Having a puppy in the family is great fun, but it can mean a lot of chaos too! A few puddles and a bit of chewed furniture might be inevitable but initiating training now will help in the future. With a little help, they will soon start to realise what is good behaviour versus what is not allowed, and soon, your pup will be on its way to become a well-behaved dog.
However delightful your puppy is, never forget that it’s going to grow up and to be a happy, well-adjusted adolescent, and adult dog, your pup needs good training. Your training methods should always be kind, calm, and reward-based never shout or hit, because that will simply upset your puppy.
A common reason for young dogs to end up in rescue is poor training their first owners weren’t prepared to train them, and often give up on them simply because they don’t know how to train a dog and don’t understand dog behavior cues.
You can begin training your puppy at home before approaching professionals. Below are a few dog training tips to get you and your puppy started right away!
Potty training the little one
Wondering how to train a puppy? A little patience and frequent walks are the quickest way to succeed. Here are some sure-to-work tips on how to potty train a puppy:
• Eat. Poop. Repeat. Regular feeding, (3-4 times a day) when your puppy is young, means regular defecation, so take them to the toilet area as soon as they have eaten.
• Praise and reward: Congratulate your puppy with kind words and pats when it goes to the toilet correctly. Try to accompany your dog outside during toilet training so you can reward them.
• Scolding is a no-no: Never punish or reprimand a puppy who has had an “accident.”
• Understand your pup's schedule: Don’t wait for your puppy to signal to you that it wants to go out. Most puppies will not learn to signal their need until they first learn to “hold” in the house.
Remember, if you take the puppy out for a walk, make sure you keep going after it’s relieved itself – because they need exercise and fun just as much as they need to ‘go’.
Obedient puppies learn faster!
• Repetitive commands: When giving a command to your dog, remember to use the same, short commands and repeat them often.
• Be consistent: If you allow your dog to do something when it is a pup, it will continue to feel entitled to do it as an adult.
• Begin at the right age: Puppies can begin special training courses from 10 weeks of age.
• Rewards: Remember, if you are providing food rewards, take the amount into consideration and adopt the daily rations accordingly. Never give them treats like biscuits, chocolates, or sweets as these can lead to serious health problems.
• Eliminating the reward: Make a connection between the treat, gesture, and your voice, then gradually remove the treat from the process of puppy training.
• Mental health: Playing and fun activities are vital to the dog’s psychological well-being. Play prevents boredom, loneliness, and many health issues.
• Dog-friendly toys: Puppies need to have their own toys. Make sure they aren’t too small, to avoid choking hazards.
• Discipline: Puppies learn through play, and love to nibble, chew, and even bite. If it ever nibbles your hand or clothes this will have to be stopped. If it continues to do this into adulthood, it could have serious consequences.
• Excessive excitement: Don’t let your dog jump up on you when playing, when they grow into adulthood they could easily knock over children or adults.
Learning to walk a dog
• Get your puppy used to wear a collar than a lead, from a very early age.
• Start by training your dog to walk on the lead at home, several times a day.
• If your puppy pulls on the lead – give a few short, sharp tugs on the lead yourself, never hit the puppy with the lead!
• You need to decide on the best time for walking – if your dog begs, wait 10 minutes until it has calmed down before getting the lead.