Right here is where you will find all of the important information and steps on how to train a puppy on every end of the spectrum. New puppies require the most of our attention, and expect us to give them everything they need. From food, to shelter, to love, our puppies need us for everything.
Not to mention how puppy training is not the easiest objective in the book to teach and it requires a lot of patience, dedication, and time. So, grab a cup of coffee or a snack, and sit back and enjoy reading through each of these tips and tricks for successfully teaching your puppy how to have positive behavior, perform simple tricks, have remarkable social interactiveness skills, and ways to care for your new puppy in the best of ways!
How to Train A Puppy:
1 – Get Started with New puppy supplies
The essential new puppy supplies you will need to get started includes a leash or harness, food and water bowls, bed, chew toys, food and treats, and a collar with a name tag and address. You have to look at puppies the same way you’d look at a newborn baby or small child; they are utterly dependent on you for everything they need to grow and develop properly. When you are taking care of a baby, you are responsible for feeding them, bathing them, taking care of their diapers, putting them to sleep, playing with them, and most importantly, loving them.
Taking care of a puppy is the same way. You are responsible for caring for them the same ways you’d take care of a small child. You need to feed them, let them out to go potty, set up a bed for them to sleep in, play with them to allow them to grow and develop (and take out some of their energy), and you absolutely need to love them. A collar is a big requirement when purchasing a new puppy as well, because if your puppy just so happens to run away, hopefully they’d be wearing a collar with their name tag and address of where to return them to.
2 – Train your dog to stay in their boundaries
All puppy training starts off the same way, by showing your puppy the areas of your house and property of where they are allowed to go. If you’re the type of person to bring home a new pet and let them roam about the house wherever they would like, or bring them up onto the furniture with you, they will get the idea that they’re allowed to do that daily. If you have restrictions for your pets to follow it is extremely important to enforce those rules from day one.
One way to enforce this rule is to invest in (or make use of the old) baby gates to guide your pup into the areas of the house where they are allowed to be. For instance, by blocking hallways, stairways, and entrances to rooms they shouldn’t be in by using baby gates, you’ll be able to keep them out. Another very easy way to accomplish this is by simply closing (and keeping closed) the doors to rooms you want to stay sacred to your new puppy.
3 – Housetrain your puppy
An easy way to provoke house training early on is to enforce the rules from day one, and stick to them on a regular basis. A good way to start is by creating a daily schedule that your puppy will learn to adopt and will be able to follow from the first day you bring them home.
Examples to include in your daily schedule would be mealtimes, potty spots outside, playtime, and bedtime. Also, by remembering to frequently let your puppy out to go potty, you’ll speed up the housebreaking process by a ton. Stick to the simple rules such as staying down from the furniture, not eating scraps from the dinner table, keeping their toys in a designated area, and not chewing on miscellaneous objects.
4 – Potty training your puppy
It’s most beneficial to start potty training your puppy as soon as possible because it will increase their chances of being able to learn new skills quicker. The faster you nail the simple tasks, the quicker you will be able to teach them newer and more advanced skills. And, not only that, but you won’t have to worry about your new puppy having accidents on the floor (or carpet, because we all know what a pain that can be) anymore, and you can feel at ease when you have plans to go out of town for the day, that your dog will have some sense of control over their bowels and hopefully not have an accident while you’re away.
A simple way to start out the puppy potty training process is to hang a bell on your door handle, and teach them to nudge it once they have the urge to defecate. After repeatedly showing them this trick they’ll have it down to a science and it will make life much easier for you because then you’ll know exactly when they need to be let outside.
5 – Kennel training your new dog
During the course of new puppy training, you’ll need to touch on the basics of kennel training as well. It doesn’t have to be extensive training, just as long as your dog understands enough of how to act calm, cool, and collected while being transported in a kennel or carrier. A huge benefit of kennel training early on is obvious; they will understand not to be afraid, and not to whine the entire duration of being in the kennel. If you have to take a half hour ride to the vet with a puppy in a travel carrier crying the entire way, how much fun is that going to be?
