Puppy Training 101

Training your new puppy is a lot of work, and is certainly not easy, but it is the best thing to do for you AND your new companion. There are many things you must take into account when training your new pet. First of all, you must be sure to have all your basic puppy necessities: dog bed or crate, food and water bowls, puppy food, collar, leash and toys. You and your family members must also agree on a routine from which you should not stray. Seeing as your puppy has just been separated from mother and litter mates, what they need is security and routine.

 Let us begin with jumping. The puppy’s first instinct when greeting you and others will be to bound up towards your face. To avoid this, start by not exchanging greetings with your pet when they are jumping up; this would be rewarding them for their actions. Instead, have them sit and stay before you pet and reward them. This teaches the young one that, in order to be acknowledged, they must sit, not jump.

 Teaching your pup to walk on a leash takes patience. They need time to get used to the new feeling of a collar and leash as well as not being able to go wherever they please. It is important not to yank on the leash, but to let the pup learn by understanding running while the owner is stopped causes an uncomfortable tug on the neck.

 House training a puppy can be quite frustrating seeing as they do not yet have bowel or bladder control. There are 4 main things to keep in mind when house training. 

  1. Your puppy must have lots of access to the toilet area. This will keep them from going in non-toilet areas, like your new living room rug.
  2. Always reward your puppy for doing their business in the right place, whether it’s praising them, giving them a special treat etc.
  3. Never punish the dog for small mistakes along the way because again, they have not developed full bladder and bowel control; they cannot hold it for very long.
  4. Keeping your pup on a regular eating schedule will make bowel movements occur at similar times of the day.

Crate training your puppy can also help with the house training.  Crate training is one of the most effective ways of training a new puppy. Short term confinement to a crate will force the dog to try and wait until they are released and taken to an appropriate area before eliminating, since dogs do not like to soil their sleeping quarters.

 Leaving the puppy in their crate can cause them to cry or whine. They do not like being left alone, especially in a new home surrounded by new faces. It is essential to not rush to the puppy when they cry because this will cause them to continue doing it. Another solution is leaving the puppy with many things to occupy them such as toys and treats.

 If you have a puppy, expect chewing. It is important to give the puppy plenty of toys to chew on. You must not discipline the puppy when they have chewed your couch cushion or table leg; they do not know better yet. Replace that couch cushion with his or her toy, and praise the puppy as they chew it. This type of praising will also help with biting. When the puppy is excited, they may start to “play bite”. Give them a stern “NO.”, and reward them when they bite their toys instead.

It is a busy and exciting time when you bring a new puppy into your life.  With a bit of basic training, your puppy can grow up into a well-adjusted, polite member of the community.  If you have questions on this or any other blog article, please call us at (905) 727-3003 or send us an email at [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you!

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