Training your puppy is probably the most important part of owning a dog. Most dog owners complain about unwanted behaviors in their dogs due to no training when the dog was or is a puppy. You should start puppy training immediately you get him home. Well, the truth is, whether you adopted him from someone or even a shelter, he will come with certain undesirable habits. Furthermore, you assume the role of his parent since he has no other dogs to learn from.
In this article, we are going to look at how to train a new puppy as well as the challenges you are likely to face during this process.
Why should I train my new puppy?
This is the question you should be able to answer prior to getting your new pup. The thing is, puppies are all wild at first, despite being raised in domestication. Therefore, we are responsible for correcting any behavioral issues that he might be facing. Also, if you are a new dog owner, you probably have no idea how to go about training. Let us first outline some of the reasons why you should spend some time training your new pup:
To set him up for future
When I say this, you might think that I am talking about a child. Well, guess what? The way your pup will grow up determines the way he will behave in the future. A good example is when you get a new puppy who loves jumping at people. As much as this is his way of expressing love and affection, it may cause problems in the near future. Can you imagine a 100-pound dog jumping at you? This is pretty scary. It also means that he was not trained on how to stop jumping like a puppy.
The above example is a good case study when you are looking at why you should train your puppy. Of course, you want a well-behaved dog in the wrong run. As I had mentioned earlier, you are responsible for your puppy’s behavior even as he transforms into adulthood. Therefore, puppy training should be taken seriously.
To enhance Socialization
Once again, puppy training should start at a very early age. You will be lucky if you adopt a pup that has undergone training in the previous household. However, if not, you should actually start now. When you train a new puppy, concentrate on socialization skills.
There are actually more important than obeying your commands instead. I mean, domestication requires a pup to have good socialization skills in order for us to live in harmony. Nevertheless, this is not always the case. Puppies are still wild with animalistic instincts when they are not well trained.
Socialization is important because the puppy learns how to behave with the human species. For instance, when a puppy sees another, it is only natural to want to greet them. They will greet each other by rubbing each other’s noses.
If you have not trained your puppy how to greet you, he will want to do the same with you as well as your guests. Therefore, you do have a responsibility to teach him alternative forms of greetings.
Good socialization skills are necessary when you are setting him up for adulthood. This will include training him to not bite as well as be gentle when playing.
To eliminate future aggression
If there is anything ugly about a dog is aggressive. When we adopt a puppy, it is unlikely to spot the signs of aggression. I mean his jaws are not even strong enough to hurt you. It is all fun and games until he is a big dog with aggression issues.
This will make it difficult for you and also your family members to keep living with him. There is no way you are going to be comfortable living with your dog under the same roof knowing very well that he could possibly hurt you.
We emphasize on training new puppies because they will remember these training forever. Puppies are way easier to train that already developed dogs. Therefore, the first weeks are crucial when it comes to puppy training. Let him learn the acceptable as well as unacceptable behaviors at a young age. This will definitely help you prevent aggression in the near future.
To enhance obedience
Mankind behavior is quite different from that of the puppy. As mentioned above, it is easier and more effective when you train a puppy at a young age rather than an adult dog. Well, if you are going to live together, then you must come up with a common language that either of you understands. It is important to ensure that your puppy knows that you are the dominant here.
Therefore, in order to train a new puppy should help you enhance obedience. This is why we teach commands to our puppies. Not only will this impact the entire dog behavior but also how you relate with him in the future.
Essential Training for puppy
When you embark on a journey to train a new pup, then you must, first of all, decide what you want him to do. The whole purpose of training a puppy is to reinforce good behavior. There are different types of puppy training depending on exactly how you want him to behave. Below, we are going to outline 10 essential puppy training you should give priority to.
‘Look at me’ command
This is among the topmost important training you will have to teach your dog. Well, understand that we do not have a similar language to our dogs. They do not understand English. However, through years of domestication and research, we can be able to teach our dogs some commands in English. Well, your pup is most definitely not going to respond but he will understand.
The goal of the ‘look at me’ command is to have your dog maintain eye contact with you. It is, in fact, the first training you should get him to learn. This is because you will have to get his attention first before you can be able to reinforce any other form of training.
