When bringing your puppy home for the first time, the first thing on your mind is likely taking endless cute photos and snuggling them all day long. However, training your new dog should be one of the new puppy tasks that’s at the top of your list. So, once you’ve filled your phone with captured cuteness, you should get down to business before any bad habits are formed. You can start off on the right foot, or paw, by reading over our previous blog about training tips and following some of the 10 tricks we have compiled for training your new puppy!
1. DECIDE ON THE RULES OF THE HOUSE
Before you decide whether or not to get a new pet, or even just before you have your new puppy come home, it is important to have rules set for the things that they can and cannot do in your home. Are they allowed on the couch? Will they be able to sleep in your bed with you? Setting down these foundations will help to keep standards in place for everyone in the home once your perfect little pup is running around. Iams has a great checklist for things to do before you bring your new friend home.
2. ALLOW YOUR DOG TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOU
It’s cuddle time! Get started by introducing your furry friend to the family or members of the household. The process of your puppy getting comfortable with you can vary depending on whether or not your pet has lived in another home. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to getting them comfortable. Give your pet their space and let them figure out the lay of the land themselves to begin. We’ve found that Cesar’s Way has some great tips on how to get your dog to trust you!
3. SET UP A PERSONAL SPACE FOR YOUR PUPPY
Just like we need our own space to relax and calm down, so do puppies. Making sure that your little pup has a space of their own can be vital in having them feel safe in their new home and loved in your care. Having their own space can also be helpful in house training them. Just don’t forget to give those good dogs a reward when they’ve remained quiet or relaxed in their space. Positive reinforcement is everything. Lucky for you, we’re here to share that we’ve found the perfect cozy bed for any of your new puppies at LuckyPaw.com. Be sure to check it out!
4. (PAW)SITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Think back to when you were growing up and your parents were trying to teach you about a specific topic in particular, and try to remember how it felt to get negative feedback as well positive reinforcement. Now, apply those feelings to how you plan to react to your innocent pup while training them. Harsh reactions to your pet may make them more aggressive or prone to bad behaviors. One of the greatest tips that we can offer is to reinforce the positive things that they do. Using this technique will help to make your puppy more willing to do the things you’re wanting them to do.
5. DISCOURAGE BAD HABITS IMMEDIATELY
At the beginning of your new pet owner journey, your puppy will very likely test your limits which is why it can be super beneficial to discourage these bad behaviors immediately once they happen. Don't be harsh, however, because you don’t want to scare them right off the bat. When your puppy goes to jump on you or another person, for example, turning your back on them to not give this behavior attention should discourage the behavior. The Dogington Post (we love the name!) has a great article on 5 common bad dog habits and how to break them.
6. SOCIALIZE YOUR PUPPY
Just like humans, your puppy will need a bit of socialization to help integrate them into daily life where they can come in contact with new people, places and experiences. By introducing them to these situations early on, they can grow into becoming better adjusted dogs. When your puppy learns to socialize, they in turn may have less behavioral issues such as barking when they meet other people or dogs. There are many more benefits of socializing your dog, which can be found on Pawcastle’s article on 7 reasons why dog socialization is important.
7. TRAIN ON YOUR DOGS TIME
Our wonderful puppies and pets live in the moment and that often means that they can forget what they’ve done only moments after they've done it. What training on your dog's time means is that once you notice your pup doing something wrong, it’s important to immediately use your training technique of choice to ensure that they know exactly what it is they’re in trouble for or not supposed to be doing. You can also catch them in the act of doing good things and reward them accordingly. The Original Dog Whisperer’s blog has some great tips on how to capture the behaviors that your dog spontaneously performs throughout the day for better training.
8. TEACH BASIC COMMANDS FIRST
Barking commands at your dog without training them won’t do anything but possibly get that cute puppy head tilt of confusion. By setting focus on basic training commands from the very beginning like sit, stay, and come, you can provide them with essential commands for structure and rules in your home and/or other locations in which you bring your puppy along. Once your new pup gets these basic yet very important commands down, it can become much easier to train them on more complex tasks which in the end will benefit both you and your dog as they grow into an adulthood.
9. CONSISTENT REPETITION
Repeating a command over and over again, teaching them daily how to act out a command is a great trick for training your new puppy. Dog’s don't learn as quickly as we humans do, so be sure to be patient with them but stay diligent and repetitious each time you want them to do something specific. For them, the experience of doing a command several times will help to reinforce it until it becomes an automatic behavior. There are 5 basic puppy commands that they should begin to learn with use of this technique.
10. ALWAYS END TRAINING WITH A REWARD
At the end of each training, you should always reward all of the hard work that your furry family member put in to learn new commands and tricks. We believe that all of their hard work deserves a Bonne et Filou Macaroon in your pups favorite flavor. If you don’t know which flavor they might wag their tail extra hard for, you can buy a variety pack that will cover all of our delicious flavor profiles. This reward will surely have them grateful for the reward with a sloppy kiss on the cheek and ready for their next training session with a wagging tail.