By spending a small amount of time in their travel carriers daily, or by leaving the carrier itself on the floor with the door open (allowing your dog to enter whenever they’d like), is a good way for them to get used to it themselves, without being forced. If you cram them in there, shut the door, and walk away. Chances are that they won’t trust you when it comes to getting in there again, and will only increase the chances of them fighting their way out.
6 – Teach your puppy to “sit,” “stay,” and “come”
The three most common commands that are often taught to puppies is how to “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Typically, they don’t take much time to train and are most commonly used in the puppy training process. Start off by making these words familiar to your new puppy. Say “sit” and then lightly pat the end of your dog to get them to do the act itself. Once you pair the word with the act, the learning process will begin.
Every time they sit down as you say the word “sit”, give them a treat to let them know that they are doing a good job. You can use the same technique for other commands as well. Say “stay” and hold your hand out, slowly back up, then pat your legs and say “come.” If they do this successfully, give them a treat and continue to do so repetitively. You can never go wrong by teaching your new puppy these three simple skills.
7 – Teaching your puppy to stop biting during the mouthing stage
When puppies are young and their teeth start coming in, it can be a treacherous time for destruction of your personal items. Understand that puppies are only trying to find things to chew on to ease the pain of their new teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them destroy your fancy slippers or fuzzy socks. There are mouthing chew toys available for purchase at just about any pet store for the sole purpose of soothing your puppy’s pain. You can also purchase some puppy painkillers to help as well.
By providing medicine and chew toys, you’ll be able to teach your new puppy to stop biting you, or others, to ease their pain. We all know how sharp new puppy’s teeth are, and once they repeatedly bite you, it gets old. Teaching your puppy how to stop biting others during their mouthing stage is a big deal, and for those who are constantly spending time around your new puppy will definitely thank you for it.
8 – Obedience training your dog
Bringing your puppy to obedience training classes is (for most) a luxury, if you can have someone else teach your puppy the basics instead of yourself. For those who can’t afford it, or just don’t have the time, there are ways you can accomplish the basics yourself. Take a chunk out of your day to spend time with your puppy to do some basic training. Things you could start to teach them include controlling their barking, not jumping up, walking properly on a leash, sitting, staying, playing fetch, and staying close to the owner (while not being on a leash or chain.)
If you are going to attempt to do obedience training yourself, you need to be positively sure that you have the time for it and that you can keep up with it. If you don’t create a schedule with it, and stick to it, it could make the learning process last a lot longer than it needs to be.
9 – Training your puppy to control their barking, whining, and howling
Another large portion of puppy training includes teaching your puppies how to control their barking, whining, and howling. Granted, sometimes they might need to have to relieve themselves, or they could be hungry, but other times it’s for less important reasons such as wanting more attention from you. If you hear your dog intensely whining, howling, or barking check to see if they need anything at that moment, if they simply want to play and you don’t have time, say “no” somewhat sternly, but not angrily.
Don’t say any other words besides “no” because over time it will click in their minds that no means no, and they aren’t going to get to play with you at that moment. They’ll also learn that if a stranger (to the dog) pulls into the driveway or knocks on the door, when you say “no” they will have to stop their complaining.
10 – Teach your dog to “shake,” “speak,” and “roll-over”
Commands such as “shake,” “speak,” and “roll-over” are all old tricks in the book that have been around for a while, but also greatly benefit your pup and are good to have them know. The technique is simple here, all you need to do is say the command (“shake,” “speak,” or “roll-over”) and show them what the command means.
For instance, if you want them to shake, say the command, take their paw into your hand, and then set their paw down. Keep repeating the action and eventually they should be able to recognize what you want them to do when you say a certain command, and they will try to do it for themselves. Remember, if they do the action correctly reinforce the behavior with a treat to let them know that what they are doing is correct.
