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How to Train Your Puppy
211 Tips For Successful Puppy Training
Puppy Training Basics
Puppy Training Schedule
Puppy Training Effective Techniques
Puppy Training Youtube Video Guides
Command, Lure & Reward
At what age to start Training new Puppy?
Puppy Training Guides & Methods
Clicker Puppy Training
How to Teach Puppy Name
Puppy Training Hacks
Crate Puppy Training
Puppy Training Systems
Advanced Puppy Training
How to Socialize a Puppy
Puppy Obedience Training
Puppy Toilet Training
Puppy Training Common Mistakes
Socializing a Puppy
Training Puppy Classes & Kindergarten
Puppy training near me
Puppy Training Guide Pdf
Puppy Training Biting
Puppy Training Toilet
Puppy Training Guide
Puppy Training Pads
Potty Training Puppy
Puppy Training Tips


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Dog Training with your new puppy is as important as giving it love and attention. If you neglect training and caring for your puppy correctly, that newfound joy in your relationship can sour quickly. Once your new puppy is home, a lot in your life will change as you adjust life at home to the newest addition to your family.


It is just like with kids: giving them all the love and freedom is essential. But without rules and a good education on your dog psychology, they ultimately end up being more hurt than cared for. Learning how to care for your puppy's health and well-being properly and train them for behaving suitably in different situations will help your pup live a happy and fulfilling life.


Puppy training tips also help live well with other people and pets, understand others, know their boundaries while growing in confidence. And equally importantly, training is something you both can fall back on in times of need โ€“ emergencies and troubling situations, when conditioned responses kick in to help tide things over.

What is the first thing you should train your puppy?

Patience - training takes time and needs a lot of patience on your part.

Repetition - it can only be conditioned into your dog through repetition, no matter how quick a learner your pup is.

Positive Feedback - it is crucial to training. Punishment is necessary, of course, but if you rely on it too much, it always undoes the progress you have already made.


1. Your Puppy Loves You No Matter What
This is one of the first things you should understand about your dog. However, it all depends on the dog, most notably the history whether they come from a traumatic experience where you have to gain their trust or are merely comfortable around you. Furthermore, extra precautionary measures are still advised. It is challenging to raise a problematic dog than a loving one purposely. Dogs innately love those who care for them. Why is that important?

Training your dog to become aggressive or caring starts when your dog is just a puppy, and if you are not careful, it could lead to issues of obedience, anxiety, and even aggression as they grow up. How to train a puppy in such a situation can be a real uphill task. Simple things like making sure your puppy is by your side or behind you and not in front of you, help.

2. Keep Your Commands Short So Your Puppy Grasps Them
Dogs are smart - everyone knows that. But that does not mean your puppy can process whole sentences as commands, or discern between them if all of them are wordy. That is asking too much. Your puppy will usually process only the first word or two of what you are saying, and focus on your tone to gauge your mood. So keep them short and simple: Sit, Stay, Fetch, Go Potty, Good Boy and try to keep an appropriate tone for each.

3. Do not Just Rely on Your Voice Alone
Your puppy takes in a lot more than you think - visual cues such as gestures, body language, and scent. So just using verbal commands in training is a bit inefficient. Think about it. How much faster will your puppy understand what you want him to do when you, say mix in gestures, facial expressions, and even tasty smelling treats while giving commands? For instance, teaching him to "Follow" by leading his nose - first by your treat-holding hand is more effective than struggling with a leash without the treats.

4. Projecting a Calm, Assertive Manner
As mentioned earlier, words are not key to getting through to your puppy. When talking to him or issuing commands, it is not so much what you say but how you say it. When they say a dog can "smell fear," they are not altogether wrong. A dog can read your mood and intent from what you are projecting through your "energy." Tone and body language count for much more with dogs, and the best way to approach training is to exude a calm assertiveness. It encourages trust and obedience. Extremes, such as yelling in anger, or going overboard with affection and baby-talk, can be counter-productive.

5. Patience is Crucial While Teaching Correct Behavior
It is important to understand that puppies are clueless about many things we take for granted in everyday behavior. Many new owners tend to forget that their puppy is not a human kid who might know or pick up on good behavior better. Not chewing up random objects, not peeing on the carpet, not barking away at night - these are things they indulge in instinctively, unaware of consequences. Without knowing the rules they must follow living in your home, they can not be expected to understand. And teaching these rules requires patience - plenty of it.

6. Try to Go for Classical Conditioning over Operant Conditioning
Classical Conditioning training techniques uses a dog's natural responses to shape its behavior. In contrast, Operant Conditioning techniques teach dog-specific associations and consequences to things to shape a behavior. These can be obtained through different rewards or punishments. The first technique, Operant Conditioning, is more comfortable to adapt and learn for your puppy, given its instincts come into play. However, some situations and behavioral acts are achieved with the latter. In both situations, multiple factors must be considered, such as reinforcements, intervals, and more. But sticking to Classical Conditioning isn not the only key alone. There are other techniques you can integrate that you think fits best for your puppy.

7. Each Dog is Different, and Thus May Respond Differently to Different Training Methods
Like us people, each dog is unique in its way. They also have different personalities. There can be dominant personalities, and there are those that are anxious for protection. Observe your puppy and try to understand its personality and needs to tailor the best mix of training techniques that suit him.

8. Balance Training Exercises with Plenty of Play Too
While training is an excellent simulation for your puppy, it is also a lot of work in his eyes. Imagine having long stretches of classes without breaks to relax and unwind in between. If you do not allow your puppy to play, run, and exercise in breaks between training, he won't absorb much. The balance between short training sessions and short breaks is vital to get the best out of it all.

9. Using Names Properly
Dogs do not care for names. Call your puppy by their name enough times, and they will associate themselves with that sound, and if you need help here is a quick guide to how to teach a puppy its name. But they won't understand or care about other names or words unless they are taught a specific association for them. It would be best if you never used their name when punishing or disciplining them, as they will come to associate the name with fear and pain.

10. Be Mindful of Your Own Energy and Body Language When You are with Your Dog
Your body language and general demeanor, or "energy," significantly influence your puppy's behavior. If you find your puppy's mood to be off, check your general disposition first and correct any negative "energy" you might have. It may be the answer.

11. Try to Look at Things from Your Puppy's Perspective
Often, owners are puzzled by their dog's stubbornness, mood, or behavior without trying to understand things from his or his point of view. Your puppy maybe a little sad or upset if you have missed his walk a few times in the last few days. He may be restless because he has not got to play due to all the hours of training. Shift your point of view from time to time to understand your puppy better.

12. Give Agility Training a Shot
Those who do not quite know what agility training exactly is, picture one of those doggy circuses or obstacle courses. This doggy Olympics like sport in which all those smart, bundles of energy compete to see who gets everything right and quickest, through the course is known as Agility. It is a brilliant way to teach your puppy exceptional obedience, get him plenty of exercises, and have fun. But as you probably expect, it is not easy. You have to invest a lot of time and energy into agility training. And you will definitely need some guidance if you are starting from scratch, such as that provided by Susan Garrett. Her website has tons of tips, videos, tutorials, and products on how to go about training your dog for agility courses. If you seriously plan to get your puppy into it, you really should check it out.


13. Keep in Mind that A Dog Experiences the World Much Differently from Us Humans
We all know how powerful a dog's nose is. Yet we tend to forget about it a lot of times when dealing with them day to day. Given how different a dog's senses are from ours, it experiences the world in a vastly different manner. It is why dogs sniff around new places, sniff each others' behinds before making eye contact, and sense something coming from a mile off. Even the way they hear and see things is understandably different from us. Keeping that in mind can help you understand many things that flew under the radar earlier, such as why your puppy starts barking or whining in individual sections of your walking route. Please pay attention to how your puppy is sensing things and reacting to them to understand his little world better.

14. Try to Keep Things Interesting for Your Puppy Ever Day
How to train a puppy should not be all about tasks, commands, and lessons in behavior. There is other fun, stimulating ways to teach your puppy useful things and harness his instincts for his good. Playing hunting and seeking games, meeting others at the park, and even seemingly menial things like taking him along with you as you run errands outside help keep his life interesting.

15. Make Sure Everyone in the Family is Involved in Training
This is something crucial but neglected by a surprising number of owners. Not having everyone at home in on your puppy's training can be counterproductive. For instance, if your kids and guests feed your dog off the table, or give him treats and meals at odd times, it can undo much work in training. Make sure everyone is in on the plans and steps in training, so there are no mistakes or misunderstandings.


16. Routine is Everything
Without a regular and consistent routine for your puppy's mealtimes and potty-breaks, training is relatively inefficient. A routine helps shape your puppy's internal clock and his habits in sync with each other. Having a fixed routine helps cut down on accidents and anticipate your puppy's needs much better. Additionally, it also helps both you and your puppy learn more about each other quickly.

17. Schedule Potty Breaks Soon After Mealtimes
Considering how small your puppy's bladder is, having potty breaks 10-15 minutes after meals is usually spot on. Scheduling when they eat will thus help you control their potty-breaks automatically too, over time. That is the power of a routine, again.

18. Meals, Exercise, and Waking Up are Normal Triggers for Puppies to Eliminate
Puppies and dogs in general usually feel the need to eliminate right after eating, drinking, playing and exercising, and waking up from naps. So make sure you take them for a trip accordingly.

19. Be Regular and Consistent with Potty-Break Walks to Quickly Reduce Accidents at Home
Just scheduling walks according to your puppy's routine is not enough unless you are regular with them. Being regular and consistent, at least in the initial weeks of training until the routine sinks in for your puppy is essential. If you miss walks, your puppy is bound to make a mess at home. And every "accident" is a setback in training.

