Getting a puppy for the first time is exciting but it’s also a challenge. They’re essentially the same as babies in that they need your full attention and that they’ll rely on you for doing their business and getting fed. Alongside that, you’ll need to teach them basic commands and all the necessary lessons in dog life that they’ll require to interact with other dogs and humans. With that being said, here are six helpful tips for training a puppy.
Always Be Consistent
Consistency is key because setting yourself up with a routine for your puppy, it’s going to help them adapt to life as they understand it. This means making sure they have a bedtime so that they get sleepy at the same time each night – hopefully! You should also be consistent with their timings when it comes to food. As a puppy, they’ll likely be needing plenty of food to keep them growing and to provide for all that energy that they’re going to have as a puppy. With that being said, make sure you have timings for their meals and that they get food after you’ve eaten. It’s important to show the pecking order in your home and that way, they’re not going to beg or fuss around you whilst you’re eating.
Remain consistent as they grow because it’s something they’ll need in order for the lessons you teach them, to sink in properly.
Reward Good Behavior Every Time
Rewarding good behavior is important because it signals to the puppy that every time they do that thing, they are more than likely to get something good. Scolding them for bad behavior isn’t going to be helpful but when it comes to them peeing or pooing in the right place or doing a trick, then this is the perfect opportunity for a reward. Puppies will love treats, especially when they’re going to be something different than the food they’ve been having since they were born.
Think about all the things they’re doing throughout the day that can be seen as good behavior and be consistent with this rewarding. Just like it’s been mentioned already, consistency is key and the more you reward them for the same things, the sooner they’re going to realize that it’s a good thing they’re doing also.
Stay Calm & Controlled
A puppy, like a baby, doesn’t know when they’re doing wrong and they’re still learning how to navigate through this new life. Adapting to your home is another thing they’ll need to learn and so it’s important to stay calm and controlled as much as you possibly can. Yes, if they poo on your carpet, then it’s going to frustrate you but it’s important to not let that frustration get the better of you. After all, you wouldn’t do it to a baby, so why do it to a puppy?
If they do something wrong or being persistent in bad behavior, take a moment to breathe before continuing. You don’t want to be showing any form of aggression towards your puppy because chances are, if you’re punishing them with any physical force, they could end up having aggressive behavioral traits too. That’s not something you want when they’re an adult dog.
Use Professional Trainers Or Classes
Training a puppy can certainly be a challenge and it’s not one that everyone wants to do alone. You might want to consider hiring a professional trainer to help you with your training or you could always go to some classes to get some pointers. Natural dog training is important and you certainly want to train your puppy in the right manner so that as an adult dog, they’ll be the best-behaved dog in the neighborhood.
There’s nothing wrong with taking them to a class or training session and for many, interacting and seeing other puppies can be helpful to your own puppy. It gives them the opportunity to interact with other dogs from a young age so that as they’re growing, they’re aware of other dogs of all shapes and sizes. You can often get scenarios where some small dogs are afraid of bigger dogs and vice versa, so have them socialize by taking advantage of local classes.
Never Punish Them
Punishing your dog is something that should be avoided at all costs. Shouting at your dog to physical assault on your dog can be detrimental to both their mental health but also how they behave in terms of their personality towards others. If they do behave badly, there are different ways to approach it than to shout or hit them. For example, if they’re nipping you during their teething phase, leave the room and come back with a chew toy, 30 seconds later. This will give them enough isolation time to calm down and then you’re replacing yourself with the chew toy.
Always find alternatives that will help them learn from what they’re doing because they can’t necessarily tell between what’s good and what’s bad behavior until they learn it from you. Again, like babies, they absorb everything like a sponge so give them lots of positive training instead of any form of punishment.
Remove Anything From Reach That’s Valuable
Valuables are something that you will certainly notice when it comes to your puppy. Your puppy is going to be exploring your home a lot as a puppy and for the first initial few weeks, you should try and keep them to one room. This is important not only to limit the amount of damage they’ll do but to also help them feel comfortable. Adapting to a new space is going to be challenging enough and so you want to keep that space as small as possible and open it up slowly.
With anything that’s in reach and that you don’t want getting chewed up, hide it or put it out of reach for them.
These helpful tips should hopefully make training your puppy, a lot easier and more successful for you.