11 – Train your puppy to walk on a leash properly
Big dog, or small dog, generally any type of breed will like (to at least try) to take control of how their walks go. Do you ever find yourself dragging your puppy behind you? Or, speed walking to try and keep up with your pup ahead of you? That is the definition of how NOT to walk your dog. So, now you might ask how you are supposed to break this bad habit, and there is one great technique that you could try out first. Start off by making them walk by your side, and don’t let them wander. The farther you let them wander, they’ll gradually start to pull you, and that’s not what you want to achieve.
If they already try to pull away at your side, please do not yank the leash back on their neck because that could permanently hurt them. Just stop altogether and get them to stop too, have them sit, and then pick up where you left off again. It will start to click in their minds that once they start to get away, they’ll have to stop again, and gradually the habit will fade.
12 – Putting a dog harness on your puppy correctly
If you want to walk with your canine the correct way, you’re going to have to buy the right supplies as well. Harnesses can work wonders on new puppies, sometimes better than a leash. But, it’s all up to preference and which you’d feel would work better for your pup. Harnesses are genuinely a better option when it comes to puppy training because multiple benefits tie into using them, rather than using a simple leash. When you hook a leash onto your dogs’ collar, the more you pull, the more you’ll damage their neck.
Harnesses are much better because they take the force being applied from the dog’s neck, to the dog’s mid section, which is much stronger. Most harnesses clip and unclip from one certain spot, and they’re not difficult to strap onto your puppy. In most cases, you’ll be able to unclip the harness, fit your puppy’s legs through the leg slots, wrap the harness around their midsection, and clip it on the top. Some harnesses may have a built-in leash, or leash clips to where you can attach your own.
13 – Teach your dog to “jump,” “fetch,” and “stand”
These three commands are impressive, but not very hard to teach your pup at all. How to train a puppy to do each of these tricks can be simple, or tough, but either way it’s rewarding to see how well your puppy can make progress. All you really need to remember while teaching them new commands, is to have patience. It helps if you use different types of positive reinforcement to encourage the behavior of learning. Different rewards you could use as positive reinforcement includes treats, praise, a new toy, or extra playtime.
By reserving some special treats in a container, and not giving them to your dog unless they have deserved it, is one of the most effective techniques that have been proven to work. Each time you say one of the commands (“jump,” “fetch,” or “stand”) give them positive reinforcement to encourage them to do that same action, over and over again, and eventually it will stick in their minds permanently.
14 – Purchase dog toys that withstand growing, chewing puppies
Toys play a huge role in a puppy’s life, especially during the stage while their new teeth are coming in and they’re constantly looking for new objects to chew on. Picking out toys that can withstand against all of the daily wear-and-tear that your puppy will force upon it, is the key to purchasing the best toys that won’t fall apart in the first ten minutes of your dog receiving it.
The Kong toys have been continued to be very popular over the years for their durable design and rewarding properties. The Kong Classic is a very simplistic toy, to say in the least. Basically, it is a red chew ball with a hole on the inside to insert a treat or substance (a common example is peanut butter) to give to your pup to retrieve the treat and keep them busy, but all have a toy to chew on at the same time. They are incredibly durable and last a lifetime!
15 – Clicker train your dog
Using a clicker during a training session is an instant way for your dog to quickly learn what it is that they are doing correctly during the training process. For instance, if you are teaching your dog to sit, but then keep bouncing back up, you could use a clicker to help them understand which parts they are doing correctly. Once your dog sits firmly on the ground, click the clicker and keep repeating to do so for every time your dog does the action they are supposed to do. When (or if) they bounce back up, do not reward them.
Continue to use the clicker until they fully understand that the noise that the small device makes correlates with a positive reward, and they will pay more attention to what it is that they are doing correctly. A clicker is most effective if it is paired with some type of reward such as a treat or snack. After a while your dog will start to understand that when they listen to the clicker and obey your commands, they will get a treat. Thus, making it more likely for them to obey you.
16 – Food guide for your dog
When you’re learning how to train a puppy, the types of food and treats you offer them can make a huge difference. You want to provide them with meals that will be substantial and last throughout your training periods, and so forth throughout the remainder of the day. The food you feed your puppy should be nutritious and energy packed, and the snacks (or treats) you feed them should be as well. When you’re looking at different food brands to purchase for your dog, make sure that you read the label completely.
