A few things to remember when thinking about how to train a puppy

IMG_5501Welcoming a new puppy into your life is a joy and puppy cuddles make the whole experience worthwhile, but it also means sleepness nights, stressful days, accidents in the house and plenty of time spent with your new pup to help them grow and develop into a well-behaved and well-mannered adult dog. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and everyone with a new puppy has gone through some of the same experiences that you will have.

Here are a few different things to remember when thinking about how to train a puppy: 

Basic Training

I always recommend to new puppy owners to get their puppy straight into puppy school as soon as they can. These classes help teach you some of the basics of owning and caring for a new puppy, but also ensures that your puppy is getting some very important socialisation in with other dogs and people during their critical socialisation period.

Reward based training is enjoyable for the dog and positively enhances the relationship between dog and handler. It is also one of the most humane and effective ways of training dogs and addressing any unwanted behaviour. You can read more about reward based training in my article “Oh, you give her treat rewards?” Positive Reinforcement Training Methods.

8602708610_b06833c755_bTraining “bed time”

When your dog barks, cries or whines during the night it is usually a cry for attention, especially during the first few nights in a new home. Being in an unfamiliar environment for the first time can  be a bit distressing, confusing and lonely for your newly adopted dog but it’s important to ensure you don’t reinforce these behaviours.

Ensuring that your dog has a warm and comfortable place to sleep, such as a bed in the laundry or bathroom, is a good starting point. Check out my article, Help! My dog barks, cries or whines at night! for more help on this

Teaching  Bite Inhibition

One of the single most important lessons your dog will learn as a puppy is to develop bite inhibition and a c1“soft mouth”- that is, the ability to softly bite.

An important lesson that all domestic dogs must learn is to inhibit the force of their biting towards all animals – especially towards other dogs as well as people. Dogs develop teeth and jaws in their adult years that can hurt and harm. Check out my article on how to teach your puppy bite inhibition.

Toilet Training

The key to toilet training a puppy is consistency. Just like when we first adopted Sprocket you need to keep a close eye on your puppy whilst they are in the house. There’s no point rubbing the dogs nose in it as unless you’ve caught them in the act they won’t understand what you mean by it. Even then though, you shouldn’t rub their nose in it as this will just make them shy about where they go! If you catch your puppy toileting inside then pick them up and take them to a more appropriate toilet location (such as outside).

As your puppy is only learning the appropriate place to go it’s important to take them out there after a few different times:

  • When they’ve finished eating
  • After play
  • After a nap
  • First thing in the morning
  • Before going to bed
  • When puppy starts sniffing around the ground inside

When your puppy has toileted in the appropriate location make sure you give them plenty of praise and rewards, this will help get them learn the correct behaviours much sooner. Remember to be consistent with training and accidents will happen in the house, so be armed with plenty of paper towel and cleaning spray!

Flea and Worm Treatments

Flea and worm treatments are very important for your puppies first stages of life. Products such as Frontline Plus can help across the lifetime of your pet to prevent any issues! Always check with your local pet supply store or your veterinarian on the best product for your pup.

Disclaimer: This post was written by That Dog Dancing Guy and sponsored by Frontline Plus. This has in no way impacted the content of the article.

Luna’s Peanut Butter and Apple Dog Treat Recipe!

Apples1 Ingredients

2 Cups of Wholemeal Flour
2 Heaped Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 Egg
2 medium sized Apples (Coarsely Grated)
2 Tablespoons of Natural Peanut Butter (it’s 100% Peanuts!)
1/3 cup of Water



  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 180 Degrees Celsius
  • In a bowl mix the flour and baking powder
  • Grate the Apples using a coarse grater, don’t grate the entire apple though. Throw out the core as the seeds are not great for dogs.
  • Squeeze the juice out of the grated apple as there will be a fair bit and the mix will be watery otherwise!
  • In a separate bowl mix the Egg, Grated Apple, Peanut Butter and Water. Stir until all combined.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well, it will form into a dough.
  • Work the mix til it all comes together and then transfer to a piece of baking paper with a sprinkling of flour on it.Apples3
  • Continue to work the dough til it comes together smoothly, then roll out to desired thickness.
  • Cut out the shapes and place on baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Cook for 13-15 minutes until nicely golden brown.
  • They can either be soft or crunchy depending on how long you cook them, if your dog prefers their biscuits a bit crunchier then cook them for an extra few minutes.
  • Allow them to cool before giving to your pooch

This recipe makes quite a few biscuits, so we put some in the freezer, some in the fridge and some in the cupboard.

SavourLife: Saving lives one packet of dog treats at a time

When you spend as much time training your dogs as I do you start to become slightly obsessed with treats and finding just the right ones for your pet. When training with Cynder or Sprocket everyday I prefer to use semi-moist or moist treats (see our article here about the levels of treats) and save the really good stuff (chicken, steak, etc.) for places we go that have high distraction levels, such as pet expos and competitions.

Jeremy Medlock, an animal welfare advocate and dog trainer from Sydney introduced me to a new brand of treats that have hit the market in the last six months; SavourLife. I got in touch with them to find out more and to see how I could help spread the word about the great treats they produce and the work they are doing to support rescue groups and shelters.

SavourLife is a family-owned company based in Sydney who are inspired by a passion for helping dogs and a desire to make a difference, and this really shows through the work they do. Aside from producing a range of quality dog treats SavourLife donate 50% of their profits to four rescue organisations and shelters across Australia: Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (NSW), Pets Haven Animal Shelter (VIC), Best Friends Rescue (QLD) and Staffy Rescue (NSW).

To say that Cynder and Sprocket are slightly obsessed with these treats would be a real understatement; they are completely obsessed! Sprocket comes running whenever he hears the packet and will then proceed to show you ALL of the tricks he has learnt so far in order to try and get a treat!

We’ve been road testing the Beef and Chicken strips over the last couple of weeks and I must say that I am loving training with them! They are easily cut up into smaller pieces, I just use a pair of kitchen scissors for this, they don’t crumble and have less salt than other treat brands (think Schmackos). There are no added artificial colours or flavours and SavourLife treats have added Omega 3 and 6 to promote healthy skin and coat! Plus they are 100% owned and made in Australia from Australian meat, can you get any better than that?

An aspect of the SavourLife range that really makes them stand out from other treat brands out there is the ability to track and put a face to the animals you are helping. Each pack comes with a seven digit code that when entered into the SavourLife website introduces you to a dog that you are helping and by entering your details on the site you can follow their journey and get updates about them. One of our packets was for the gorgeous Reese at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.39.10 amAs you can see from the screenshot you can easily share their profile via your social media channels and you may just help that dog find a new home.

SavourLife treats are currently available in four varieties: chicken strips, beef strips, chicken flavour biscuits and beef flavour biscuits and can be purchased online from the SavourLife online store or in over 200 retail locations around Australia.

Sprocket is helping spread the word by learning new tricks for SavourLife treats! Check out our first two videos below:

Note: We received these products from SavourLife as an ongoing partnership. This has in no way affected our view of the product and we only share products with our readers that we believe in.

Win one of two prize packs for your pooch (Australian residents only)

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It’s official, Cynder has WAY too much stuff and so she’s asked me to pack some of it up to give away!

You can win one of two prize packs for your pooch! Prizes are as shown above and contain a mix of treats, toys and grooming products!

Sign up via our Facebook page for a chance to win! Plus, if you get two friends to sign up, you’ll have a chance to win a secret prize!

Giveaway available to Australian residents only (due to shipping and other factors) and ends 8pm AEST Friday 13th June, 2014.