20. Keep a Journal of How to Train a Puppy
This may sound excessive, but recording your puppy's habits and patterns in some journal is a great help in training. You can have ready information when you are drawing up your puppy's schedule and routine. You can also see how his habits are evolving as he grows up, so you can adapt training and schedules accordingly. Lastly, it can be an invaluable reference for your vet in case he ever needs it.

21. Embrace the Den Instinct so Your Puppy is Reluctant to Soil at Home
The "den instinct" refers to a dog's ingrained reluctance to soil its own home, or "den." This is something puppies learn once they are grown enough that their mother does not need to clean them up. And all dogs generally have it. So, use it! Once your puppy realizes your home is his home, too, he would typically not want to eliminate inside. So making his feel at home gradually, in each area of your house, is an excellent way to curb accidents at home.

22. Be Prepared for Night-time Potty Breaks
Given how small puppies' bladders are, they can not be expected to hold it for hours. That is why no matter how you schedule things, a bathroom break at night is unavoidable unless you are prepared to put up with a mess to clean up in the morning. Make sure to set your alarm every few hours even at night, at least until your puppy grows up.

23. Never Punish Your Puppy Unless You have Caught Him in the Act
This is an important one among dog training techniques for housebreaking. As mentioned in this article earlier, dogs, especially puppies, live in the moment. Therefore, punishing your puppy AFTER making a mess, as many owners do, is pointless, and often harmful instead. If you merely show them the mess while shouting and punishing them, they will probably just come to fear their waste and you - nothing more. They won't understand why you are scolding them unless you do so while they are in the act, but then again, they may create the fear of doing the act altogether. The correct approach is to respond while they are in the act with an appropriate amount of scolding in terms of volume and tone. Inducing too much fear may be harmful. Many believe a simple "no" is enough to warn a dog that what they are doing is not appropriate.

24. Repetition is Key: Same Spot, Same Command, Consistent Positive Feedback
Repetition and consistency are the keys to forming a habit. To help speed along with your puppy's housebreaking, do your best to stick to this mantra. Go to the same spot for elimination, give the same command every time he eliminates, and provide them with affection and a treat every time he does it right.

25. The Scent from a Designated Spot at Home or Outside Helps Set the Routine
It would help if you had a designated, fixed spot because the lingering scent from the earlier eliminations helps your puppy come to own the place. Plus, repetition of your command and the whole routine itself forms a concrete habit for your puppy that he eliminates outside at that spot. It is something he will tend to keep doing as he grows up. If for some reason you are not comfortable having your dog running around outside, there also electric fences for dogs that prevent them from running too far. Electric dog fences are safe and only give them a nudge while keeping them close and out of the streets from potential dangers.

26. Use Puppy Training Pads at Home While Potty Training as Well as for Emergencies
Not many dog training tips acknowledge this, but having puppy pads at home while you are housebreaking them can be extremely useful. Here is our quick basic step by step on puppy pad training. and in case you have cats that use pee pads, here is our pee pads for cats. Yes, even cats use puppy pads for their emergences. Good puppy pads can be a life-saver if your puppy keeps creating a mess at home, learning to use a crate, or is alone at home. Their high absorbency, odor-fighting ability, and secure disposal make a lot of difference. So keep a stack at home, especially for emergencies. If you are still having trouble potty training and housebreaking, here is our best guide on how to housebreak a puppy and how to potty train a puppy.



27. If You are Away a Lot, Use These Dog Crate Training Tips to Aid Housebreaking
Remember that every accident or mess is a setback in training. You can not punish your puppy unless you catch him in the act, and if you are away, you clearly can not. Your puppy won't realize the error of making messes when no one's around to punish him. If you have a full-time job, can not be around to maintain training, you can choose to crate your puppy to restrict messes to one spot and reduce cleaning. Training your puppy later, not to mess up the crate, is easier than re training him for random places. Also, in maintaining your puppy's training, you should consider hiring a sitter to see to his needs while you are gone.


28. Pick the Crate Size with Room Enough for the Particular Breed as an Adult
Unless you want to keep changing crates as your puppy grows up, a roomy crate will be comfortable for them even as a fully grown adult by excellent quality. You should also consider what KIND of crate to buy, whether wired, soft-sided, or another - depending on how your puppy might like it. This post by has a handy guide to determine what size by breed is appropriate if you are unsure. Also, if you have a grown dog with your puppy, getting them separate crates is better than having them share.


29. Covering Up a Crate Helps Calm Anxious and Excitable Puppies
Cool How to Train a Puppy Dog Training Tips Alert: A den-like feel to a crate can be really effective to calm a nervy dog. Should you cover a dog crate with a blanket? Yes! The darkness and absence of distractions dampen their nervousness or excitability and make them feel secure too.

30. Try Not to Move the Crate Around Just as You Do not Move Your Bed
Select the right place for the crate and then stick with it as far as possible. Moving the crate around too much will delay your puppy's acclimatization to it as the environment keeps changing. You do not keep changing your bedroom, now, do you? Try to find a balance between a good company with other people in the room and peace for relaxing and sleeping for your puppy when choosing locations.

31. Do not Force Your Puppy into the Crate
Forcing your puppy will only cause trouble in training as your puppy will think of it as a prison. Never use the crate to punish your puppy for avoiding him associating it with negativity. It will only make him miserable each time he uses the crate. A crate is to be a place of safety and security. Keep that in mind, while you train your puppy.

32. The Best Introduction is to Allow Your Puppy to "Discover and Explore" the Crate
The ideal way to introduce the crate is gradual. Let your puppy "discover it." They will slowly explore around inside, sniffing around everywhere, and getting to know it. To help the process along, place the crate in an area he usually hangs around in. You can also place a few treats and favorite toys inside to lure him.

33. Leave the Door Open for the First Few Times
Do not shut your puppy in for the initial few days of training lest he feels imprisoned inside. Leave the door open for them to move in and out freely and give it a safe, accessible feel. You can start closing the door once he starts using the crate on his own regularly.

34. Remember to Use Praise and other Positive Feedback as Your Puppy Starts Using the Crate
Treat her every time he uses the crate for the initial few days, and every now and then later to reinforce the habit. If you want to know more, we have 3 benefits of crate training a puppy article here.


35. Get Rid of Excess Energy Beforehand with Exercise or Play
Useful Dog Training Tips Alert: Wearing out your puppy from exercise or play makes it MUCH easier to keep him in. Try to schedule crate times for right after the play, exercise, and walks as a relaxing session with calming treats.


36. Mealtimes in the Crate Quicken Acceptance
Feeding your puppy their meals inside the crate is another excellent way to make the crate feel like home. Try to place the food near the end of the crate to have him go all the way. If they are hesitant, move the bowl gradually from the opening of the crate.

37. Start Closing the Door Only Once Your Puppy Feels Secure Inside
Do not start closing the door unless your puppy is beginning to feel secure inside the crate. If he feels imprisoned, all the work you have accomplished can be undone in a moment. In this too, proceed cautiously - closing the door halfway initially in your presence and then completely. Please do not leave him with the door closed unless he is comfortable with it in your presence first.

38. Keep it Low-Key
Keep calm and composed both when you are placing your puppy in the crate, and letting him out. Making a fuss will only make crating out to be an unusual or abnormal event. Whenever you praise your puppy for being in the crate do it without fanfare, and briefly. And if you are coming home to let him out of the crate, do not do so immediately. Leave him be for a few moments, and let him out calmly, ignoring any excitement he expresses.

39. Extend Time Inside Only Gradually
Do not crate your puppy for extended durations from the get and go. Again, it will feel like imprisonment to him. Keep the door open, and let him move in and out freely for the first few days until you know he is comfortable. Once you begin closing the door, hang around for a bit near the crate, and leave the room for a few minutes. Useful How to Train a Puppy Tips Alert: Do not open the crate immediately on returning, and wait to indicate that his being inside is normal. Extend the duration you leave him crated alone in the room little by little as he gets used to it. You should also let him have his toys and some treats and water in the crate as he stays in longer.

40. Start Using Your Command for Retiring to the Crate Early
Useful How to Train a Puppy Alert: Having a command to have your dog retire into the crate for a while, or until called upon is handy. It can be really useful when you need your dog out of the way and safe for whatever reasons. It can be visitors, other animals or you leaving the house for a bit. If you intend to train your dog in it, having it learned right from the start is the best way to go about things. Say the chosen command - one or two words at the most every time your puppy enters the crate. And do not forget to give positive feedback too.

41. Try to Stay Home with Your Puppy for the First Few Days
Until your puppy is properly crate trained, try your best not to leave him alone at home. This will avoid him associating the crate with abandonment. If you cannot take time off, consider using a sitter, family member, or friend.

42. If You Do not Have Your Puppy Use the Crate Consistently, Training is Interrupted
Unless you are crating your puppy a few times every day, or at least once daily, crate training is difficult. Crating should be consistent and regular for your puppy to acclimatize quickly. If it is only occasional, then any progress made would be interrupted or even lost.

43. Do not Forget About Your Puppy's Bladder!
For young pups, crating should be accompanied by frequent bathroom breaks. Remember their small bladder? Unless you have an easy to clean model, messes inside can be a pain to clear up. And given her den instinct, your puppy would definitely not want to eliminate in or near her resting spot. Make sure you schedule potty breaks, especially at night.

44. Pick a Quiet Spot if Your Puppy Sleeps in the Crate
If you intend to have your puppy sleep in the crate at night, pick a spot with peace and quiet. You do not want your excitable little puppy constantly woken up by sights and sounds and barking away into the night.