Typically, you’d want to steer away from brands that include corn and wheat gluten, and meat or grain meals or by-products in their list of top ingredients. Things you do want to look for; however, are labels on the packaging that promote positives about the food product. Such as, organic ingredients, vitamins, awards, and so forth. The chances are that if they take the time to make a mark on their packaging about specifics of their product or business, they aren’t lying. But, it doesn’t hurt to check the label as well, just to make sure.
17 – Maintaining your puppy’s health
During the course of puppy training, it’s easy to lose sight of the most simple concepts, and only focus on the training itself. These simple concepts are typically related to maintaining your puppy’s health. If you’re willing to put in the most minimal effort, even then you will do just fine. It helps if you write everything down that you need to do, on each specific day, on a calendar or planner. Write down when each vet visits are, when their vaccinations are due, when they need to be bathed, what times of the day that are ideal for exercising with your puppy, etc.
If you add a few reminders into your phone to alert you when it’s time for those activities, then so be it. At least you won’t forget to keep up with maintaining your puppy. Remember, your pets depend of you for everything, and it’s your responsibility to remember when they are in need of certain requirements. Especially if they are crucial to you or your dog’s health.
18 – Keep your puppy’s coat glossy and healthy
A few specific ways to keep your puppy’s coat healthy and silky smooth is by bathing them on a regular basis, purchasing vitamin supplements, brushing the dead fur and skin out of their coats, and by being cautious of the types of shampoos or lotions you decide to use on your puppy’s fur. Baths are crucial, especially for puppies who like to get their paws dirty in the mud. If you let the mud and filth build up in their fur, it could make for an unsettling mess to try and clean out later on.
Nobody wants their puppy stewing in that much filth. It’s also not very hard to wander down the vitamin aisle in your local pet store to find fur and nail vitamin supplements, they’re typically common, and in some cases can make a huge difference! Another simple task that will benefit the health of your dog’s’ coat is by continuously brushing out the dead fur and skin in order to make room for the new stuff to grow. It can also feel like a tremendous relief to get rid of all that extra weight, to your pup. The next thing to watch out for is harmful materials that may not be so healthy for your dog’s fur, which may include ingredients such as artificial colors or fragrance, mineral oil, and phthalates.
19 – Get your dog the exercise they need
Exercise is not only important for your dogs, but for you as well. This shouldn’t be news, sadly. Go for a run, walk, jog, or play a game of fetch in the yard. Get yourself active with your dog and make the experience fun for both of you! There are endless possibilities of activities you could try, and why not try them all? Pick up a ball and throw it around with your pup for a bit, have a race to see who can make it down to the end of the driveway first, hide puppy treats outside and wait for your dog to discover them, use old supplies from your shed and put together a puppy agility course, grab your leash or harness and make a lap or two around the block, head to the park to catch some fresh air, you can do so much.
For those days that you tend to leave your puppy home alone all day, and are too tired to play with them when you come home, make it a priority to spend time with your puppy. In their eyes, they have been waiting all day to see you, and are probably ready burn a whole load of energy off!
20 – Bringing your puppy into a public area for the first time
Puppies can sometimes be a little skittish in large crowds, and the earlier you break that habit, the better it will become for them to adjust to social life outside of the household. If you don’t acquaint your dog with the outside world (and the people living in it), taking them for walks or bringing them to the vet could make for a difficult trip. The earlier in the puppy training process that you start to demolish this habit, the easier it will be for your puppy to get used to being in public areas.
If you have an older dog, they may be set in their ways, meaning that they may never re-adjust to different social behavior, and that’s why you need to work on it early on when the puppy is still learning. Bring them out into public areas daily and let others familiarize themselves with your puppy by stopping for a quick pet. Your dog may find it annoying, but at least they’ll learn to tolerate others instead of having the instinct of defending you, or themselves against strangers.
