When your puppy makes his or her appearance in your household, it will be an exciting time for everyone. There is no better feeling than interacting with a playful, loving puppy on a daily basis! However, your puppy is going to quickly grow up into a dog who will be by your side for many years to come.
It’s important to begin training them for the things they will need to learn as soon as possible. You’ll want to be firm, calm, and consistent when you begin training your puppy. You may also need to check websites like The Pampered Pup for the right training tools and equipment like dog training collars or dog training books.
With time, patience, and the right tools, they will learn how to be a smart, obedient dog.
1. Walking on a Leash
Puppies need to learn how to walk on a leash as soon as you can get started. To begin, let them get used to wearing their collar and leash indoors. Give them treats while they play with it on to get them to associate the leash with fun and food. Next, teach them a sound cue that they will associate with food. For example, you can say a word like “yes” or snap your fingers. While they are wearing their collar and leash, make the sound. As soon as they look at you, give them the treat. Keep repeating until your puppy automatically comes to you when they hear this sound.
Next, start backing up when your pup starts towards you. When they keep following, reward them. Continue until they walk a few paces alongside you. You can then begin walking around your home with your puppy on the leash. When they are used to the feeling of the leash, start taking the training outside. Start by keeping your walks short, as puppies do have short attention spans. If they look like they are about to get distracted by something, quickly give them the cue and move away from the distraction. Carry treats with you to reinforce positive behavior.
2. Potty Training
You’ll want this to be one of the first training exercises you do when you get a puppy. The first step is to teach your puppy what is called the “potty cue.” When your puppy is sitting by the door they will be going out, wait until they bark at you. Then, open the door and bring them to a designated spot in the yard on a leash. Take them straight there, and wait for them to go. Don’t let them play around too much, and go back inside once they are done. Give them lots of praise and a treat when they use the correct spot until they get it down pat.
Remember, puppies have smaller bladders and no self-control yet. Expect to take them in and out every 15 to 20 minutes while you are potty training.
Puppies will chew whatever they can get their mouths on to relieve sore gums, just like a human baby. It’s important that they know what they can and cannot chew right from the start. For example, never give them an old shoe or pillow to chew on or else they will learn that it is okay to chew on your brand new Nikes or your expensive throw pillow. Instead, make sure they have plenty of chew toys and safe bones around to chew on when the urge strikes. If you do catch your puppy with something they shouldn’t have, firmly take it from them while redirecting them to a toy they are allowed to have. Praise them when they start chewing their toy.
Puppies don’t understand that their playful nipping can hurt, so make sure to teach them not to bite when they are young. Use a high-pitched voice to say “ouch!” if they bite you to show them that it hurts you. You can also try ignoring your puppy if they bite you. While it may seem appropriate to yell or punish your puppy for this type of behavior, it isn’t. It’s better to calmly correct or ignore them and to give them a treat if they listen.
5. Staying Home Alone
Separation anxiety is an issue many new dog owners face. Remember, your dog is a social animal, so you need to teach them how to be alone while they are still young. Start by putting them in an exercise pen or crate when you are home to show them it’s okay to be away from you. Give them treats and toys to keep them busy. Stay out of the room they are in for a few minutes before returning. When they remain calm and quiet when you are gone, reward them with lots of praise. Leave them alone for longer periods of time until they can build up to being left alone for more time.
Experts recommend socializing your new puppy as soon as you can start taking them out. Take them anywhere that dogs are allowed, on a leash of course! Keep them on a short leash and watch them at all times. Take them to pet stores, dog parks, puppy play dates with friends, and walks in new neighborhoods. Give them praise and treats when they behave and listen well.