45. Start Leaving the House Only After Your Puppy is Fine Being Crated for an Hour
Do not leave the house with your puppy inside the crate unless he is ok being in for at least 30-60 minutes. In any case, you should not leave your puppy alone beyond his next potty break. Increase the time you leave him in by about an hour after every 1-2 weeks of training if he is fine. Never leave your puppy crated alone for more than 4 hours at a time. Use a sitter or an acquaintance if you have to.



46. Teaching New Tricks and Commands Needs Plenty of Rewards
Since tricks and commands are something that does not really come to a dog naturally, you are going to have to provide plenty of motivation for your puppy to learn them. That is why training in tricks and commands is very rewards-oriented. On the other hand, negative reinforcements - like the excessive punishment-based training in the past - have been found to do much more harm than good. So make sure you reward your puppy with treats and affection with every bit of progress to help reinforce what your pup learned.

47. Different Dogs are Motivated by Different Things - Find the Best For Yours
Like each dog has a different personality, they also have different motivations. And the same reward may motivate two dogs to different degrees, too. Get to know what your puppy loves best - treats, affection, playtime, even what kind of treats or games and use it to best motivate him in training.

48. Find a Peaceful Place Free From Distractions For Training
For the initial few days training your puppy in a single location that is free from distractions that will steal his attention. Remember that tricks and commands do not come naturally to a dog, so you will need his full attention if you are to get anywhere at all in the training. Once your puppy has got the gist of the trick or command and gets it right a few times, you should start varying the location. This is so that he does not get the idea that the trick or command is only to be done at that first spot.

49. Puppies are the Quickest Learners
Do you know how you learned the quickest back when you were a kid? Well, it is the same with dogs. It is best to begin training them when they are still puppies, especially if it is stuff like tricks and commands. This is one of the more obvious dog training techniques. But many owners tend to neglect to be regular with training early on, and then go on to lament how their dogs are not listening or are slow to learn later.

50. Reward Your Puppy Immediately
Since your puppy has a short attention span, reinforcing good behavior โ€“ or in this case progress in training - means immediate feedback. You must let your puppy know right away that he is doing well. So make sure you are prompt with praise and reward whenever your puppy does a trick right or responds well to a command.

51. But Then, Rewarding Too Frequently Can be Counterproductive
This is the flip side of it - reward your puppy too often, and he will get accustomed to it enough to expect it every time. You need to be regular and consistent with rewards, yes. But once your puppy has learned the trick or command, you should gradually tail off on how much you are rewarding him. You do not want a pampered brat on your hands, do you?

52. Go for Basic Commands First Before Progressing to Others
This is another obvious but often ignored one among dog training tips, but establishing the basics first is always the best way. What do we mean by basics in case of tricks and commands? Simple commands like "Sit", "Stay", "Come" and "Heel". Apart from being important generally, once your puppy has these commands, you can use them as a foundation to learn more. Tricks, especially, can be broken down into simpler commands as you are teaching your puppy for the first time. So try to progress in order of difficulty to make training simpler and more effective for both you and your puppy.

53. How to Train a Puppy Using the Clicker Technique to Speed Up Learning
Using a clicker to teach your puppy is a highly effective way to go about training her if he takes to it. A clicker is a small device with metal tongues that make a clicking sound when you press the button on it. You can get a clicker made for training dogs in almost any well-stocked pet store. However, be aware that not all dogs like the sound it makes. So if you find your puppy does not like it even after a few tries, it would be best to try another method least this is counterproductive. Then again, you need not use sound alone as the basis for clicker techniques.

Check out these wonderful innovations the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund suggests alternatives for training hearing-impaired pooches that you can nonetheless apply to your own. How to train a puppy with the clicker technique? The clicker technique uses the clicking as a sort of reward. Since your puppy does not understand what you are saying, you can train her to understand the click as positive feedback. Once you establish this, it can really speed up training and also be used generally to indicate good behavior, like you will find out later.


54. Transition From the Clicker to Commands and even Mere Gestures
The clicker technique uses a clear sound cue for your dog to indicate good behavior or correct response. But if you start using the clicker along with visual cues such as specific gestures and commands, your puppy will learn to do them on cue. To graduate eventually to merely the gesture or command, you have to use them consistently with the clicker initially. Also, make sure you use the same gesture or command each time, or you won't make much progress.

55. The Clicker Technique Can Also Be Used to Reinforce Good Behavior
Here is one more from our bag of handy dog training tips: apart from its use in training new tricks and commands, the clicker technique is convenient in general too. For example, it can be used to reinforce good behavior in your puppy. Once your puppy understands the clicking as a sign of approval from you, you can use the clicker for other instances when your puppy shows good behavior. For example, you are using the clicker when your puppy is sitting quietly or lying down in a guest's presence, or at dinner time.

56. Always Try to End on a Good Note to Reinforce Whatever was Learnt
This comes as an extension of the advice on relying more on positive feedback. Ending a training session on a high, with a repeat of an already mastered track or step, followed by plenty of praise and reward. Ending positively helps reinforce whatever your puppy learned in the session and makes him look forward to more later.

57. Consider Using Some of the Tools Specially Made for Teaching Tricks
The variety of stuff available nowadays for dog owners to help raise and train their dogs boggles the mind. Interactive indestructible dog toys are really becoming popular with dog owners these days. And apart from helping engage a bored dog, some are also useful in training.


58. Understand Your Puppy's Urge to Bite Before Trying to Correct It
Many people do not fully understand why a dog might bite. Owners tend to dismiss it as playfulness or being territorial. But it could well be another reason, understanding which can help you both correct the behavior and help your puppy. Usually, dogs bite for one of five reasons:

The dog is being territorial or possessive - a common reason

A dog's instinct to hunt or chase prey โ€“ like when they chase at vehicles or joggers

The dog is in pain due to a wound or sickness and does not want contact

The dog is afraid and is trying to protect itself

A female dog trying to protect her litter, which may be hidden from sight

Also, puppies tend to get into biting while teething, as we explain in this article how to stop puppy from biting. Once you know why exactly your puppy is engaging in unreasonable biting, you will choose the right method to go about correcting it.

59. Starting Early is Important if Your Puppy is a Habitual Biter
Usually, puppies learn quickly that biting too much and too hard is unacceptable from other dogs in their group. Puppies' mouth, snap and nip each other in play, and whenever they bite too hard or too much, the other let them know immediately. So if your puppy has not corrected her bad biting habits, you must ensure that you take care of it while still a pup. Like we have mentioned earlier, grown dogs take more time to learn and also correct behavior. Especially when it comes to biting out of possessive or territorial behavior, it is crucial to correct it early before it develops into really dangerous aggression. And once your puppy grows up, the biting could get nastier, and even land you both in trouble.

60. Focus on Teaching Commands for Letting Go and Leaving
Obvious dog training tips alert: If your puppy is a bitter, make sure you say the "Leave" or "Let Go" command is one of the first you teach. Additionally, you want to have most of the basics drilled perfectly, especially "Stay" and "Heel" for dealing with hairy situations on walks, etc.

61. Play a Lot More Games that Do not Involve Contact
Let your puppy know that other fun games do not involve biting. Fetch and tug of war are some friendly games that do not require contact with your puppy's teeth. Merely going on a run is also a fun exercise that you can invest in for a biting puppy. However, when playing tug of war or other such games, take care that the aggression does not get out of hand. While running, keep your puppy alongside you and not behind, so there is no "chasing" happening.

62. Punish Your Puppy through Timeouts When He Bites While Playing
Dog training tips to curb biting mostly make your puppy aware that the behavior is unacceptable. You have to teach your puppy that biting is unacceptable, the realization won't come on its own. When it comes to biting during play, take a timeout whenever your puppy starts biting during play. Or even otherwise getting rough with you. Dogs and especially puppies have a strong need for good social bonds. Things like ignoring and isolating them make an impact. So you can show your displeasure by ignoring your puppy or pausing the game for a minute or so. If you need a more in-depth guide see tips here on how to stop a puppy from biting.


63. Whenever Your Puppy Bites Make a High-Pitched Sound Indicating You are Hurt
This is another good one among how to train puppy tips for curbing biting. Making a high-pitched sound mimics the yelping sound puppies and dogs make on getting hurt. The sound usually surprises them and makes them let go. If the yelping alone does not work, combine it with timeouts to make your puppy understand better.

64. Make it Clear That Even Soft Bites Are Unacceptable
For serial biters, especially, any form of biting โ€“ even soft nipping โ€“ must be discouraged and stopped before adulthood. This should be true for any dog and not just puppies who like biting. Even soft biting as a habit can draw some adverse reactions from other people or animals, as the case may be. But more importantly, initially, your puppy won't distinguish much between hard and soft bites. It would be better to lower your tolerance for biting, in general, to reinforce the behavior better.

65. Encourage Interaction with Other Dogs as Much as Possible
Interaction is not a trendy one among dog training tips to stop biting. Owners tend to prevent their biting puppies from interacting with others as far as possible. But as mentioned earlier, puppies normally learn proper biting manners from their mother, siblings, or others in the group. Younger playmates may yelp or ignore them, while older ones may go beyond a sharp nip of their own or a whack across the snout. Either way, socializing is a powerful way to learn and reinforce good behavior. So monitored playtime with others in a dog park, with known friendly dogs, is a constructive way to fix biting. But make sure your puppy is not overwhelmed in social situations, and monitor interactions closely.

66. Use a Bone or Chew Toy to Distract and Redirect Biting
You can use bones and chew toys to both correct biting behavior, and discourage it. Substituting your hands for a bone or toy during play should let your puppy know that he is not allowed to bite hands. And also, many puppies tend to engage in biting or chewing out of pure boredom, especially when they are teething. So handing them a tasty bone, or an interesting toy instead is a good way to wear them out.

