top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureFiona Alder

MY TOP 10 PUPPY TRAINING TIPS

Updated: Mar 5

Training your new puppy can be overwhelming with all the different advice out there. To help get you on the right track, I've put together my top puppy training tips on what you should be thinking about to help you train a happy, healthy, confident dog.


PUPPY TRAINING TOP TIPS

1 - HAVE A PLAN

Just like bringing up a child, successfully raising a puppy needs lots of planning. It's important to think about the layout of your home and garden and any changes you need to make, where the puppy will toilet, what he/she shouldn't have access to and how to prevent it, and what will be your puppy's daily routine, where will they sleep, what diet will you feed them, how will you bring your puppy home from the breeders.

Flexibility is important but having a basic idea of how your puppy will fit into your life and how you will go about socialisation and training before they arrive will help set you up for greater success!


2 - MANAGE YOUR PUPPY'S ENVIRONMENT

One of the most important and often overlooked preparations before your puppy comes home is to manage where your puppy can and can't go in the home & garden. Baby gates and puppy pens are invaluable at stopping your puppy from roaming around the home and chewing on inappropriate things. Puppies need to be kept in a safe & secure area when they are young to avoid them making bad choices. Everything is a potential chew toy or toilet area, controlling your puppy's access to things when they are young will teach good habits and allow them to have greater access to things when they are older.


3 - GIVE YOUR PUPPY THE BEST DIET YOU CAN AFFORD

Diet and nutrition are extremely important, not only for the health of your puppy but also for his/her behaviour. Only buy food with the meat content listed e.g. Chicken, Salmon, or beef. Avoid any brands that only state meat & animal derivatives or meat meal, these are low-quality foods and can contribute to hyper behaviour (it's similar to living on a diet of junk food). All puppies are different, some will struggle with particular foods, if your puppy is reluctant to eat try something different not all dogs love dry kibble or raw or wet food. When changing to a new food always do it slowly (over 7 days) mixing with the old food and gradually increasing the quantity of the new food, this will avoid any stomach upsets. Some foods are very high in protein which can cause hyperactivity, if your puppy can't settle try a different brand with a lower protein mix.


4 - RESEARCH BREED SPECIFIC TRAINING NEEDS

All dogs are individual so there are always exceptions amongst breeds e.g. a collie who doesn't like to herd or a working cocker spaniel that just wants to relax all day, but general breed characteristics will help you determine what are the needs of your dog and how to satisfy them. If these aren't met your puppy will find his/her own way of performing them. Terriers love to chase, so playing games will help satisfy this rather than leaving them to chase the wildlife in the park, Hounds love to follow a scent so playing scent games is a must. Use these as high-value training rewards!


5 - START SOCIALISATION (EXPOSURE) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

The time frame for easy socialisation (exposure) is short, and getting your puppy out and about is one of the most important things you can do when you bring your puppy home, don't wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated or it may be too late! Before a puppy is fully vaccinated it is important that they don't go on the ground to avoid any potential infections, but you can carry your puppy or use a bag or puppy pram to get your puppy exposed to daily life. Before the age of 12 weeks, a puppy will accept new experiences, exposing him/her to people, noises, and other animals as early as possible will help your puppy be confident around these when they are older. Make all new experiences positive by feeding your puppy treats.


6 - FIND OUT WHAT SOCIALISATION YOUR BREEDER CAN/WILL DO

Breeders can help give you a big head start on socialisation and training before your puppy comes home. Talk to your breeder about their socialisation plans. Will they expose your puppy to household noises e.g. the hoover, washing machine, or hairdryer? Can they get your puppy used to the car (other than going to the vets!)? Can they get your puppy used to being handled? Will the puppies be in a crate? Will they be toilet trained? These are all things a breeder can easily give you a head start with before your puppy arrives in their new home.


7 - DO LOTS OF HANDLING TRAINING

Getting your puppy used to being handled will help make vet and groomer visits far less stressful. Most puppies love being stroked but when it comes to firmer handling such as a gentle squeeze of the paws, lifting up their tail or looking in their ears or mouth, most puppies will find this very unpleasant. Short, daily training sessions can easily avoid any discomfort by pairing gentle touch with a treat. Work on the areas that groomers and vets will touch (mouth, ears, tail, paws) with short handling while feeding a treat, slowly building up the time. This can help turn something unpleasant into something positive!


8 - GET YOUR PUPPY USED TO BEING ALONE

Dogs are social animals so they prefer to have company in the home. Getting your puppy ready to be home alone and happy is something you need to train from an early age. Start with short periods with your puppy in the same room but behind a barrier - use special chews or food dispensing toys to keep your puppy busy so he/she is not focused on the separation. Build up to short periods alone so they learn that it's not scary and you always come back. Make this part of your puppy's daily routine so they get used to it early on.


9 - ENGAGE YOUR PUPPY'S NOSE BEFORE YOU ENGAGE THEIR LEGS

Exercise should be limited while your puppy is young and has growing bones. Too much impact on those joints before the growth plate has closed can lead to knee or hip issues in later life and early on set of arthritis. Long walks or lots of ball throwing is not the way to tire out your puppy, in fact, this can have the opposite effect and make your puppy even more hyper with all that adrenaline flying around! Engage his/her nose and play scent games such as find it or hide treats in puzzle toys. Engaging your dog's brain and using his/her nose will be far more tiring and help settle them down for some much need sleep.


10- DON'T OVERWHELM YOUR PUPPY

Make all new experiences positive by feeding your puppy treats and make sure you don't overwhelm your puppy with too much e.g. lots of attention on the school run can be scary for a young puppy. You don't have to meet every dog or person in the park, we want our dogs to be confident and friendly but introducing them to every dog can be too much. Have a 1 in 3 rule to avoid too much exposure - for every 3 dogs you meet say a quick hello to one (3 seconds is fine), walk past the second and allow your puppy to play with the third. This way your puppy will learn that he/she doesn't have to interact with every dog. Learn the signals your dog is giving you when they are uncomfortable in a situation. Lili Chin's Doggie Language book is a great place to start: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doggie-Language-Lovers-Understanding-Friend/dp/1787837017



Find out about my training services here

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios


bottom of page