When to start training?

Sat in front of you looking up with huge saucer-like eyes sits your new canine companion looking as innocent as ever, your task now is to transform this cute little puppy in to a well-behaved adult dog. Now the main question new owners ask is, ‘so when do I begin with the training?’ and the simple answer is, ‘now.’

If you don’t begin a training regime with your puppy now you’ll regret it later when you’ve a fully grown adult dog that’s completely disobedient and out of control.

One of your initial jobs to tackle is to ensure your puppy is clean in the house. There are many varying opinions on how to teach your puppy how to be clean but this is the way I’ve trained 2 puppies and an adult, rescue dog and it’s worked for me so far. I’ve never used newspaper as I feel this simply encourages the pup to go to the toilet on the paper. If you’re using a doggy crate for your pup then you’ll find the job a lot easier as most puppies won’t soil where they sleep I say ‘most’ as there are always exceptions.

Puppies will generally want to relieve themselves after they’ve played, eaten or slept. These are the vital times for you to scoop your puppy up and place him/her outside, now point to the ground and repeat a word over and over until your pup ‘performs’. When they do relieve themselves praise them like crazy, even if you feel a fool prancing around clapping, do it as it’s essential your puppy knows he/she has done the correct thing and that you’re delighted. Prior to saying your word, I chose the word ‘tinkle’, say your puppy’s name so for example, ‘Mylo tinkle’ this then establishes your puppy’s name by repeating it with a command.

If you make it through puppyhood with no accidents in the house then it’ll be a miracle, just try and learn the signs that your pup will give you as an indication of wanting to go out. Most will circle on a spot and sniff at the ground or become extremely fidgety; some might even rush to the door to go out. If you’re using a crate and you shut the door at night remember the first thing to do in the morning is to scoop your pup from the crate and pop him/her outside.

Working alongside the housetraining you can also teach simple commands such as sit, stand, wait and come. Always keep all training sessions short and happy because this way your pup will always maintain a happy memory of their training. Use some puppy friendly treats and a favourite toy if it’ll help with their learning process, you’ll soon learn that pups/dogs usually work to one of two items toys or treats but you’ll find that some will work equally to both. Use the item to keep your puppy’s attention and focus during their training, and ensure that when they’ve done well you always reward them by allowing them to eat the treat or play with the toy. Training is the perfect chance for you to bond and to have fun together, so enjoy!

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