67. Apply Taste Deterrents on Your Skin Before Play
This is becoming a popular method for dog training tips to stop puppy biting. Apply a taste deterrent to your hands or other parts your puppy likes nipping at before you play with him. Apply them on your clothes, too, where he likes to bite, else he will just start going for the clothed areas. These can be simple stuff available at home like vinegar or tea tree oil. Make sure to pause play whenever he nips at you so he can get a nice taste. And then praise and reward him when he releases you.

68. Make Sure Your Puppy Gets Enough Play and Exercise
Since biting can often stem from boredom or a lack of exercise, ensure that it is not so! Getting your puppy plenty of exercise and playtime will also wear him out. A relatively tired puppy will engage in lesser rough play and bite than one brimming with energy.

69. Using a Dog Muzzle
If your puppy has a true penchant for biting and making slow progress in training, using a muzzle is also a good idea. But you should absolutely never consider it as a complete safety measure. They do not always work. has some great dog training tips related to muzzle use that you should read before using a muzzle.

70. A Handy Spray Bottle is a Great Way to Correct Biting Immediately
Handy dog training tips alert! In some cases, carrying around a spray bottle full of water to deter persistent biters can be an effective method too. For instance, if your puppy likes to nip at your ankles as you walk by, or while following you around. A surprising spray of water to the face can be a real jolt of corrective punishment, without being harmful. However, this can only work if your puppy is the type who dislikes the experience. Believe it or not, some dogs enjoy it. Also, if you are not consistent with the punishment, or prompt - there is no point to it.

71. Consider Using a Trainer if You Have Children at Home or Do not Have Much Time
Biting can be a really dangerous habit for a dog. Unless you see good progress with your puppy in training, you should really consider using professional help. This is especially true for owners living with family, especially little kids. A certified dog trainer might be your best bet in such a situation. Also, do make sure your puppy is properly vaccinated by your vet.


72. Recognizing the Signs of Aggression Early
An aggressive dog can be fearsome to deal with. Understanding and recognizing signs of aggression early on is key to dealing with it in a safe, effective manner. Growling and bared teeth are obvious ones. But there are subtleties to it. Signs of aggression will vary with the cause, whether fear, pain, being territorial, or otherwise. For instance, in case of fear signs like the ears held flat against the head, a lowered tail and avoiding eye contact are good indicators. In contrast, territorial aggression signs include a high tail, intense eye contact, and pointed ears. Also, things like freezing upon your touch can be an indicator too. Sit Means Sit has a great article here that talks exclusively about signs of aggression in dogs that you should read:


73. Understand the Reason Behind Your Dog's Aggression
Just as you should recognize early the signs of aggression in your dog, understanding the reasons behind the aggression is also crucial for correction, and it has roots, which are pretty much identical to the ones we spoke of while dealing with biting. Dog aggression could stem from:

The dog being territorial or possessive


A dog's instinct to hunt or chase prey

Pain due to a wound or sickness

A female dog trying to protect her litter, which may be hidden from sight. Depending on the root cause of the aggression, your approach will naturally differ in fixing it. On the contrary with a fearful dog, you will work on making him feel secure about food and protection around others.

Another thing to bear in mind is to judge how bad the problem is. For example, territorial dogs can be tough to deal with in some cases, and sometimes insecure dogs have the worst biting issues. It is highly recommended that you consult your vet and a dog training professional to help out in such extreme cases.

74. Being Consistent with the Schedule is Important
Having a regular, daily schedule for mealtimes and consistently enforcing it is a fundamental step in dealing with food aggression. As mentioned in our previous article on dog training tips regarding food aggression in dogs: Dogs that are aggressive about their food are usually very insecure about losing it. Such a schedule where they know precisely when and how much food they will get will help with such insecurity. Feeding your puppy after a session of fun and games, or a nice brisk walk is ideal. It is akin to their need or instinct to "hunt" for their food and helps release their pent-up energy. If you have a dog that has too much resource guarding here is how to stop resource guarding for dogs.


75. Always Try to Feed After Play or Exercise
Feeding your puppy after play or exercise is ideal. However, giving treats is better than feeding them to avoid stomach bloating. It is advisable to wait at least 30 minutes before giving them their food. So, if you have set the schedule for their meal, you should plan ahead of time to let them run or go for a walk.

76. How to Train a Puppy to "Stay" Before, and While You Serve Food
Make it a habit to command "sit" or "stay" and have your puppy obey calmly until the food is served. If they try to walk towards you as you lay the bowl, raise the bowl and command sit until they have remained seated after the food is laid. It would also be helpful to say "eat," "okay," or "go" to let them know they can eat. Having your puppy hover around - jumping and dog barking for no reason only encourages indiscipline and aggression as you fill her bowl.


77. Assert Your Position by Eating First
Always ensure that you eat first. One of the rules of a troop, a group of lions, the male lions will eat first to signify its strength and pride. Feeding your puppy before or while you are eating indulges him. And it could also encourage him to try and assert himself through aggression if he does not get his way.

78. Stay With the Bowl As Your Puppy Feeds
As much as possible, stand right near your puppy's feeding bowl as she feeds. This will get her used to your presence and eventually remove her insecurity. Over time, you can have other family members stand in turn to develop a general tolerance. Although through classical conditioning, your presence may be associated with a negative response. It is crucial to ensure that your presence is safe and secure, and occasionally, you talk to your dog while you stay helps.

79. Hand Feed as Much as Possible in Early Days
The hands-on approach is a great method among dog training tips for dealing with food aggression. It is also, in fact, a good method among dog training tips to deal with biting, too. Handle your puppy's food early on in her life, and feed her directly from your hands. Also, make it a point to pet your dog a little while he is eating. Having the scent of your hands around his face and in her feeding bowl from early on is a great way to make him feel secure with people around his food.

80. How to Train a Puppy with Bribe with Treats
Use your puppy's weakness for tasty treats to bribe your way near his food bowl. In fact, toss a treat to him every time he exhibits good behavior related to his food. It can be sitting calmly while you serve, or it can just be letting random people be near the bowl. Treating him for letting go of his bone, or allowing you to remove his bowl - food or no food โ€“ are other things you can try.

81. Switch to Tastier Food During Meals
Try switching your puppy's regular dog food for a few tasty treats mid-meal. This will encourage him into thinking that people touching his bowl not necessarily a bad thing.

82. Holding Back Food
Another great one to try among dog training tips for fixing food aggression is to try feeding bit by bit. Do not serve him all his food at once, but split it into morsels and give them one at a time. Once he is done with some, wait for him to ask for more. And do not serve the food unless he sits calmly and lets you handle the bowl.

83. The First Rule in Face of Dog Aggression is to Project and Act Calm
Showing your fear or tension is one of the worst ways to react in the face of dog aggression. Screaming, yelling, rapid movement, or acting aggressive, in turn, will only put you in more danger. Even if you do not feel it, do your utmost to act in a calm, cool manner. Stand your ground, and try to appear non-confrontational and unconcerned. Try to reduce your exposure by slowly standing more sideways than facing it directly. Try to hide any intensity you feel towards the dog and instead try to convert it into calm alertness. When the dog understands that you are neither a threat nor a pushover, he will eventually back off.

84. Have Something On Hand to Distract the Dog With
Of course, you can not always be prepared for a random encounter with an aggressive dog. Nevertheless, it is a useful one among dog training tips to deal with aggression to keep in mind. If you are carrying anything like a stick or an umbrella, do not wave it around threateningly. That will worsen things. Instead, slowly hold it out, not directly in front of the dog, appear more significant, and a more intimidating target.

85. Follow Protocols with Introductions
It would help if you always kept in mind that rules are of utmost importance to a dog. Therefore, using dog training tips for avoiding aggression, still suggest that when bringing a new dog home, an owner must respect due order. If there is already a dog at home, they must not feel insecure in the new dog's presence. So lead the older dog first, and the new dog last in everything, including feeding and walks. This is at least until both are comfortable with each other. Understand their natures - whether dominant or submissive and tailor their treatment relative to each other accordingly to avoid conflict.

86. Introducing a New Member Takes Time
One of the best dog training tips to avoid conflict is to let the dogs take their time getting to know each other. Give them ample time to hang out and get used to each other through sound, long walks together. Forcing one or the other to dominate through preferential treatment, or some vague understanding about their relationship can mess things up. Dogs are socially intelligent. Leave them to it, and only step in to avoid or break up any conflicts.

87. Break-Up Dog Fights in a Calm, Authoritative Manner
Like with dog training tips to deal with aggressive dogs, breaking up a dog fight requires composure. You must project yourself as the calm, collected owner before inserting yourself in their midst. The key is not to create a ruckus and step in confidently pull the more intense dog up and back by the collar from the neck's back.

88. Do not Isolate Fighting Dogs for Long
One of the critical things to take away from dog training tips for avoiding conflicts is that you must remember that you are in charge and that dealing with disputes is delicate. Isolating fighting dogs from each other is not more than a temporary solution. One dog fight does not make for a disaster, but your reaction to it can. When encountering a dog fight, the first step is to break it up quickly and calmly. The crucial thing is to get them used to each other and tolerate each other's presence. However, it is vital to remove any potential triggers, such as toys and food. Furthermore, dogs in the same pack fight for one reason: to be a pack leader. This is why putting limitations, boundaries, and establishing rules are essential.

89. Do not Hesitate to Get Help from a Professional Trainer
If you cannot resolve conflicts between your dogs on your own, do not hesitate to get professional help especially when you have kids and elderly family members at home.


90. Do not Discourage Chewing When Your Puppy is Teething
A teething puppy can not really help itself, and banning her from chewing entirely during this phase is frankly harsh. Chewing on stuff helps relieve a puppy during this phase, and can not really be stopped altogether. Instead, owners should focus on redirecting their puppies' attention away from household objects and onto chew toys and the like.

