When you finally get to take your pup home, the last thing on your mind is training them to behave and where to go to the toilet straight away, right?
Although this may be the case and helping to settle your pup in as easily as possible is the only goal at this moment in time, it is really important to start communicating with your puppy about the way you want them to behave – we would advise you do it almost immediately so that they get in to a routine straight away.
Here, we’ve listed 10 top tips on how to train your puppy, whether that be a pedigree puppy or a cross breed puppy from bringing them home for the first time.
- Choose a name for your dog and use it wisely – Getting your pup used to its name and starting to use it straight away means that they are more likely to respond when you call their name or give them a command.
- Decide on the house rules before you bring your pup home – If you decide what your pup should or shouldn’t do you can put these rules in place immediately and avoid any confusion.
- Set up a private retreat for your pup – From the earliest possible moment give your pup or dog their own, private sleeping place that’s not used by anyone else in the family, or another pet. Find out more about the importance of a comfortable puppy bed here.
Your pup will benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of their private space. Reward your pup if it remains relaxed and quiet. Your pup’s private space will also be a valuable tool for house training.
- Help your pup to relax when you bring it home – When your new puppy arrives at your home, give it a warm hot water bottle and put a ticking clock near the sleeping area.This will imitate the heat and heartbeat of your pup’s litter mates and will help to soothe your pup into its new environment.
- Teach him/her to come when called – Teaching your pup to come using its chosen name is the command to be mastered first and foremost when training your puppy. And since your pup will be coming to you, your alpha status will be reinforced.
Get on your pup’s level and call it to come using your chosen name. When your pup does as it is told, make a big deal using positive reinforcement. Then try it when he/she is busy with something interesting. You’ll really see the benefits of perfecting this command early as your pup gets older.
- Reward good behaviour – Reward your puppy or dog’s good behaviour with positive reinforcement. Use treats, toys, love, or heaps of praise. Let your pup know when’s he/she is getting it right. Likewise, never reward bad behaviour; it will only confuse matters.
- Teach your pup on “dog time” – Puppies and dogs live in the moment. Two minutes after they’ve done something, it’s almost immediately forgotten about.
When your pup’s doing something bad, try your chosen training technique right away so it has a chance to make the association between the behaviour and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what your pup has learned.
- Discourage him from biting or nipping – Instead of scolding your pup, a great way to put off your pup from biting or nipping you is to pretend that you’re in great pain.
Your pup will be surprised that you are reacting this way that your pup is very likely to stop immediately. If this doesn’t happen, try trading a toy and if all else fails, break up the biting behaviour and then just ignore.
- Housebreaking your pup – In the early days of housebreaking you want to make sure the puppy has a place to relieve themselves where they feel safe; a place that seems and smells familiar. You can learn more about toilet training your puppy here.
First thing every morning, bring your puppy outside to the same general area. It is important to remain consistent throughout the process so that your puppy can learn the habit.
Once your new puppy has successfully gone outside, it is important to reward the good behaviour.
In the early stages of housebreaking your bound to have an accident or two, but be sure not to punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with your pup’s bodily functions. Stay calm and assertive and quietly remove the puppy to the place where you want them to go.
- End training sessions on a positive note – Leave your pup with lots of praise at the end of each training session, perhaps with a treat, some petting, or five minutes of play. This guarantees he/she will associate these rewards with the training and be eager to show up to the next training session to receive all of those delicious treats!
For more information or to have a chat about the next steps you should take to train your puppy successfully, please get in touch with us and give us a call on 07779 956076 | 01282 694461