To be able to reinforce this training, you are going to use his favorite treat. Ensure that he has already seen it so that he will have to follow it with his eyes. Bring it all the way to your forehead then call his name until he looks at you and when he does use a clicker and offer him a treat.
However, this is not exactly as easy as it sounds. It is going to take some time before your dog can actually understand the words that you are saying. Therefore, use playtime to reinforce this type of training.
Reinforcing the ‘look at me’ training
In order to reinforce the ‘look at me’ training, you will have to use a few tricks. This is because your dog needs to learn to look at you even without the treat. For instance, when you are training your puppy, have your dog sit in front of you.
Then have a treat in your hand and put your hand out to the side. Of course, he is going to focus on the treat. But the whole point of this is to get his attention from the treat. Instruct him to look at you and only after he does so can you offer him the treat.
Alternatively, you can have your dog on a leash when you are training him. Then throw a treat just a short distance away from where you are standing with him. He is going to want to get it but you should instruct him to look at you instead. Do not release him until he obeys the command.
This is not going to be exactly easy for you to get him to obey. Therefore, you should practice this as many times as possible. However, a new puppy will definitely grasp this training faster.
The ‘sit’ command is also quite necessary when you are looking to have a well-behaved puppy. In fact, it should be among the first training as you will be able to control him when he is settled. It should not be difficult to have a dog learn how to sit down.
Once again, you will have to use a clicker and also tiny bits of dog treats. Ensure the treats are nutritional and appealing to your puppy. Teach him to get to sit down properly. This means that his bottom should be firmly planted on the ground.
Ensure you have his attention and make him smell the treat but not bite it. Move your hand to the back of his head. Well, at this point, your puppy will raise his head way up but ensure that he does not reach the treat. At this point, most dogs will sit in order to try and get to the treat. As soon as he gets into this position, click the clicker in order to appreciate him. You can alternatively say ‘yes’ or praise him for his good effort.
Reinforcing the ‘sit’ command
Always use the word sit when you want him in that position. During this time, you should already have a treat in your hand. Place it a little high so that he will not be able to reach it even when he jumps. When he settles down, bring the treat closer to his face and instruct him to stay in the exact position you want him in. Only then should you offer the treat to him.
Always call him by his name when you want to get his attention. His name should be followed by the command you want him to obey. Spare a few minutes every day in order to reinforce this training. This way, your puppy is definitely going to remember every time you command him.
Training your dog the heel command is important for when you are walking him. Even though we emphasize on putting out pups on a leash during walks, it is important for him to learn how to heal. This way, you will have him walk close to you as opposed to having to pull the leash in order for him to follow you.
It is advisable to teach the sit command before you go on to train him to heel. The main goal of this training is to teach him self-control. As with other forms of training that we have discussed above, ensure that you have plenty of treats in your hand. Training a new puppy will have to be persistent and also consistent.
If at all you are training him to heel without a leash on him, ensure that you are in a fence or safe place. You can, however, train your new puppy how to heel during walks, but when he is on a leash. It is advisable to start this training in your home where there are fewer distractions as compared to outdoors or the park.
Reinforcing ‘heel’ command
As we mentioned above, it is important that you have as many treats as possible. This way, you can be able to reward your dog as well as encourage him to obey to your training. Have him sit down before you instruct him to heel. Once you say the word ‘heel’ take a few steps from where he is.
Your new puppy is going to follow your lead when you walk. However, this is going to take you more than just one try. Therefore, only do a few steps from him until he agrees to follow. During this time, you will also have to use many treats to encourage your puppy.
However, once he starts following the command, limit the treats you offer him. For instance, increase the number of steps you take before giving him a treat. After he is already used to walking with you, you can go ahead and get him to walk on the outside.
Get him on a leash and carry a few treats in your hand and walk him in the neighborhood. You can alternatively walk him in the park in order to provide the necessary distraction. This way, he is going to get used to heel and you will no longer have issues with your pup getting distracted during walks.
Having a dog who won’t wait for your commands can be frustrating. Therefore there is a need for you to train a new puppy how to wait. It does not matter what activity you will take part in but he has to know that you are in charge.