91. How do I get my dog to stop chewing and eating everything?
Have chew toys in reach wherever your puppy hangs out. A chewy puppy can be a real force of nature and will determinedly seek out anything he can sink his brand new teeth into. To learn how to train a puppy with smart dog training tips and deal with chewy pups, you would call for something like keeping chew toys on hand. Just make sure they are not flimsy enough to break apart and be ingested by your scrappy little charge. Beef or rawhide bones are things that people think nothing of when giving to dogs. But they can easily disintegrate and lodge in your puppy's throat and create a disastrous situation.

92. Keep Anything Precious and Not Chew-Proof Out of Reach
The second key step in the smart dog training tips against chewy pups dictates that owners keep anything and everything precious to them that is not an expendable chew toy completely out of reach of their puppies. Keep them at a height he can not possibly reach, and place chews toy baits all around to occupy his attention instead. Make sure you put away everything small, toxic, or otherwise harmful to your puppy. Also, take good measures to prevent your puppy's contact with electrical wiring and fixtures he may be able to chew on. Better safe than sorry.

93. Choose Toys that Can Hold Treats to Hold Her Interest
Chew toys that can hold stuff like tasty dog biscuits and peanut butter on the inside. These should hold your chewy pal's attention better as he tries to chew his way to the treat inside.

94. Redirect That Energy into Play and Exercise - Wear Your Puppy Out
Plenty of exercise and play during this phase is also an effective method recommended among dog training tips against excessive chewing. A puppy tired out from play and exercise will have less energy to burn on mindless chewing.

95. Provide Enough Attention and Love
Chewing as a habit sometimes develops as a side-effect of anxiety, insecurity, fear, or simply boredom. Check on your puppy regularly, and see that he has everything he needs so he feels safe and secure. Lots of games, love, and attention from you and your family members will also keep his mind off things, chewing included.

96. Crating When You are Not Around
Puppies can be really cunning little brats when it comes to good behavior. They might behave well in their owners' presence knowing that they will probably be rewarded with treats. Or at the very least - love and praise. But the moment you step out of the house, they leave a trail of chewy destruction. If that sounds much like your own puppy, try crating him when you are stepping out. Crating is a good option as it will confine her in a limited area to stop her from making a mess of the whole house. You can not even punish him on our return since punishing dogs after the fact does no good whatsoever. He probably won't like it very much, and maybe even make a mess inside the crate. But at least things will stay intact upon your return.

97. Have Your Vet Do a Check-Up
This is one of those common-sense tips that unfortunately elude many people. Chewing can also be caused by a number of underlying medical conditions, including nutritional deficiencies, parasites, and stomach illnesses. If you have a chewy puppy, have your vet examine him to make sure such possibilities are crossed off the list.

98. Correct Inappropriate Chewing by Scolding Firmly and Redirecting
We have mentioned the harmful, often long-lasting effects of negative correction a number of times here. Hitting, yelling, and other harsh measures work the same way in case of excessive chewing too. Instead of punishments that frighten your puppy and confuse her, try being calm but firm with your scolding, and redirecting your pupโ€™s attention to chew toys.

99. Use Taste Deterrents When Your Puppy is Persistent
To counter excessive chewing also increasingly suggest using harmless taste deterrents. Taste deterrents like the ones mentioned in tip #12 in the section for dog training tips to prevent biting can be applied to certain objects that your puppy compulsively chews on any chance he gets. For instance, applying a layer of vinegar or citronella oil - if it does not stain, on your favorite shoe. Your puppy will drop it like a hot cake.


100. Get Your New Puppy Used to the Collar and Leash as Soon as Possible
Anyone would take a bit of time to get used to a collar around their neck. For a puppy, too, it will probably take up to a few days for him to be accustomed to wearing a collar. Use rewards aplenty to help along with his familiarization with the collar and leash. Make your puppy wear the collar for a little while collar every day. Initially, he will not like it, but after struggling to remove it he will eventually resign and accept it. Increase the duration of time as he tries fiddling around with it for shorter durations. It is the same on a leash. Once your puppy gets used to the collar, start latching on the leash as well. Let your puppy play around with the leash initially and wear out his curiosity. It is bound to become an everyday mundane object to him eventually.

101. Use a Harness to Prevent Pulling
This is an important one to keep in mind how to train a puppy and dog training tips for walking. Using the right collar to start with that best helps communicate corrections is important. Correct your puppy to behave right during walks from the get-go, so learns everything by the time he is grown up. It is like we have said in this article on how to leash train a dog. The best collars to use are the kinds that keep the leash attachment or slip, at the top of the neck. If you have a bulldog we have made a specific post just for bulldog harness. Keeping it in that position best communicates any corrections you need to make through the leash.


102. Start with Walking Around at Home
Initially, it is a good idea to practice leash walking at home, in your backyard or garden. Like a safety net. Get your puppy used to your holding onto him through the leash first. Play a sort of "follow game" in turns with you holding the leash, or hold onto the leash while he plays around. Use rewards liberally to indicate good behavior right from the start.

103. Focus on the Follow and Heel Commands
When teaching your puppy basic commands, make sure you also teach the all important "Follow" and "Heel" commands as well. These two commands in particular, as well as "Sit", "Stay" and "Leave It" can be vital in situations that come up during walks. Also, take a look at this useful article on teaching your puppy to follow you by dog time. You should try hard to get your puppy to master these basic commands before he is all grown up and harder to control on walks. If you want more essential commands see our 5 top dog commands to use.



104. Begin Practicing Other Obedience Commands While on Walks
Have your puppy also practice other commands such as "Sit", "Leave" or "Down" during breaks while walking. Do this after your puppy has at least learned and practiced the command enough during home training. Once you have learned how to train a puppy, your puppy understands the command, using the leash for corrections, and treats and extra stops during walks are great ways to reinforce what she has learned at home. Besides, teaching your puppy to respond well to commands includes having them obey in all kinds of circumstances and locations.

105. Exhibit a Calm and Assertive Manner Throughout the Walk
This is probably the most crucial rule to follow among dog training tips for walking. It is probably more important to project calmness and assertiveness on walks than most other situations since you are in public. Always be mindful of your own state and mannerisms during the walk since they are virtually infectious as far as your dog is concerned. Appearing flustered, giving in to your puppy's to stop and explore as much as she wants, allowing her to lead, shouting, etc - these are all major don'ts. And always walk either completely in front, or better, slightly ahead of your puppy on walks. As the trainer, you have to lead his first and not the other way round. And keep this mentality for a little while even after the walk as you come home, unleash and wind-down. Have your puppy sit or lie down calmly throughout. And if you keep having trouble leading your puppy, or she keeps misbehaving despite your best efforts, have someone โ€“ preferably a professional trainer โ€“ monitor your walk to point out what you are doing possibly getting wrong.

106. Be Aware of Stray Dogs on the Route
A good recon of the route you are trying to decide on for your walks is a good way to avoid possible trouble. Stray dogs are a common flashpoint during walks. So do our best to find a route that does not have any. In some cases, you can not possibly avoid encountering stray dogs. All you can do is keep a good eye out for them and be prepared for possible encounters.

107. Use Short, Firm Corrections to Maintain the Pace
Leash corrections are important, part of training your puppy to walk properly. But it is also important you get them right otherwise, you can end up seriously harming both the training and your puppy's health too. Corrections should be quick and short. Never pull or drag on the leash to punish your puppy - imagine the experience. Your pull should be more of a slight tug, but not using a lot of strength so as to injure your pup's throat. You are just refocusing her energy and attention back into the walk.

108. Try to Read Other Dogs and Their Walkers Ahead of Time
You often tend to meet other dog walkers with their charges on your route. And sometimes, these can lead to confrontation when either your pup or the other dog is not trained completely. So do your best to read both the dog walker's body language as well as that of the dog's ahead of meeting up. If for instance there are signs like the dog lunging and pulling often without the walker able to exert much control, it is best you take a detour or step away to avoid them altogether.

109. Have Provisions Like Water and Treats on Hand
Always try to keep a bottle of water and a few treats in hand before you set off. A well-paced walk is exhilarating for both of you, but can also be strenuous. Dogs can become "overheated" during a long walk, so to have some water on hand for cooling down is a good idea. Treats, of course, are meant as a reward for good behavior. So keep them with you, at least during the initial weeks of training.


110. Make Sure You are Getting a Good, Healthy Brand of Food
Pay attention to the quality of puppy food brands you are buying - that they have the required certifications, are nutritionally balanced, and provide enough for your puppy's daily nutritional needs. A good idea is to run this by your vet, so he can advise you on the brands he considers to be good based on his professional opinion. Find reliable sources of reviews for the brands you are considering, and read the labels to see if there aren not any potentially harmful ingredients like poultry by products.

111. Your Pup Should Have Plenty of Water to Drink All Day
A lot of owners regularly fill up their puppies' food bowl like clockwork. But then they might forget to refill the water bowl which may dry up without their noticing it. Enough water intake is also really important to maintain one's health, energy, and general well-being. And the bundles of playful naughtiness that puppies are, they need to drink plenty of water too.

112. Wash the Food and Water Bowls Daily
How often do you reuse your plate or bowl without giving it a thorough wash? It is surprising how much this is neglected, however, when it comes to our pets' feeding bowls. Do give their bowls a good wash, if not every day, then at least once every couple of days.

