Puppy training might take a lot of patience, but it’s worth the effort. Bringing a puppy into your house is a fantastic experience. And though it takes a lot of work to get them to behave the way you want, you’ll have years and years of love and affection with your pup.
Here are some training tips that will help make sure your newest family member gets off to the best start possible. You’ll find links to several Ultimate Pet Nutrition articles that will provide an in-depth look at some of the most important aspects of dog training.
Why Puppy Training Is Important
Puppy training is a huge part of making sure your new family member is a welcome addition to your home, whether you’re talking about a therapy dog or a loveable household mutt. In fact, dog training should be a part of your pet’s entire life.
When you bring a new puppy into your home, that’s the best time to start training. Even though a puppy has a short attention span, they can comprehend basic skills, such as “stay,” “down,” and “sit,” as early as two months of age.1
Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to commit to basic obedience training for several hours every day. All you really need to do is about 15 minutes each day. You can even spread your training sessions into three five-minute periods. You could do one in the morning, another in the afternoon, and another in the evening – whatever works best. The most important thing in meeting each training goal, whether it’s house training, teaching them to sit and stay, or anything else, is that you keep a consistent, regular schedule.2
Your First Step When You Bring A New Puppy Home
Bringing home a puppy is an exciting, beautiful experience. The most important part of this socialization period is creating a strong bond. While you want your new pup to be as comfortable as possible as soon as possible, you’ll also want to quickly establish that you’re the boss. Once they know that, they’ll look for you for guidance regarding how they should act.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is to start house training your new pup. This type of training program, like other aspects of training, requires positive reinforcement and a lot of love. You’ll also want to set a regular feeding schedule, since dogs love routine. Keep your sense of humor, and always appreciate this stage of your young dog’s life. It doesn’t last very long, and it’s a lot of fun.
If your pup does have problems getting used to their new home, get in touch with your vet. They may be able to recommend professionals who offer socialization classes that might help make it easier for the puppy to adjust.
Easy Tricks To Teach Your Puppy
Your dog’s training process doesn’t have to be all work – teaching puppy tricks is a great way to have fun while you’re trying to mold your pup’s behavior.
One example is a very simple trick known as “paw.” All you do is have a small treat handy, and say, “paw,” or “shake” while your pup is sitting down. Place your hand on one of their shoulders and gently press down. As soon as they lift their paw off the ground, give a lot of praise and present the treat. It won’t be long until your pup will be giving you a high five whenever you want them to.3
How To Get A Puppy To Sleep Through The Night
If your puppy keeps you awake at night, you’re not alone. It happens to a lot of pet parents. You might be tempted to put them in bed with you for some snuggles, but accidents happen. Your pup probably can’t control their bladder all night.
One of the best tools for puppy sleep training is a crate. Keep it close to your bed, and make sure it’s stocked with a comfy puppy bed and a couple of quiet (non-squeaky) toys. Let your puppy get some energy out – and give them a chance to do their business – by taking them outside right before bedtime.4
How Long Does It Take To Train Your Puppy Or Dog On A Crate?
Crate training is invaluable, not just to help get your pup to sleep – but as part of your overall training program. It also helps protect the health and safety of your pup while you’re away from home. Crate training a puppy is also one of the most important parts of housetraining. There is no “set in stone” definite amount of time it’ll take your dog to get used to the crate. It could be a few days or longer. Just stay patient, and remember that this is a big adjustment for your puppy.
How To Handle Puppy Whining The Right Way
One unfortunate part of crate training is that a puppy will tend to whine while confined for extended periods of time. A puppy whining in crate can be very frustrating, but try to stay patient. Slowly introducing the puppy to the crate may help. Put a food lure, like some a few of their regular treats, inside the crate so they can associate it with something positive.5
How To House Train Puppies For Potty?
Getting your puppy to use the bathroom outside can be one of the most difficult aspects of dog training. Potty training your puppy is a lot like potty training a child – you need patience to successfully train both. On a positive note, there’s a very good chance it won’t take nearly as long as you think.
The amount of time it will take will depend on your diligence in sticking with your plan. A puppy, like a child, has a short attention span. Puppies learn at their own pace – some will “get it” faster than others.6
Do You Need Puppy Pads?
Some pet parents prefer puppy pad training when housetraining their young dogs. This can be an effective approach, especially for those who may not have quick and easy access to the outdoors (such as someone who lives in a high rise apartment building).7
There are some downsides, however. A young puppy may think that any square surface on your floor is fair game as far as going potty. Also, your puppy might not be able to resist the temptation to chew or even eat one of the puppy pads.8 Weigh the pros and cons carefully before you decide whether puppy pads are the right choice.
How To Train Your Puppy Or Dog To Ring Potty Bells
Potty bell training can also be a great way to house train your pet. As the name implies, the bells are used as a signal that your pooch needs to go outside. You can either attach old-fashioned sleigh bells to the knob on your back door, or you can use an electronic or wireless version.
