- Consistency – There is nothing more important when it comes to training a puppy than consistency. Whether it’s training commands or boundaries, let your no mean no and you yes mean yes. If you tell your dog “leave it,” “come” or “sit,” say it only once. Repeating the same command will train your dog to tune you out. Rewarding good behavior must also be consistent. If he does what you want, like a trick, command or potty, “mark” that behavior with praise and a treat reward. Timing is everything when giving praise however, it must be immediate so he understands the association.
- Routine – Whether it’s in potty or crate training, discipline or praise, obedience or feeding schedules, consistency is key. For routine procedures like feeing and potty training, develop a schedule and stick to it. Creating a schedule will help your dog assimilate in to your home faster and decrease anxiety. Puppies thrive when they know what to expect from you.
- Potty Training – Potty train on a schedule. Be consistent about when you feed, and take your puppy outside for a potty break immediately after he eats, wakes up from a nap or play time. A two-month-old puppy needs to go out every 2-3 hours, and every additional month in age, add an additional hour. Use a phrase like, “go potty” so your puppy associates the command with going. Never reprimand a puppy for an accident if it already happened, it’s too late to punish. If you catch him in the act, quickly correct him with an “Ah ah,” and pick him up immediately and bring him outside to finish his business.
- Crate Training – The crate is your friend. Having your puppy acclimated to the crate will become a life saver when you need to leave him unattended, travel in a car or immobilize him because of illness or injury. It is important to make the crate a positive and comfortable place for your new dog. Take time every day with positive reinforcement, using praise and treats, when he goes inside with a “kennel” command. Never use the kennel as punishment or “time out.”
- Socialization – Exposing your new puppy to various situations, people and other dogs is crucial in having a well-adjusted dog. Be sure that all interactions your new puppy has are completely controlled. A bad interaction at a young age can make your puppy timid or even aggressive, so be sure that you are familiar with the dogs you choose to introduce your puppy to. If someone approaches your puppy with a dog you do not know, politely tell them your dog is in training and would prefer not to meet. Never take your new puppy to a dog park where you cannot control the environment. He depends completely on you to ensure he is put in safe situations. Before introducing your puppy to other dogs, be sure that your puppy has had his last rounds immunizations (around 12 weeks) to help prevent the spread of disease. We recommend puppy-training classes as a great way to get your puppy started off right!
While you’re here, check out our pet treats and food made from a single source protein; great for training and the life-long health of your pet!