113. When Switching Brands or the Diet, Go Slow
Switching suddenly and entirely to a diet with different kinds of food, or even a brand with the same type of food can upset your puppy's digestion. If you know your puppy to have a sensitive stomach, or if they are a picky eater, you really must take it nice and slow when changing the diet or search for sensitive stomach dog food. It is something we have talked about in our dog training tips on dealing with a dog won't eat. It would help if you generally fed your puppy a mix of the old and new food. Start with a mix with three parts of the old food, and one part of the new. Work your way up to a 50:50 ratio, then a 1:3 ratio in favor of the new and when your puppy adjusts to each mix. The best way to check if your puppy's system has adjusted is to check his poop. If it is firm (not too hard), that means his stomach is delicate. If it is loose, you probably need a few more days with the mix or the previous version. Let your puppy feed on the mix he is adjusted to for at least a day or so before further progress.



114. Keep Table Scraps and Other Human Food at a Minimum
Mixing too much human food into your puppy's diet can do real harm. Sugar, certain cereals, and fruits, spices, etc. not things a dog usually eats. And some of them are even toxic to them. If you plan to feed your puppy some form of human food on a regular basis, make sure you check with your vet if it is alright. And if your puppy has a habit of begging at the table for scraps, do not give in! Check out these simple dog training tips to deal with dog begging at the table to fix the problem.


115. How Much to Feed a Puppy: Getting Your Pup's Weight Checked Regularly
Be regular about checking your puppy's weight as he is growing up to see that it is at a healthy level. Weird shifts in weight in puppies, especially, can be really dangerous. Since he is growing, your puppy's weight should really increase on a daily basis, even if he is always generally skinny. Their muscle and bone mass must increase to keep healthy.



116. Brush and Groom Your Puppy's Coat Every 2-3 Days
Brush your puppy's coat and pick out any gunk or mud-caked in there to keep both his fur and skin nice and healthy. Brushing and grooming even their nails with a dog nail grinder can also help you check for any nail and skin problems your puppy might have that you could not see earlier, such as unexplained lumps, lesions, or the like. It also improves circulation and keeps their skin healthy by "letting it breathe".




117. Check for Ticks and Fleas Regularly
You may come across these pests in the process of brushing and general grooming anyway or see signs of them as trails of black "flea dirt" in the fur. But merely picking them off your puppy is not nearly enough. If your puppy is a victim of a flea infestation, there are several steps you must take, including a nice long flea bath, cleaning up her bedding, crate, and other areas, and taking steps to kill or expel fleas in the house in general. Using a flea collar can also help while your dog is being treated.



118. Weekly Dental Care
Regular dental care, unfortunately, is not something too many dogs have the privilege of receiving. Apart from keeping their gums and teeth healthy, it also keeps at bay other problems like bad breath and even stomach illnesses that occur due to germs in the mouth. The key to maintaining good oral hygiene in dogs is to start early. Start brushing your puppy's teeth every day, or at least 2-3 times a week as soon as you bring him home. Do it regularly enough and it will become a habit โ€“ something tough to achieve with older dogs. If you prefer not to brush your dog teeth, give them dog chew toys that help their teeth or alternatives such as dental chews for dogs.



119. Do Not Neglect the Ears
Ear infections do not occur often, but when they do they can be really painful and disorienting for your puppy. Treating these is not always easy, or painless. So how does one go about preventing them from occurring? Simple, regular cleaning of the ears is the answer. Please keep it clean of dirt, grime, or other gunk, and check that the insides have a healthy, standard color. If you see your puppy is experiencing some pain or discomfort in her ear, do not hesitate to consult your vet. Thorough cleaning and treatment of an infected ear is a delicate task that needs proper care and technique.

120. Get Your Puppy Checked for Worms Regularly
For dogs, often their nose and mouth are more of a window to the world than any of their other senses. The mouth, bite, lick, chew, and sniffle at anything and everything around them. But all this also makes them highly susceptible to host a whole array of parasites, including worms. Virtually all dogs play hosts to worms at some point or other in their lives, and the parasites affect their digestion and health to various degrees. Since dogs interact with each other so much, they are also easily passed on from one to another while they interact.


121. Give Your Puppy a Bath at Least Once a Month
Like a lot of owners, you might dread bathing day about as much as your puppies. Forcing a squealing whirl of fur and claws into the bath while getting drenched may not be pleasant for everyone. But it is essential to keep your puppy healthy and clean. And it is important you are regular with it every month with the best dog shampoo. However, depending on the dog breed like bulldogs you may need to bath them at least twice a month. If you have a wrinkle dog, cleaning your dog wrinkles thoroughly to prevent an infection. You will also want to try to get dog tear stains around the eyes. The stain can build up and later worst to remove. If your dog stains are hard to remove with regular bathing dog tear stain removers are a great option. But if you really get inventive, bathing does not have to be very tedious. In fact, it could even be fun! We have more tips on puppy bathing if you want more fun and helpful ways to give your pup a bath.



122. See That Your Puppy's Shelter is Adequate
If you plan to house your puppy outside in a kennel or crate, the warmth and security of their interiors should not lack. Also, your puppy should have enough food and water for the time he is to stay in the kennel or crate. Here is your answer to know how much water should a puppy drink. And as far as it is possible, try not to chain or leash your puppy. If he gets into a heightened state of excitement for any reason, he may be in danger of choking himself in your absence.


123. Your Puppy Should Get Plenty of Exercise and Play
Everyone understands that their dog needs good exercise and playtime. But it is easy to get it wrong despite that. The amount of exercise a dog needs could depend on many things โ€“ breed, personality, lifestyle, even the climate. If you live in cold regions your puppy may be more mobile than other dogs in her efforts to keep warm. Similarly, larger breeds like Mastiffs naturally need a proportionate amount of exercise, as do breeds with heightened prey drives or hunting instincts, such as Retrievers and Bloodhounds. Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercises to build stronger legs to help prevent old dog back legs collapsing later down the age. On the other hand, a Shih Tzu or a Chihuahua might be happy with a couple of short walks a day. So figure out your puppy's needs and also check with your vet if he is getting enough exercise.


124. Choose a Good Vet You Can Trust in the Long Term
This is one of the more important tips in our Ultra-Mega dog training tips compendium. Preparing a vet visit to the vet you choose for your new puppy obviously has a major bearing on his health for years to come. You will need your dog's documents ready when you are traveling with dogs to the vet. And frequently changing vets is also not a good idea, as the care and attention a good vet can give over years can be really amazing. So be thorough and choosy when selecting the right vet for the job. Dig into everything you can get your hands on their credentials, reviews from the internet or publications, their specializations, and their capabilities in terms of surgeries and other procedures. It is a good idea to check them out with a general consult, even if your puppy is in the best of health. Whether you are comfortable consulting the vet and how he or she handles your puppy is also really important, and a visit can establish these.


125. Have All the Important Medical Records Ready on File
The medical records you keep for your puppy can significantly impact her health and well-being later. Things like records from the puppy's first medical check-up, records of the puppy's parents, and certifications about the breed are vital documentation that you should maintain appropriately throughout. If you have adopted the puppy, insist on getting her and the parents' medical records from the previous owners or shelter. Also, maintain a detailed journal of your visits to the vet that includes any advice or tips he gives you to raise the puppy. The first appointment with the vet is particularly essential. That is when you learn the most about how to raise and care for your puppy. So having a record of the appointment and the things you learned can be extremely useful. Keeping a journal, as suggested in this article, recording your puppy's schedule, habits, and general health can be a real help for both you and your vet later. Especially diagnosing any conditions, or tracking your puppy's health as she grows up.

126. Keep the Appointments with the Vet
Taking care of your puppy also means being regular with his appointments with the vet. The first full health check-up when they are about 6 weeks old, and the annual vaccinations and check-ups are particularly important for the vet to monitor your puppy's health and medical needs. The vet, apart from important stuff like checking for heartworm, dog bed wetting, neutering your dog, a dog cold, and so forth, also does a bunch of general checks. For instance, he will see whether your puppy's grooming, dry dog paw, dental care, dog skin tags, ear health, dog yeast infection, dog diarrhea, general mental health, etc. are up to the mark. And he will also provide tips and suggestions to improve on things and fix any dog problems. Lastly, even if you do not have an appointment, a mere social visit to the vet with your puppy every few months or so is another excellent way to go the extra mile in his caring.

127. Do not Hesitate to Consult Professionals!
Sometimes seemingly normal things could be a sign of something more sinister. And on occasions, our guts push us towards that realization. For instance, sudden and unexplained gloominess, hind-end weakness, aggression, loss of appetite, etc. may seem a bit unusual for your puppy. But nothing too abnormal. On the other hand, they could be the first signs or symptoms of any variety of illnesses. If you get the feeling that there might be something wrong with your puppy beyond what is apparent, donโ€™t even hesitate to give your vet a call. What is the harm in it? An early diagnosis gives your vet a solid advantage in his treatment. And this advice also applies to consulting dog trainers and other professionals. If you feel like you need professional help, you probably do, and should not hesitate to reach for it.




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1. Socializing
Socializing is just what it sounds like: It is about getting your puppy out and about to experience new people, places, and situations. Puppies that are well-socialized usually become well-adjusted adults. Many of the most common behavior concerns in dogs can stem from a lack of proper early socialization, like fear, aggression, and excessive barking. It is important to get your puppy used to a variety of people, animals, places, sights, and sounds so he will not react poorly to them as an adult.

In addition, is essential that your puppy is accustomed to being handled in different ways. This will help your puppy feel more comfortable at places like the vet and groomer. When your puppy is old enough, think about getting them neutered or spayed. The same goes if you adopt a dog. A neutered or spayed dog might be more docile, less aggressive and more open to successful training.

2. House Training
Most new puppy owners put housebreaking high on their list of priorities. After all, it is frustrating when your dog pees in the house. House training is one of the first things you will work on with your new puppy. Get your puppy off to a good start by putting him on a regular schedule. Feed him at similar times each day. Take him outside to potty everytime he eats, drinks, or wakes from a nap. Keep in mind that punishment does not usually have the desired effect. Things like scolding or rubbing a pup's nose in his mess will only scare or confuse him. A better method of housebreaking a puppy is to reward him with praise, treats, and playtime when he relieves himself in the right spot. A crate can also be a helpful housebreaking tool.

