Welcoming 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:
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.
Training “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 “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.
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.