There is nothing better in this world than making the decision to adopt/buy/rescue a puppy. As we all know, they are literally one of the most adorable creatures on the planet but when it comes to training them it isn’t all plain sailing (i.e. endless cuddles and blissful carefree walks). Of course, this will all come with time but it takes hard work and determination to train your puppy out of some very naughty habits, so here is a brief guide to get you started on the path to a perfectly-trained pooch. Good luck!
1. Let them get used to you in their own time.
So many people pick up their puppy from the breeders or pound expecting them to instantly fit in to their schedule, but this isn’t something that can be rushed. You will need to book as much time off as you can in order to help your puppy acclimatise and then if you let him adapt in his own time to his new home you will find that his love for you is all the more cemented for the future.
Image source: petspyjamas.com
2. Invest in a crate.
In the past, people used to misconstrue the idea of a crate as a cruel and unfair way to treat a puppy. However, what they didn’t realise is that puppies actually long for a space that they can call their own; a place they can escape to when they want to sleep or escape from the lively household noises going on around them. Crate-training is not only a great thing for your puppy but also for you as it will save the anguish of you coming home to a chewed-up living room. All it takes is some gentle but committed training and you will find that your puppy will be very happy in his little home.
Image source: pinimg.com
3. Make a toilet training plan.
99.9% of people are aware that most puppies don’t arrive with you house-trained. Therefore, depending on your puppy, it is wise to make a plan before you pick them up about whether you want to start them on training pads inside or go straight towards urging them to go outside. Young puppies sometimes need to go to the toilet every hour so you’ll also need to be prepared to get up at least once in the night during the first few weeks.
Image source: cesarsway.com
4. Try not to go to them when they bark or cry.
You will probably think I’m crazy for saying this, as your natural instinct will be to comfort your puppy when he barks or cries. However, all I can say is that if you go to them straight away you are teaching them to use this technique to get your attention in the future – even when they’re not upset. Of course, you mustn’t ignore them entirely as they could be trying to tell you something important (for example, if they need the toilet) but it is wise to use your intuition and try not to instinctively react.
Image source: doglistener.co.uk
5. Invest in a clicker.
Clicker-training is one of the best inventions of the past few years because it uses a click sound to mark anything good that your puppy/dog has done. However, the golden rule of this method training is that you must ALWAYS give a small treat every time you click. This will reinforce their good behaviour and leave them wanting to do it again.
Image source: pinimg.com
6. Socialise them as soon as you can.
No responsible dog-owner would want to raise an anti-social puppy and there is a very important window in their lives – up to the age of 4 months – when it is important to socialise your puppy with all the weird and wonderful sounds of the outside world and, of course, other dogs. This might be tricky if your puppy hasn’t had their immunity injections yet, which means you’ll have to carry them instead of letting them walk, but this does not make it any less important.
Image source: squarespace.com
7. Ignore the bad and praise the good.
Your puppy will get to a cheeky stage in their lives when they start acting up in order to get your attention. This is all part of growing up and you will probably find it means a bit of naughty barking and chewing along the way. But the important thing to do when this happens is refrain from telling them off but simply leave the room or turn away until they stop. This is ultimately taking away what they want: your attention. Then when they stop, make sure you offer them lots of praise.
Image source: texvetpets.org
8. Buy some good chew toys.
This is a no-brainer for all puppy owners because one thing I can promise you is that your dog WILL chew. He might chew the walls, the furniture, or even you. So the best piece of advice I can offer is to invest in some great chew toys that will divert their attentions away from their exciting new home.
Image source: cloudfront.net
9. Start your recall early.
In their early months, your puppy will have a lovely built-in instinct to stay near to you. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this and start running away from them to gain their interest (as part of a game of course – not to be cruel). Once you have mastered the running away you can think of a recall signal such as “here” or “come” and say it as they run towards you. This will build a great foundation for recall training, just never use it if they’re not running towards you!
Image source: taketheleadservices.co.uk
10. Stay calm; it’s not easy but it will be worth it.
One thing people never warn new puppy owners about is the ‘puppy blues’. Like parents of human babies, there will be days when everything feels too much. You’ll be tired, emotional and one some days at your wits end with a naughty little tearaway running around. But the good thing is I can promise it is all worth it. Just let yourself be upset and then when you next meet the eyes of your lovely little pup you will see that it is all worth it. No one will love you like this little bundle of joy and it is the best decision you can make – in my humble opinion.
Image source: hearstapps.com