3. Crate Training
A crate is used to confine a puppy when you are unable to supervise him. If your puppy is given enough time to become comfortable in his crate, it may become one of his favorite spots. Crates can help prevent your puppy from developing bad habits like inappropriate chewing or soiling. Crates are also good tools for house training. Most dogs will not relieve themselves in the same place where they sleep. If your dog is in the crate when he is not outside with you or under your supervision in your house, you may be able to stop or even avoid the habit of him going potty indoors.

4. Confinement
A puppy should not be kept in his crate for more than a few hours at a time. However, he should not have the full run of the house, even when you are home to supervise him. There are too many things in a house for a puppy to chew on, hide under, or get harmed by. Confining him to a kitchen or another small room with a door or baby gate can go a long way in preventing your puppy from developing bad habits. Remember, a puppy who gets the opportunity to do something he finds enjoyable, such as gnawing on your furniture, is more likely to repeat the behavior. Confinement keeps him from getting these opportunities.

5. Prevent Destructive Chewing
Puppies love to chew. This probably is not news to most people, especially those with a new puppy at home. Rather than trying to prevent a puppy from chewing, teach him which things are appropriate chew toys. Confinement is one of the tools in your arsenal when it comes to chew-training. It allows you to prevent your puppy from having the opportunity to chew on furniture, shoes, toys, or anything else you do not want him to have. Redirecting him to appropriate toys is another part of chew training. It is not enough to tell your dog "no" when he picks up something you do not want him to have. Instead, you need to redirect him to something he can have, like a dog chew or a Kong.

6. Bite Inhibition
Bite inhibition is an important part of puppy training. It involves teaching your puppy to use his teeth gently. Puppies begin to learn bite inhibition from their mothers and through interaction with littermates. Many puppies need to keep learning this once they go into a home. Begin teaching your puppy bite inhibition by allowing him to use his mouth when you are playing with him, ending the playtime if he uses his teeth too hard. Once your puppy learns that the fun stops when he bites too hard, you should begin to see him using his mouth much more gently. You may also try letting out a yelp sound to remind him to be careful. Bite inhibition is important because it keeps you safe from those needle-like puppy teeth. It also helps prevent a serious bite from occurring when your puppy grows into adulthood. Should he ever feel the need to use his teeth to defend himself, teaching your puppy bite inhibition can mean the difference between a harmless nip and a serious bite.

7. Positive Reinforcement
During training, puppies respond better to positive reinforcement than punishment. Punishment may stop unwanted behavior, but it does not tell the puppy what you want him to actually do. Harsh punishments may even lead to behavior issues like fear or aggression. Positive reinforcement makes your puppy want to do more of the things you want him to do. It is quite easy to get your puppy to repeat the behaviors you like by rewarding him with praise, treats, and games. Ignore or redirect your puppy when he misbehaves and reward good behavior. Soon, your puppy will be offering good behavior on a regular basis.

8. Prevent Behavior Problems
When you are training a puppy, you have the ability to teach him good behavior before he begins to develop some of the more common behavior problems. Start off on the right foot by providing your puppy with lots of interesting toys, exercise, and training. A puppy left to find his own source of entertainment is more likely to engage in inappropriate behaviors. You can also use basic obedience commands to prevent common dog behavior problems. For instance, you can ask your puppy to sit rather than allowing him to jump up when you walk through the door. By teaching your puppy appropriate behaviors, you can prevent many of the most common behavior problems.

9. Basic Obedience
Puppies are able to start working on basic obedience as soon as you bring them home. Training cues and commands help provide a much-needed sense of structure and set of rules for your puppy. Use positive reinforcement to start working on basic dog training commands, and soon your puppy will be able to sit, lie down, and come on command. These basic commands will go a long way in helping your puppy grow into a well-behaved adult dog.

10. Puppy Kindergarten
Puppy kindergarten is a name sometimes given to dog training classes designed specifically for puppies. One of the best ways to work on all aspects of puppy training is in a puppy training class. These classes usually offer a little of everything discussed here: socialization, housebreaking, basic obedience, preventing problem behavior, and more. Best of all, it is done under the supervision of an experienced dog trainer so you have less worry about your puppy having a negative experience during training.

11. Decide on the House Rules
Before your new furry pal comes home, decide what they can and can not do. Are they allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of the house off limits? Will they have their own chair at your dining table? If the rules are determined early, you can avoid confusion - for both of you.

12. Set Up a Private Den
Like humans, dogs need their own space. As early as possible, give your pup their own private sleeping place, such as a crate. Your dog will benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of their den; it can also be a valuable tool for housetraining. Be sure to reward your puppy or dog if they remain relaxed and quiet in their den.

13. Help Your Dog Relax
When your puppy gets home, give them a warm hot-water bottle and put a ticking clock near their sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of litter mates and will soothe your puppy in their new environment. This tip may be even more important for a new dog that previously lived in a busy, loud shelter, particularly if they have had a rough time early in life. Whatever you can do to help your new pet get comfortable in their forever home will be good for both of you.

14. Reward Good Behavior
Reward your puppy's good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use toys, love and lots of praise and do not forget the treats. Let them know when they are getting it right. Along those same lines, never reward bad behavior, as it will only confuse them.

15. Train on "Dog Time"
Puppies and dogs live in the moment - two minutes after they have done something, they have already forgotten about it. So when your pup is doing something bad, use your chosen training technique right away so they have a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what they have learned.

16. Discourage Jumping Right Away
Puppies love to jump up in greeting, and some adult dogs have learned bad habits. When your puppy or dog jumps on a person, do not reprimand them - just turn your back on them, ignore the behavior and wait until they settle down before giving positive reinforcement. Never encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your dog when they are in a "jumping up" position.

17. Say No to Biting and Nipping
Instead of scolding your new pet, a great way to discourage your mouthy canine is to pretend you are in a lot of pain when they bite or nip you - a sharp, loud yell should work. Most dogs are so surprised that they stop immediately. If verbal cues do not work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. This swap trick can also work when a puppy discovers the joys of chewing on your favorite shoes. They tend to prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, interrupt the biting behavior and respond by ignoring them.

18. End Training Sessions on a Positive Note
Your puppy or dog has worked hard to please you throughout their training. Leave them with lots of praise, a treat, some petting or five minutes of play. This almost guarantees they will show up at their next class or training session with their tail wagging, ready to work!







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Like all animals, puppies learn from their moms. But it is up to you to be their leader when you bring home your puppy and teach them what they need to know in order to grow up to be well-rounded adult dogs! It is the vision that we as puppy owners all dreamt about. A puppy that is leisurely strolling beside you, or sitting calmly at your feet at an outdoor cafe. But there are some steps to do to make sure your pup is on the right track with their training in order to get there!

In the beginning, that perfect pup will come with some growing pains: nipping, chewing, potty accidents, barking, and more. Your puppy is growing and developing quickly. Once they have been home for a couple of weeks, your puppy should know the basics of a daily routine and be working on some obedience training and learning basic commands. So how do you know what you should begin training your pup first on? No matter what age you bring home your new pup, you can use our puppy training schedule as a guideline to help your puppy grow, develop, and learn the good manners they need at home and in the world to help shape them into becoming that perfect pup you envisioned!


Generally, every week and month should progress with socialization: meeting new people, other puppies, experiences, noises, etc. You should continue progressing their potty schedule and eventually as your puppy grows and can hold it longer, start increasing the time between potty breaks. The first whole year of your puppy's life will involve basic obedience training, reinforcing good manners in the home and training, and maintaining structure

Doing this consistently, you can ensure that your puppy will retain their training and good behaviors throughout the rest of their life. Even if your puppy started at an older age, you can work on catching your puppy up so they are on track to being well-behaved by the time they reach their 1-year mark!

Below we outlined a basic puppy training schedule that starts from two months of age (8 weeks) that you can use as your puppy grows. If your puppy is older and has not learned everything outlined here yet, go back to fill in some of those missing areas if need be. It is important to keep in mind that each pup learns at a different speed, so some may need longer at certain stages, and some will be able to move on to more advanced training quicker. Go at your pup's speed, and do not rush them if they are just not ready yet to move onto the next!

This is around the age that many new puppy owners bring home their new puppy. During this phase of your pup's life, they should be learning the basics such as their name, good manners at home, introducing some commands, and some early socialization.

1. Get your puppy used to a daily schedule that includes their feeding and water times, play and training times, potty breaks, and naptimes.

2. Potty training your puppy should start as soon as your puppy comes home! The best way to start potty training your pup is by incorporating a potty schedule to teach your pup where to go on the right spot, and how to hold it! If you are trying to determine your potty training schedule, as a general guideline, take your puppy's age in months and then divide it in half to determine how long they can go in between potty breaks. For more information on potty training your puppy, visit our potty training blog post!

3. Crate training is one of the most valuable assets for puppy training and puppy parents! We find that it is super helpful at speeding up the housebreaking process and how it helps create an independent puppy and reduces separation anxiety. For more information on crate training your puppy, visit our crate training blog post!

4. Introduce basic obedience commands Sit & Come at this stage. These will be two of the most useful commands in your arsenal that you will probably use every day for the rest of your pup's life. We recommend that you introduce these commands during mealtime. Start with some of your puppy's food in your hand, let them smell it, and start taking backward steps away from them as you say "Come" with your hand extended out to lure them towards you.

