So you have taken the plunge to become a dog owner and have gotten a puppy. Or maybe you’re already a dog owner, but this is your first puppy and you’re not sure where to start.
Knowing the basics is enough to get your puppy off to the right start and you will thank yourself for starting early on your pup’s training. Leash training, paper training, and basic training can all be successful if the owner has patience and establishes a routine from the start.
The Many Ways to Train Your Puppy
There are many different methods you can choose to train your puppy, but most follow the same basic structure when it comes to training. According to DogBreedInfo.com, there are two main types of training: behavioral and obedience.
Behavioral training is correcting bad manners or habits that your dog has. For instance, jumping, mouthing, unnecessary barking, and chewing are habits that can be cured through behavioral training.
Obedience training is teaching your dog to obey you at all times with simple commands, such as sit and stay. In order to properly teach a dog obedience, training sessions should be short and frequent so that the dog doesn’t get bored. If your dog is incredibly food motivated like mine, start training sessions before a meal so that they are extra motivated.
When to Start Puppy Training
Starting puppy training as early as you can will benefit you and make training easier down the road as well. Puppies from eight weeks old and up can immediately begin their training. In fact, many places strongly recommend that you sign your puppy up for training courses immediately so that they don’t develop behavioral problems and so that they can get introduced to other puppies for socialization.
Puppy Training Schedules
Puppies need a schedule if you want them to form good habits. If you are not consistent with your training, this will ultimately confuse your poor pup. Set a schedule to take the dog out to potty during certain times of the day, feed them during certain times, and go to bed at a certain time. Accidents will be much less likely to happen if you’re on a schedule.
Leash Training Puppies
If you’re like me, leash training your puppy may be where your patience is really tested. Sometimes it can be comical watching puppies learn how to behave on a leash for the first time. Here are some tips from CesarsWay.com to keep in mind when you begin leash training your dog:
Introduce the collar early. Your puppy can wear a collar as early as a few weeks old in order to get used to it. Put it on when the puppy is doing something positive such as feeding or playing so that they associate good feelings with it.
Walk inside first. If your puppy isn’t vaccinated, practice inside with a leash first. A backyard is also great practice and you can work on potty training at the same time.
Teach your pup to follow you. You should always be leading your dog, not the other way around. Teach your dog to follow you by walking a few paces ahead and waiting for them to follow. Reward them when they do. If they start to pull, walk in the opposite direction. Your dog will catch on that you are leading, not them.
Paper-Training a Puppy
Many owners paper-train their puppies and then later progress to outdoor pottying or an area inside the house that is meant for pottying. Out of all the training your puppy will go through, paper-training is the one that may require the most diligence on your end. In order to train your puppy that going potty on the paper is correct and going anywhere else is wrong, you must be watchful of your puppy and be prepared to catch them in the act of both success and mistakes.
Here are some tips from the HumaneSociety.org to help you begin paper-training your puppy:
Begin a regular feeding schedule. This will help them become regular with their bowel movements as well and you can predict when they might need to go.
Use the words “go potty.” Say “go potty” or some other cue word when your dog is in the act of going to the bathroom in the right spot. The puppy will begin to associate the word with the act and will do so on command eventually.
Cut off water intake before bed. Take away your puppy’s water bowl about two and a half hours before you go to bed so that it will reduce the likelihood of an accident in the night.
Supervise your puppy. In order for paper-training to be successful, you need to be able to catch your dog in the act. If he or she messes up, clap loudly to startle them out of it and gently pick them up and place them in the appropriate spot.
Praise, praise, praise. All dogs need praise much more than they need scolding. Reward your dog every time they do the action that you want them to do and they will learn much more quickly. If they manage to finish in the appropriate spot, reward them! It is crucial to praise every time the puppy goes in the correct spot so that they understand that this is correct.
Learning How to Train Your Puppy
The puppy years are so much fun, but they are also fleeting. Before you know it your puppy is all grown up. So be sure to take advantage of the early months when your puppy is very eager to please. The behaviors your puppy learns the the first few months will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Make it a positive experience for him & you will be rewarded with a happy, well adjusted companion.
VIDEO: How to House Train a Puppy
Andrea from Arden Dog Training walks us through the basic steps to potty-training your new puppy.
Set your puppy up for success by giving him the tools/training needed. Here is what you’ll need:
- A training crate or short-term confinement area where you’re puppy will stay for as long as he can hold his bladder
- Long-term confinement area, if you puppy isn’t ready to go outside yet.
- Puppy Pads or Newspaper(for the long-term area, if used)
- A Long, light weight indoor leash
- Lots of Close Supervision!
It’s really important to keep a very close eye on your pup. No watching him run off to the corner to pee! You have to be ready at all times. If you see him even thinking about a little squirt, you need to swoop him up & get him to the proper spot. Only let your puppy run & play when you are really sure he has an empty bladder.
Learn how to potty train a puppy in this Howcast video with Andrea Arden Dog Training.
A closing note from Andrea,
So remember to set you and your puppy up for successful house training, you want to use your management tools, which is your crate, possibly a long-term confinement area and make sure you have your puppy at the right place at the right time so that when they do go to the bathroom in the right spot, you’re prepared to tell them how good they are and back that up with a really good treat, so that they know that’s what you want.