This is a really good option if your pup – or older dog, for that matter – still hasn’t quite “gotten it” when it comes to doing their business outside. You put the bell on the doorknob or somewhere close, and the dog hits the bell with their nose or a paw when it’s time to go. More than likely, your dog will get the hang of it in no time.9
How To Get Started With Clicker Training
You might have heard of the clicker training puppy concept before. Is it right for you and your pup? Some pet owners prefer to use verbal commands; others use a hand signal.
When the dog hears the “clicking” sound, they’ll associate it with something positive, like a treat or a lot of praise. Rather than focus on what the dog is doing wrong during obedience training, you’re focusing on what they do well.10
Clicker training can be effective, but it’s not the “be all end all.” You may find another training method works just as well.
Mouthing, Nipping And Biting In Puppies
When a puppy mouths your fingers, nips them, or even gives what they think is a gentle bite, it might seem cute at first. After a while, though, this lack of impulse control can get annoying – and in some cases, it’s painful. Here’s a look at some of the things you can do if your puppy exhibits these kinds of behavior concerns.
How To Teach Your Puppy Not To Bite
Trying to stop puppy biting might be priority number one if your pooch’s bites are becoming a painful nuisance. Puppies bite things as their way of learning about the world. It can also help them deal with anxiety or boredom.11
In order to stop this behavior, it’s important to know why they’re doing it. If the reason is separation anxiety, then you should ask your vet about ways to alleviate the problem. If it’s just playful chewing, there are ways you can change their behavior. If you can’t seem to control your pup’s biting, consider talking to a professional trainer.
Right Way To Stop Your Puppy From Nipping
You’ll want to stop puppy nipping just as much as biting, because it can be just as annoying. Puppies typically nip because they want to play. When they nip other puppies in their litter, or they nip their mother, they usually learn pretty fast when they need to stop.12 The recipient of the nip will probably yelp loudly, giving the puppy the signal to back off.
You’ll want to start teaching your pup to stop puppy nipping pretty early on. Positive reinforcement is effective in stopping the behavior. This means giving a treat or praise when the dog starts to nip but then stops.
Understand The Reason A Puppy Barks
Excessive barking is always a problem, whether a dog is a puppy or an adult. In order to stop puppy barking, you’ll want to have an understanding of why they’re doing it in the first place. Some dogs do it because they’re lonely. Others do it because they’re trying to warn you of something. In some cases, though, a dog who barks too often might have some sort of health issue.13,14,15
How To Teach Your Puppy To Walk On A Leash
Leash training a puppy is important because it will give your pooch the skills they need to be comfortable the next time you take them on a walk around the neighborhood. Click the link to learn how to start leash training you
Puppy And Adult Dog Training Classes
Have you thought about puppy training classes for the newest member of your family? A puppy class can be a great way to help your pooch learn the right way to behave during this critical socialization period in their life. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, classes may also help strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Are Dog Boot Camps Helpful?
Taking your beloved pet to a doggy boot camp can be a hard decision. After all, the dog won’t just be gone for a short period – they’ll likely be away from home for weeks. But it might be the only way you can get your puppy to behave correctly. Many boot camps can be effective, but remember that they’re only a temporary solution. You’ll have to continue to train your dog to reinforce their good behavior for weeks, or even months, once they get back home.
How To Train A Deaf Dog Or Puppy
Training a deaf puppy isn’t a whole lot different from training a dog who can hear perfectly. The biggest challenge is getting their attention. Stomping on the floor where they’re sitting or standing will help, as will using a flashlight. Of course, all dogs – whether or not they can hear – will usually come running for a treat.16
Some Specific Dog Breed Training Tips
While all dogs love to please their pet parents and will do just about anything to make that happen, certain breeds need some special considerations when it comes to training. Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are two examples.
Training Tips For Golden Retrievers
There’s nothing quite like the body language of a happy golden retriever, with a wagging tail that says they’re happy to see you, and a mouth that almost looks like they’re smiling. Training a Golden Retriever can present some different challenges, however, just because this breed is so outgoing and has a great deal of energy. But if you put together a good plan, you’ll find that training will go smoothly.
How To Train Your German Shepherd
Like a Golden Retriever, German Shepherd puppy training may take a little more work than it would for other breeds. For example, you’ll want to teach a German Shepherd pup not to go crazy when it’s feeding time. It might be okay when they’re small to be super excited at feeding time, but once the dog reaches full growth, things could be challenging. German Shepherds are very large dogs, after all. Make sure you don’t put down the bowl until they’re calm and quiet.17
Labrador Retriever Training Information
Labrador puppy training is also a bit different than training other dogs. These dogs can absorb a great deal of information between the ages of 8-12 weeks, but they’re also really active.18 This can sometimes lead to undesirable behaviors, such as digging and chewing.19
Follow the links to learn more about every important aspect of dog training. They’ll be a great help in making sure your beautiful puppy learns exactly how to behave for a long, long time to come.
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