You can use this command to stamp authority to your dog in order to show dominance. For instance, when you are feeding him, your puppy should always wait until you serve him. However, without proper training, puppies will be generally jumpy.
When you are looking to train your new puppy to wait, you do not have to separately train him. Instead, you should always tell him to wait every time you are going outside.
For instance, if you are about to go for a walk with him, open the door and tell him to wait. You should always lead the way while he follows. Once again, this is going to take some time and so you should remain persistent and consistent with the training.
Reinforcing the ‘wait’ command
Well, as mentioned above, it is not going to be smooth during the first few tries. In fact, you will find it difficult to make your dog wait. However, you can reinforce this command by opening the door just a little bit. Tell your dog to wait and close the door if he tries to get out. Do this repeatedly to ensure that your pup starts to hesitate when you open the door.
You can use a clicker or praise him every time he hesitates to get out. This way, your dog will learn what you mean whenever you tell him to wait up. Training your new pup how to wait should not take you more than just a few days. However, do not stop using the word ‘wait’ when you are feeding him, about to go out with him. This should keep the training as fresh as possible in his head.
Well, you will need to get your dog’s attention and also have him come to you when called. We train new puppies so that we can be able to communicate with them effectively. Assuming that he already knows his name, it is time to introduce the ‘come’ command.
This command will also allow you to have your puppy off the leash. I mean, no one likes having their puppy on a leash at all times. The ‘come’ command will come in handy when you want to get him to stop certain habits.
For instance, if your pup is chasing after a rodent or even squirrel, you should call him to come to you instead. This is good training to stop quite a number of unwanted behaviors that he will engage in as he develops.
However, during the first few tries, you will have him on a leash. This way you can pull him towards you whenever you instruct him to come to you. For instance, call his name and guide him to you using the leash. Now, in order to get him to learn this command, you are definitely going to repeat this process a few times a day. We encourage you to spare a few minutes every day to train your new pup.
Reinforcing ‘come’ command
You will have to create a positive association with the command. Dogs engage in certain behaviors with the intention of getting the desired outcome. For instance, when he is chasing the squirrel in the yard or at the park, he is excited about it. It arouses his animalistic instincts. He is doing so for his own entertainment or even to get your attention.
However, when you want to get him to come to you, you have to offer something better than chasing the squirrel. This is why you should always have a few treats with you during training. When your puppy comes towards you after you instruct him to, reward him. This is a positive association with behavior. You will have to repeat this a few times each day in order for him to fully get it.
‘Leave it’ command
If at all you have handles a puppy before, you understand that they engage in strange behaviors as they develop. However, this is nothing strange as it is how they learn how the world works. However, this does not mean that it is okay.
A good example is when he is eating non-food items like grass or even stones. In order to curb this behavior, you have to teach him this command.
Even though it is not exactly the easiest command to train, it is a necessary one. Once again, get a few treats that will help you reinforce this kind of training. Start by having the treat on the ground. Of course, he is going to sniff it but does not let him take it.
Instead, step on it lightly so that he can smell it but not reach it. Well, this is one of those training that is going to take some time before he gets it. Chances are high that your dog is going to lick your shoe in efforts to retrieve the treat.
However, tell him to ‘leave it’ repeatedly. Once he gets bored, he is going to want to walk away. Only then can you praise him or simply say ‘yes’. This way, you are creating a positive association when he leaves the treat alone.
The second step should involve you dropping the treat on the floor, a few inches from when he is. Whenever he wants to reach out to pick it up, tell him to leave it. If he obeys your command, then you can offer him a treat from your hand.
Reinforcing the ‘leave it’ command
The truth is, training a new puppy requires you to have immense patience. He is going to try to take the treat a few times before he understands what leave it means. This is why you should ensure that he is on a leash during the first few times. If he continues to get the treat, repeat from the top.
Start by putting the treat under your shoe once again. When he starts obeying this command at this level, you can now throw the treat further away and a bit faster than usual. When he runs to get the treat, tell him to ‘leave it’. The goal is to reinforce the command and therefore, only reward him when he obeys.
