The decision to bring a new puppy or a dog into your home is a big decision, but one that many people make. The addition of a fur baby to your family is one that not only brings a lot of joy and love, but one which also needs some work to ensure your new pooch fits in nicely. Nip all of those potential bad habits in the bud before they become a problem with our fantastic puppy training tips.
Training your new puppy isn’t always going to be easy, but it will ensure that your dog is well behaved and cooperative when you need him to be – which makes life a lot easier in the long run. We have put together some of the best puppy training tips that can be used from the moment you bring your puppy home, so why wait?
Choosing Your New Puppy
First things first; when you are choosing a new puppy or a dog to take home, ensure that you do your research on different breeds beforehand. Choose a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle easily. For instance, if you work long hours, then a highly sociable dog that will need walking ten miles a day might not be for you. Similarly, choosing a breed that grows big isn’t ideal if you have limited space.
It goes without saying, but a dog is not just temporary – a dog is for life. Our breed selector tool can help with this by identifying the most suitable breed for you, your family and your lifestyle.
When your new dog is old enough, consider getting them neutered or spayed as this can make them much more obedient and less aggressive than they may have been otherwise. It can also make them easier to train. Speak to your vet about the pros and cons regarding having your dog neutered or spayed.
Essential Puppy Training
- Choose a name that is simple and easy to call out. Check out our pet names tool to find the perfect name for your pet
- Once you have chosen your new member of the family, ensure all the necessary vaccinations are carried out, register with a local vet and get some quotes on pet insurance. Don’t forget to buy your dog an engraved dog tag should your puppy decide to go on an unplanned adventure in his new home! We have a fantastic range, along with handy eZeClips for quick and easy attaching and removal
- Before you bring your new dog home, it is important to decide on the rules you don’t want to compromise on. For instance, if you don’t want your dog on the sofa or bed, stick to this from day one and be consistent
- When you bring your new dog home, introduce him to his own private space where he can relax and settle down nicely. Get him used to a dog bed or crate if you are using one, as your dog will often spend time here if left home alone for a short period. Top tip: have a ticking clock near the dog bed as this will help calm him down
- Always begin training with something simple, as this will help your dog pick things up a lot more quickly. Teach your puppy his or her name, to begin with, and to come when called. Get on the same level as your dog and call him over – make a big deal and use positive reinforcement when he comes. By mastering this at an early stage, your dog knows that you are the alpha
- During the training period, ensure that you train your dog in small intervals rather than for long periods of time. It can get quite repetitive and laborious, and your dog may lose interest and get bored – just like a child would
- Reward good behaviour with love, praise and treats. Don’t be too reliant on just treats as rewards, as you won’t always have treats to hand. Don’t ever reward bad behaviour
- Make sure you don’t repeat commands. Work one command at a time and stick to it. If you carry on repeating your command, your dog will not obey immediately and will wait for it to be repeated numerous times
- If your dog tends to bark a lot, your first action should be to find out why your dog is barking. Once you know why your dog is barking, you can then intercept and help resolve the issue
- If your dog jumps up a lot, don’t tell them off. Ignore them and turn away from them until they settle down and then give positive reinforcement and interaction. This is the best way to avoid jumping as soon as you get home
- If your dog starts to nip or bite, don’t punish them or tell them off. The best way to get them to stop doing this is to pretend you are in pain or distract them with a chew toy
- Always end training sessions on a positive note, with a treat and some one-on-one play time – and give lots of praise. Dogs love to please you, so this will ensure they look forward to training sessions!
Things to Remember
- Don’t get frustrated when training your pet. There may be some tough hurdles ahead but it will be very rewarding when your dog is fully trained up, adjusts, and becomes a permanent member of your family
- Familiarising your dog with new places can make him or her feel comfortable in unfamiliar territory. Ensure your dog is acquainted both with its new home and with other places you visit often. This helps to prevent your dog from running away in a desperate bid to get back home. Ensure you invest in a dog tag for your pet in case he does go AWOL
- Another way to avoid your dog running away is to ensure you take him or her out for some exercise regularly; most dogs attempt to run away out of loneliness or boredom. Keep your pooch entertained with games like fetch – this is also a great way to keep fit yourself, too!
- Surround your dog with items of comfort such as blankets and toys, along with something that smells of you (an item of clothing, perhaps?) to help your dog familiarise itself with your scent and presence
- Treat your dog to a nice, comfortable collar and ensure their collar cannot be removed too easily. Our selection of dog collars matches up nicely with our tags – you can also get a free eZeClip if you order a collar and tag together. The tag should include your name, your address and the best phone number to contact you on
Toilet Training Tips
Another key area for puppy training tips is toilet training! It may be worth dedicating a weekend to this to ensure that you are around to help your puppy through this time. After all, it is essential that you are around to show your puppy how to act during toilet training in order for good habits to be made and kept.
Initially, your puppy will need to urinate quite regularly. As a rough guide, they need to be taken out as soon as they wake up, within 15 minutes of eating and every few hours. Always go outside with your puppy and give positive reinforcements. It might also be worth repeating cue words during each action so that your puppy learns the prompts.
There are a few things that can cause toilet training to go awry, including:
- Feeding at irregular times
- Punishments for accidents in the house
- Letting your puppy come and go as it pleases with the garden – it will see it as a playground instead of associating it with the toilet training
- Using praise while toileting, as it can be confused as a cue to go to the toilet in future
- Leaving a puppy alone for too long, as they need toilet access every few hours at this crucial time
- Not letting your puppy out for toilet breaks in the night
Avoid these pitfalls during training and your puppy will soon master his training!
Once you have mastered using the garden for toileting, you can move on to teaching your dog to toilet while out on a walk. The best way to do this is to take your dog for a walk before they have had their morning wee – as this can help the puppy understand that they don’t always need to be in the garden for their toilet breaks.
For more information and plenty of puppy training tips and ideas on looking after your new dog, please check out our free puppy guide. To buy a new tag for your pup, take a look at our broad selection of engraved dog tags, here.