead, then just ignore it. Eventually your puppy will give up and go to sleep.
You want your puppy to understand that its totally fine to shut their eyes, and they don’t have to worry about missing out on something. You also want to at the same time teach your puppy that they are always have a safe spot to sleep next to.
5. Take Your puppy with you
The more encounters of people, dogs, situations your puppy can have, then the better. Take your puppy everywhere you go.
You don’t have to plan any special daily dog days out. Just taking your puppy to the shop (if dog friendly) or go to a supermarket car park and allow people to meet your puppy, go to pet friendly shops like Pets at home.
Don’t go to parks just yet, there will have been lots of different dogs from lots of different backgrounds, and your puppy could quite easily pick up an infection or virus before they are fully vaccinated. Go to places that don’t really have many dogs, and expose them to other dogs in situations that you know are going to be safe, like a puppy classes, a puppy play date with a friends vaccinated dog etc.
6. Definitely have fun
Don’t take your puppy or yourself too seriously. This is a time of mess, some maybe lots of destruction and a time of you occasionally thinking “Why the hell did I get a puppy and when will it end”?.
Your home will more than likely be untidy and your nights will be spent getting woken up for those urgent toilet breaks for then next few months. But don’t worry as your puppy will soon grow and it will be over and normal life will be restored again.
But for now, enjoy and cuddle your puppy, laugh at your puppies comical silliness and don’t forget to take lots and lots of photos, that you will adore them forever.