How to potty train your new puppy
Potty training is a huge part of your puppy’s house training. Once you adopt a new puppy, you are obligated to housetrain him in order to avoid inconveniences. No one likes a puppy who soils the house. In fact, house soiling has been one of the top reasons why pet parents surrender their puppies to shelter. However, there is no need to do that when you can teach him the correct places to eliminate.
There are several methods in which you can be able to encourage your puppy to eliminate correctly. They may include crate training and paper training. Let us quickly review these methods:
Crate Training (See crate prices on Amazon)
This is the top-ranking method of house training a puppy. When you get a new pup, he is most probably going to be stressed and feel out of place. I mean, your house is way too big for him and so he will choose where to eliminate. This can lead to a very disappointing habit of house soiling.
The idea of a crate is not always appealing at first. However, it is a necessary one when you are looking to potty train your dog. This is because dogs are generally denning animals, which means they need a place to feel safe as well as provide them with much-needed privacy.
Therefore, get the right kind of puppy crate immediately when you get a new puppy. This means that the crate should be of the right size so that he will be able to stand, lie down and stretch from there. After all, you do not want your puppy trying to escape home when you are away. However, ensure that it is not so big to actually encourage him to eliminate it.
Watch out for your puppy trying to signal you when he needs to pee or poop. He will whine or even scratch. At this point, do not dare delay releasing him from the crate and take him outside. If he happens to soil the house accidentally, do not at any point consider punishing him. Offer him a treat whenever he gets it all right.
Paper Training a puppy
This method of potty training is not always advisable. However, in some cases, this is the best option you have. However, you will have to incorporate a bed or a crate. We encourage that you get a safe zone for your new puppy. Not only will it ease the process of training but it will also assist you with reducing stress in your puppy that may result from changing his residence as well as ownership.
Now, in order for you to be able to paper train your new pup, ensure that you place paper pads on his bed. Chances are that your puppy is going to soil all over his bed/crate. You will have to remove the soiled paper pads regularly in order to keep his bed as clean as possible.
The goal of using paper pads is to ensure that your puppy learns to use only the padded areas in his crate. Therefore, as time goes by, remove some of these pads while leaving a few. Monitor your puppy to ensure that he only eliminates on the pads only.
Reduce the number of pads gradually so that you leave one pad. This should be the furthest pad from his bowl and also sleeping place. At this point now, you can be able to introduce the phrase ‘go potty’ to your pup. He needs s to learn that this phrase is associated with eliminating appropriately.
Well, as mentioned earlier, paper training is usually a time-consuming process. Once he has been able to use only one pad, it is time to introduce him to eliminating outside. To do so, take the partially soiled pad in your yard. Note that your puppy has already associated the pads with toileting.
Therefore, you will not have much trouble trying to make him potty outside. At this point, you will be introducing him to multiple training. Do not eliminate the pads in his crate at first. You will have to wait until he is completely confident about using the paper pads on the outside.
Training a new puppy to stop jumping
Adopting a new puppy is all fun and games but you have to be aware of the behavioral issues you might face in the process. One of these undesirable behaviors in puppies involves jumping at people. At first, this will appear cute and harmless.
However, as your puppy develops, it might be dangerous and quite scary for people. Therefore, it is important that you curb this habit at an early age in order to make it all stop.
How exactly do you stop a puppy from jumping at people? Well, there are several ways in which you can be able to curb this habit. You must, however, observe your pup in order to tell why he is jumping. It might be the only way he knows how to greet.
Therefore, you must discourage him by giving him an option. We are going to outline some of the most effective methods that you can use in order to stop your dog from jumping at people.
Get to his level
The one fact about dogs is that they behave the way you want them to. However, before you get to train your new puppy how to greet, you must first understand his nature. When dogs meet each other, their form of socialization is quite different.
They have accustomed to ribbing each other’s faces. And since they cannot reach to your faces, they will try to. This is because once you adopt a puppy, he considers you his family. This is why he is trying to reach your face in order to say hello.
If you want him to stop jumping, you have two options; get down to his level or teach him alternative greetings. Well, before you can teach him a new way of saying hello, you can start by getting down to his level. This will allow him to lick and kiss your face which is his initial way of greeting you.
