Is your new fur baby still a twinkle in your eye? Are the scents of that precious puppy fur still lingering? Or has this honeymoon period quickly turned to chewed furniture and wet carpets? Either way, it’s never too late to start thinking about puppy obedience training.
While we all love a playful pup, puppy training is essential to raising your new fur child! Being a parent, fur or otherwise, is hard work. Understanding the milestones, stages, and behavior patterns make a huge difference in how to train a puppy and raising a happy doggo just as it would with tiny hoomans.
Here’s the good news: as a member of the family, your new pup will need lots of love and attention. Bring on the cuddles! The bad news… well, it can’t always be rainbows and sunshine. These training tips for puppies will help guide you in terms of social integrations and establishing boundaries - a must for our new pooches.
When to Start Puppy Obedience Training
During the initial few days of arrival, your puppy will want to explore the new home and become familiar with smells and people. This is a whole new world for them with lots of places to experience… and potentially make their mark on.
At this stage, it’s best not to set unrealistic expectations. Be patient and supervise the exploration. Your pup is still getting comfortable with their new surroundings, and we can’t expect them to reach angel status just yet. However, that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your beautiful furniture and well-kept carpets. If any areas are out of bounds, it’s best to puppy-guard them!
For bigger pups, you can always look at installing a Door Buddy in these rooms. This will also come in handy when you start introducing other pets to your home’s new addition. Installing this puppy-proofing device will keep them from entering areas that are a no-go while leaving you and your cat to easily enter rooms.
Thankfully, puppy obedience training won’t be in your life forever. Your puppy learns quickly and will respond to his or her name within just a few weeks - if you’re consistent and don’t mix it up with nicknames. Within two to three months, your puppy should be house-trained, but that isn’t the only early developmental milestone to aim for. You’ll also want to ensure your puppy is fully socialized within the first three months – both with other animals and within your home.
If you’re wondering how to train a puppy, it’s always a good idea to start with the basics. This will be the foundation for more sophisticated training and can make your life as a furparent much easier.
What are the Puppy Obedience Training Basics?
From the outset, you’ll want to get your pup on a regular feeding schedule. Not only will this help try to keep a program, but it can also reduce the risk of training your puppy to beg. In their younger weeks, having smaller and more frequent meals is best.
For ideas on what to feed your new pooch, make sure to take a look at our article here.
Getting your doggo potty trained is a significant milestone for us furparents. For this part of puppy training, you’ll want to take your pup outside about half an hour after feeding them. Remember to give them praise and treats when they do their business in the right spot and try not to make a big fuss when accidents happen. Accidents can and will happen!
By 7 or 8 weeks old, your puppy will be ready for obedience training and learning commands. Can you believe how quickly they grow up? Commands such as ‘sit,’ ‘stay’, and ‘leave it’ or ‘come’ are highly popular and can easily be achieved.
For example, let’s walk you through the command 'sit’. This can be a helpful command to teach your pup if they need to stay put while socializing them with other pets or during feeding times.
First, get your dog’s favorite treat and keep it in your hand. Put the treat under your dog’s nose and lift your hand upward so that they know it’s there. From there, command your pup to sit and use your other hand to guide their bum down. As they sit, repeat the command ‘sit’ and reward them accordingly.
Show your puppy each command instead of just using the word. Encourage positive association with immediate treat and praise instead of negative responses.
Puppy training classes are an excellent way to socialize your furbaby with other dogs. You can also supplement or do it at home if need be. For this to work, creating safe and secure boundaries is vital. Having a safe space where your pup can slowly introduce themselves will help them feel settled among their new pals.
Remember that as your puppy grows, so does their assertiveness. Table manners and being able to handle unpredictable behavior in the environment is essential. As you start out, keep these training sessions short and repeat them daily.
When it comes to training tips for puppies, approach them as a game rather than a serious task to keep your pup motivated. Most importantly, always be mindful of your body language - you’d be surprised at what your doggo can pick up!
By the milestone of your sweet puppy’s first birthday, this training will place your furbaby on track to becoming a well-behaved and loving adult. Celebrate each milestone and keep in contact with your vet or dog training specialist if you have any concerns.
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