Just brought home a lovely puppy? Congratulations.
Wondering how to train your puppy? You’re in the right place to learn about some crucial puppy training. This guide will go through some very important topics that will make the process of training your puppy a lot smoother.
Below is the table of contents a.ka. all the topics that you’ll learn here. Please feel free to go the section that interests you if you don’t have the time to read the entire thing.
- When to Start Training a Puppy?
- How to House Train a Puppy?
- Obedience Training for Puppies
- Reading Your Puppy’s Body Language
- Get Some Respect
When to Start Training a Puppy?
This question is very common among people who just brought their awesome pup home. The answer is fairly simple. Now! Yes, you can and should start training your puppy from the very instant you bring it home.
Waiting for a particular time to begin the training can negatively impact the puppy’s behavior. Some might say wait for ‘n’ weeks or months before you start training. Though it might be a little easy for you and the puppy, there are chances that it can go wrong.
Depending on the age of the puppy, training can be either easy or difficult for you. For a pup that is just a few weeks old, you will find it a bit hard to train. But it is never too early to start training if you have the patience.
How to House Train a Puppy?
House training a puppy is a long yet rewarding process. This is the first thing your puppy is going to learn apart from eating and eliminating.
A puppy knows very few things. Drinking, eating and eliminating are the majority of them. Since pups have very little holding capacity, they have to eliminate every hour or so depending on their age.
A month-old pup will eliminate once every hour. A two-month pup will eliminate once in every two hours. You get the drift.
Your duty here as the greatest master ever is to train your pup to take care of its eating and outing needs.
House training is mainly achieved by establishing a routine.
You feed the puppy at regular timings and take her/him out to eliminate consistently. Like we mentioned above, it depends on the age of the puppy.
Initially, you have to watch carefully and find out how often your pup wants to go out. From then on, it’s just a matter of setting a routine and following it religiously. Remember, each puppy is different. Some may want to poop immediately after eating, and some may wait up to an hour.
Where should I take my Puppy?
This question has a very simple answer. It depends on your place.
- If you are living in an apartment, then you have the luxury of using your bathroom or a separate area to train the puppy. It might sound weird, but you don’t have much of an option here (and it is completely okay as your puppy is family as well).
- If you are in an independent house and can easily access the outdoor, then the world is waiting for you. It is the easiest place as you can also take your puppy for a walk and get his/her business done.
Remember, younger the puppy worse is the bladder control. So don’t get sad for a couple of accidents. It will happen. Also, don’t resort to shouting or hitting as it is more likely to have a bad response from the puppy in the long term.
Dealing with Accidents
Like we said above, it will happen.
The way you react to these accidents will also play a major role in how you train your puppy. It is very easy to get angry or sad but have some control here.
When you catch your pup peeing or pooping, try interrupting. If he stops the process, then take him to their usual eliminating area and allow him to finish there. Once he is done, give the pup a treat and let him know that he has done something right.
Appreciating pups is a positive reinforcement, and it motivates the pup to repeat the process. In this case, it’ll slowly learn the place to pee or poop.
If they don’t stop even after interruption, then wait for them to finish and make sure you follow the routine and take them out the next time.
Once a pup has urinated in a particular place, there is a good chance that it will urinate in the same place again. So make sure to clean the area nicely and leave no trace of smell.
What about during Sleeping?
When you go to bed, make sure you take your pup out and finish its business. Then take him back to their bed and allow him to sleep. Do this every day. This programs their eliminations and they will also sleep peacefully.
I’m not at Home All the Time…
We get it. It’s impossible to stay at home all the time. But a very young puppy needs constant care and attention. If you can’t devote the time, then you should consider getting a slightly older one that can manage itself.
Since we all love our puppies, let’s talk about dealing with this situation.
The answer to this problem is confinement. Confine your puppy to a place where it has access to its food, water and toys. Since you won’t be there for some time, make sure the pup has everything within its reach.
Eliminating is going to be a bit of a problem here. You can place some papers in his/her confinement and replace it every day. Since this confinement is new to the puppies, they will pee and poop everywhere which is to be expected. Don’t get too worried.
Soon, they will develop the habit to pee or poop on paper which you can use it to your advantage.
Once your pup is old enough, you can leave them in a much larger confinement that allows them to use the toilet or a much smaller pee/poop area. Here you don’t need papers and don’t have to handle all the mess.
The faster you house train your puppy, the easier your life will become when you’re not in home.
There is one question that you’ll be asking right now. How long does it take to house-train a puppy? We would say a few months but, it depends on the owner and how much effort he or she is willing to put.