21 – Reduce the risk of losing your puppy
When you are ready to get a new puppy, and you start puppy training, you need to make sure to be extra cautious of all the possibilities of your puppy running away while unsupervised, and getting lost. You can even be fined in some cities if you let your dog get out without a leash, and they roam about wherever they’d like. In other cities, they’ll end up in the animal shelter and you’ll be forced to pay an amount in order to release them.
By knowing ways to reduce the risk of your puppy getting lost, it could benefit you tremendously down the road for when an emergency occurs. The first thing you want to do if the emergency does arise, is to call around and see if anyone has noticed your dog venturing on their own. If there is no luck there, the next step would be call the local shelters to see if anyone turned your puppy in. A small reminder, if you microchip your puppy while they’re young, you’ll be able to track them right away and therefore, the problem would be solved.
22 – Increase your dog’s social skills
A fantastic way to acquaint your new puppy with other local dogs is by visiting puppy playgrounds close to your area. It’s important to help your new puppy develop strong social capabilities, so that when they have to opportunity to play with other breeds, they aren’t intimidated or frightened by the other dogs. By allowing your pet to grow socially, you’re benefiting them by A TON because it opens up so many doors of opportunities for them.
A few other ideas of activities that could help your dog develop skills (or activities that you could do in result of your puppy already having good social skills) include obedience classes, group dog walking activities, doggy play dates, taking your puppy on a shopping spree to pet friendly stores, the list goes on. If you generally aren’t willing to help your dog maintain this important characteristic, just remember that by keeping them kenneled up and shut out from the world, you would be depriving them of so much. So, keep that in mind the next time you don’t “feel like” doing any social activities with your puppy.
23 – How to travel comfortably with your puppy
How to train a puppy to sit still in a car, or remain calm under all of the commotion, isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. However, there are ways to reduce the stress of traveling with your new puppy. By bringing a small bag of treats with you in the car to reward your puppy for good car etiquette, or packing some toys or activities for them to focus on, you’ll be able to take their mind off of being frightened while traveling in the car.
Some dogs just dislike the fact of being alone, or in a kennel, so if it’s okay with the owner don’t be afraid to pull the puppy out of their carrier once everyone is situated in the car and you’re well on your way. The nerves of traveling may upset your puppy’s tummy also, so be sure to pack extra potty bags and a leash just in case you need to stop to let them out at an inconvenient time. Puppies also enjoy sleeping on car rides, so if you happen to bring their dog bed and maybe even a blanket, they’ll probably curl up and sleep soundly for the duration (or most of) the trip.
A Bonus Step: How to effectively discipline your puppy
There is a fine line between disciplining your puppy, and scaring them into never trusting you again. You don’t want to take the harsh route every time because there are alternatives to teaching your dog right from wrong. For some reason, if your puppy displays behavior that you don’t approve of, before you start yelling at the top of your lungs, tell yourself to remain calm. Puppies can be mischievous at times, they can’t help it, they’re only puppies. But, you can correct the behavior so that they grow out of those awful habits.
You should start off by teaching your puppy the concept of the word “no.” If they understand that “no” is associated with the wrong behavior, they will know later on that when you say that command, you aren’t impressed with their actions, and hopefully will learn to correct the behavior themselves. A good example of this is for puppies who often enjoy jumping up onto furniture, where they aren’t allowed. If you lift them up carefully, place them on the ground, and say “no,” eventually they will understand that they are not allowed to be on the furniture anymore.
Everything You Need to Know
A major key to success when it comes to puppy training or how to train a puppy, and virgin puppy trainers, is not to solely focus on the training material itself, but the concepts that correlate with positively training as well. For instance, a huge concept to practice is patience. Puppy training is a timely task on its own, and without any patience, you are surely not going to make an impact on your puppy’s life. If you are able to practice extravagant patience, dedication, and learning techniques, then you’ll be set on the pathway of success.
If you have no desire to follow through with training plans from the day that you start them, you’ll be wasting a whole lot of your, and your puppy’s, time. Spending quality time with your new puppy is a great way to create a strong, loving bond between the two of you. Granted, it takes work, but what relationship doesn’t? A bond between you and your pet can very well be stronger than one between you and one of your closest friends.