Teach him alternative greetings
While getting to his level works, there is a chance that he will want to jump at other people. I mean, you cannot be able to tell your guests to do the same. Therefore, your new puppy will need to learn better ways to socialize with two-legged friends.
At this point, you can now introduce an alternative way of saying hello. For instance, teach him to give a handshake. This will involve intensive training but once he gets it, you will have stopped him from jumping up.
To train a dog to shake hands, use playtime to do so. Instruct your dog to sit down before you begin. This is because your puppy will be settled at this position and it will be quite easy to get his attention. Now out you’re your hand out, at the level of your pup’s knee.
He is probably going to lick it or sniff it. However, when he raised his paw to your hand, praise him saying ‘good boy’ or offer him a treat. This is aimed at creating a positive association with shaking hands as opposed to jumping. Once your dog masters the art of shaking hands, tell your guest to always pull their arm out for your dog.
You can also practice this by leaving your house and coming back. Pretend that you are going away then open the door and put your hand out. This should help you train your new puppy to stop jumping.
Carry a toy
You can alternatively get a few toys to train your new puppy. These are important as you will be able to distract him from jumping. For instance, carry toys when you are going to work. Before he gets used to the training, produce a toy when you get home. Of course, he is going to want to jump when you get home. However, a toy or his favorite treat is going to distract him from jumping.
Essential tools to train a new puppy
When you are a new puppy owner, you probably have no idea where to start with the training process. However, you do not need to worry about that as we are going to outline the tools you may need to get. Well, it is advisable to use tools and toys for training as opposed to using your hands. This is because your puppy may also tend to develop the habit of nipping.
Some of the basic tools that you may require to train your new puppy may include:
A Clicker. See Amazon Prices
You will need a clicker to reinforce the desired behavior. For instance, when you are preparing to train your new puppy to stop eating stones, you are probably going to use the ‘leave it’ command. You need a way to let him know when he is getting it right. A clicker is most likely to produce an exciting sound for your dog. Each time he obeys a command, use the clicker to encourage him.
You will need a target stick when you are training your dog basic skills. For instance, when you want to train a new puppy how to heel on a leash. Some of these sticks will actually come with an in-built clicker for easy training. It is an essential tool to make your dog follow whatever you want him to do.
This is actually a must-have when you are set to train a new puppy. Treats provide the most effective method to reinforce any kind of training. We have previously discussed some of the most important commands to teach your puppy. All of those commands are either taught using the treats, or the treatment will help reward the puppy.
However, you should be very keen on the treats you offer your pup. Ensure that these treats are healthy and safe for your puppy. Break them into tiny pieces so that you don’t overfeed him. They should also be nutritious.
When you are training your dog, you should have him on a leash at all times. This will help you control him completely. They vary in length depending on your preference. For instance, you should get a short leash when you are training your pup how to heel.
This way, you can have him walk close to you. You can use a longer leash when you train ‘come’ command to your new puppy. This way, you can always guide hi towards the direction you want him to follow.
Collar and Harness
It is important that you get your dog a collar and harness. Usually, the collar will definitely have a name tag on it. This way, you can always be sure that your pup is safe even when he is getting around on his own. It is also important to have your dog on a collar because it will be easier to clip a leash on him. This way, you can be able to control his movements.
In conclusion, training a new puppy should not be necessarily difficult. If anything, puppies tend to learn a lot quicker than adult dogs. Therefore, spare a few minutes each day to train your pup. We have discussed some of the most important commands to train your new pup. In addition, make it fun for both you and your dog at all times. If you are training him the ‘wait’ command, use it as often as you can.
Dogs are pretty easy and fun to train. It will not take years to have him master the basic skills that we have discussed above. Use playtime as well as during walks to train your puppy in order to instill your desired qualities. Get a few toys for him to play with when you are not at home. You can use playtime to teach him some of these tricks.
Lastly, the above training tips should have your puppy acting the right way within no time. Set 5-10 minutes of your day to remind him of these tricks. The goal is to have a well-behaved puppy at home.