Puppy Obedience Training
House training puppies is great. But will you be happy with an aggressive, disrespectful pup who knows where to drink, eat and eliminate? I’m guessing you are saying no.
What’s a life of a pup without obedience training? He’ll chew everything he sees. He’ll never listen to your commands. He’ll bark when he sees someone new, and there’s a lot more.
Pretty scary, huh? Come let’s get some obedience training for your puppy.
Reward Your Puppy
Rewards are the best way to get your puppy’s attention. If your puppy does something you say, immediately give a reward and let him know that he is doing it right.
Start with simple commands in the beginning. Sit, stay and off are usually the simplest commands to start with.
Use these commands and help them achieve it. Once they do it successfully, reward them with a treat. Do it again and make sure they understand the command.
You might get carried away when you’re pup is doing fine with its training. But remember to keep these sessions short. Make it interesting and less boring so that the puppy will enjoy the process while learning how to follow commands the right way.
Sometimes, the puppies might misbehave.
For example, you might find your puppy chewing your pillow. Instead of getting angry, you can say ‘off’ and lift your pup and give her toy to chew. Once he/she does it, you can reward him/her with a treat. Repeat the process whenever you find your pup chewing something and let it learn what ‘off’ means.
You can try the same thing with other commands as well. Stay and sit are other basic commands that can help your dog learn to listen from you.
One very important thing is to not become aggressive. Never hit, spank or shout at your puppy for their misbehavior. They are children, and they will learn quickly. If you take up aggressive methods, then the pup will reflect it.
Teaching Table Manners
Not all owners are keen to teach their puppies table manners but, it is essential for the growth of an obedient pup.
Make sure you keep the food and water at one place and never change it. Your pup should know where to go to eat and drink.
A puppy can sometimes become aggressive when eating its food. This is where teaching table manners can be very useful.
When your puppy is having its meal, try to distract it. Throw some toy at it, give a gentle bump on its head and let it know that movements around him/her are not threats.
Try to do something funny and make sure your puppy is calm about it. This is very crucial if you have toddlers in your house. They will not know how to behave with puppies, and you don’t want the puppies to react back in an aggressive way.
If the puppy shows anger while trying these, stop doing it and try it some other time. If he continues to show the same spirit then maybe a vet or a trainer could help you with this.
Reading Your Puppy’s Body Language
Training your puppy is all about communication and puppies talk to us through their body. It is, therefore, important to understand their body language and adjust your training accordingly.
There are numerous resources that talk in great detail about a puppy’s body language. Since we are talking about a pup here, let’s make it easy by understanding some basics.
Puppies emote through their eyes, ears, mouth and also the tail. Each of these body parts can express happiness, submission, and even anger.
Eyes are probably the most expressive features of a puppy. A half-closed eyelid can indicate pleasure. This usually happens when you are giving your pet a gentle rub.
Ears are also good indicators of a puppy’s mood. An erect ear with a leaning body could mean aggression. An erect ear without the leaning part means that the pup is curious, and this is mostly harmless.
If your pup is opening its mouth and gives a grin like reaction, then it is clearly happy. Give him a rub to make him feel even more pleasure. Licking is another way to show that it is in a relaxed mood.
Even someone who doesn’t own a dog knows how expressive a tail can be. And that is true which is why we saved the best for the last.
It is a general consensus that tail wagging is a sign of a friendly dog. But it has more to it. If your pup is wagging its tail fast, then it shows friendliness.
If your puppy is wagging it in a relaxed way, then it is trying to be alert or even angry.
If your puppy has his tail tucked under his belly, then it is a sign that the pup is nervous. A normal relaxed tail indicated the relaxed mood of the pup.
Get Some Respect
Did you know that pups can misbehave if they find their master weak? Though there is no scientific study to prove this, many experts seem to agree with this.
Be a leader and show your pup its way. A pup needs to follow someone and make sure you are that person. Lead the way when you are taking your puppy out. When walking your pup make sure to go in front and let the pup follow you.
These are small things but will make the puppy listen to you more as it will start giving you some respect.
Another important thing is not becoming aggressive just to show leadership. Your puppy needs a leader, not a ring master.
Well, that’s all we have for now. We hope you enjoyed these puppy training tips.
Training is a must for all puppies, but you must remember that love and nutritious food will also help your little guy. Never forget an appointment with your vet. Take care of your puppies for they need you the most.
Let us know what you think. How old is your pup? How is the training going? We would love to hear from you. Use the comment section and share your journey with us.
Featured photo credit: mdorottya/depositphotos