When they come to you, reward them with a "Good!" and the food! Next, you can teach them how to sit by arching your hand, with their food in it, up over their nose and past the top of their head as you say "Sit", and when their butt hits the ground, again say "Good!" and give them the food again! Say the word "Come" when your puppy is following you for their food and water bowls. And have them settle and even guide them into a seated position and say the word "Sit" before giving them their bowls.

5. Start socialization with your family and close friends first. Throughout your pup's life they will encounter new people so getting them used to it early on will help them positively associate those interactions.

6. Name recognition is super important and will be the one thing you will certainly use for the rest of your pup's life! When interacting with your pup, say their name throughout the day and get their attention on you while saying their name. We love using food with this! Each time they look at you or come to you, reward them with excitement and the food! To help encourage eye contact, bring a piece of their food up to your eyes, and reward them when they look at you! Want a fun way to teach your puppy their name? Play the name game!

7. Start to redirect chewing and mouthing behaviors as they occur with the help of a chew toy! Your puppy will be exploring their world with their nose and mouth. You will want to make sure that they know the difference between your hands, feet, and shoes from their chew toys! Visit our puppy chewing and puppy nipping blogs for help!

At this point, you will begin to expand on your pup's commands, socialization, and impulse control.

1. Introduce more basic obedience commands such as Place, Down, and Heel at home. For these commands, you will want to utilize a high-value reward to help in teaching them. For puppies with higher energy, you can also begin to teach them Fetch and Drop-It during play sessions!

2. Introduce the leash and harness to your puppy if you have not already done so at 8-10 weeks. These will be the two most utilized tools in your pup's life when they are out and about with you. Let your puppy get used to their harness and leash by letting them wear it around the house while you supervise them. For help with getting your puppy to love their leash and harness, visit our leash training blog!

3. Continue socialization by introducing new people and letting your puppy meet calm dogs post-vaccinations. Additionally, start getting them used to common noises they will hear in everyday situations such as construction, traffic, garbage trucks, etc. by playing recordings that you can find in YouTube videos. We get that "socializing" is a bit tough these days with social distancing orders, so make sure to visit our socialization blog for help!

4. Impulse control practice by having your puppy wait for their food and water bowls. Ask them to Sit before setting down their bowls. Place their bowls down once they are calm and release them from sitting with a word like "Break" or "Ok"!

5. Start threshold training which involves asking your puppy to Sit at doorways, open doors, crosswalks, etc., and then walking through them calmly. This will help discourage your puppy from lunging and pulling each time they see an open doorway to another room a.k.a. a new adventure to explore, and helps your walks be calmer.

Your puppy is starting to grow up quickly and you can start to work in more complex training routines with the commands they have learned!

1. Introduce Stay and Leave-It commands to your puppy!

2. Start command combinations and working indoors. Try to get your puppy practice duration work by holding their commands longer, for example, a long Sit and Stay, and also try to link some commands together! Here is a fun combination to try: Sit > Down > Stay > Come > Place. You can work on different combinations to really keep your puppy engaged!

3. Practice Heel outdoors in your driveway or sidewalk in front of your house to ease them into some of the outside distractions!

4. Begin to socialize with other new pups after your puppy has received all their vaccinations!

At this point, your puppy should start to work on their commands outside your home and in public spaces, as well as continue to socialize!

1. Advance on their commands by practicing them outside your home in the front or backyard. Bring your puppy to a new location, such as the park, and practice their commands and some command combinations.

2. Extend your walks with your puppy from down the block to further down the block. Work on your puppy's leash training and Heel command!

3. Start to wean your puppy off of food rewards at this point while they are training by asking for several commands first before giving a food reward, or by using praise or affection when they respond with the correct behavior instead!

Your puppy should know all of their basic commands and have a solid foundation of potty training, crate training, and socialization. From this point on, you will continue to work with your puppy to reinforce what they have already learned!

1. Continue to reinforce all the commands your puppy has learned and stat to incorporate what we call the 3Ds: distance, duration, and distractions to them! Introduce more distance between you and your pup as you practice their commands, have them hold commands for longer periods of time, and had in more distractions to have them work through! We recommend using a long time to practice these safely outdoors and do not forget to include Recall to practice your pup coming to you from longer distances

2. Maintain structure at home! Your puppy is in an adolescent phase and can act up if left to their own devices. It is not uncommon for pups to start chewing, nipping, potty accidents, or other behaviors if their training and structure start to ease up at home!





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Now is the time to start training your puppy. You do not want to wait until their six months old to suddenly realize that your puppy has grown up with no rules and free reign of your home. Starting healthy and safe habits early in life will help you and your puppy to have a long-lasting and positive relationship.

During training, we should view our pets as companions who both understand and respond to us. Training should be considered as a means of teaching pets good manners so that, as our puppies mature into adult dogs, they will be welcome both in our homes and outdoors in public. For practical purposes, training should be initiated as early as possible, and all members of your household should participate.


Puppy Training
Reward System

Puppies learn best when they receive exciting rewards for their efforts. Even the youngest and tiniest puppy will be enthusiastic about food treats and will be eager to work with you. Experiment to find your puppy's favorite reward, whether it is food, a tossed toy or a warm word of praise. Only positive, gentle methods should be used - punishment is likely to harm your puppy's confidence and has no place in good training. Puppies, like children and even adult humans, learn best when they enjoy the learning process and receive something in return. In the home or in the park, differences are usually very obvious between reward-trained dogs and those trained by force.

Keep in mind that one treat will not work for all puppies. Some may like dry treats while others need juicer temptations. For breeds that have strong noses, like hounds, you may need to put in a lot of work to find the treat that gets you puppy's nose off the ground and pointed at you. But do not lose patience. This process may take a few tries, but it will be worth it in the end.

Puppy Training
Command System

Training should utilize word cues - "commands", that will be of practical use to you as your pup's human companion. The most helpful tools are "sit," "lay down," "stay" and "come." It is also important to teach your puppy to walk on a leash without tugging. If you have intentions of enrolling your dog in obedience competition, you will need to train a formal "heel, " but this can wait until your puppy is older. For future obedience competition candidates, enrolling your pup in a puppy training class is highly advisable.

Puppies can also benefit from nonverbal commands, such as hand signals. This way, if you are ever in a loud environment, you will be able to signal to your puppy the behavior that you are looking for, and he will be able to respond. Pair each verbal command with a gesture and utilize that gesture every time you employ your command. When your puppy is older you can start switching between vocal only, gesture only, or dual commands.

Puppy Training
Lure System

The most effective teaching method, using "sit" as an example, is to allow your puppy to engage in the behavior on his own rather than pushing him into position. Small bits of food - even your puppy's regular kibble can be used as a "lure" after offering a few "free" pieces first. With food in hand, present your hand to the puppy's nose and then slowly raise it toward the top of his head, so that his mouth and head are directed upward. In most cases, when the nose points up, the tail end goes down and your puppy's sitting! The food should then immediately be relinquished and the exercise repeated.

Lures can be used effectively to train "down" by having your puppy sit facing you, then drawing the lure from his nose to the floor and then back toward you. When your puppy's sitting or lying down reliably each time you offer the lure, you can introduce the words โ€“ sit or down โ€“ along with the lure. Finally, when he is responding like a pro, the rewards should be cut back and given only every other time, then every third time and, finally, only randomly.

Puppy Obedience Classes
Lures, rewards, timing and other aspects of positive training are best demonstrated, and then guided, by experienced trainers. If you have resources in your city or town, consider enrolling your young and vaccinated puppy in a "kindergarten" training class designed specifically for the young pet. Puppy kindergartens usually include basic, reward-based training, along with plenty of playtime and discussions about care and behavior.

Obedience centers also offer puppy or pre-novice training sessions designed to teach on a slightly more serious level. Many dog owners will proceed from one level to the next โ€“ first with a puppy, then with an adolescent and later with their young adult dog โ€“ who by now is proficient at basic obedience commands. Training should be fun for you and your dog.


A lifetime of good manners can start with training the youngest of puppies. If he is old enough to be away from her mother and littermates, he is old enough to learn simple commands. The result is not only a well-behaved and welcome canine companion, but one whose quality of life is enhanced in the long run. He will be more likely to accompany you on trips, on visits to friends' houses and, because he will have learned to come when called, he will be ready for that great day when she first runs free on a sandy beach.

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The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a paycheck for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.

Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him. It is important to remember that we can not expect dogs to know what they do not know - just like you would not expect a 2 year old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.


Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a "high value" food for training treats - something special, such as or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward.

Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying "Good dog!" in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce behavior.


Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief - just 5 to 10 minutes and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.

Keep training sessions short and fun. End each session on a positive note. If you feel your dog is having a difficult time learning or being "stubborn," evaluate the speed of your training and the value of your rewards. Do you need to slow down and make the steps easier, or does your dog need a bigger paycheck for a harder exercise?

Why Is Dog Training Important?
Dog training is essential for a wide variety of reasons:

Encourages desirable behavior
The most obvious reason to train your dog is that you can encourage good behavior and discourage undesirable behavior. Training your dog means teaching them how to sit, stay, and heel, as well as how to resist chewing up your shoes, and how to wait to urinate until they are outside. Training can help puppy owners and dog owners alike enjoy their pet's company.

Offers mental stimulation
Just like humans, dogs can get bored and when they get bored, they can act out. Training your dog, whether you are teaching them essential commands like how to sit and stay, or fun new tricks like how to play dead can be a fun mental exercise that feels like playtime for your dog.

Builds Trust
When your dog successfully learns a new command, it builds the trust and affection they feel toward you, transforming your dog from the family pet to a loyal and reliable companion. Working on commands with your dog is the key to developing a strong and lasting relationship with them.


Use Reward-Based Training!
When you are starting puppy training, research different puppy trainers in your area or online puppy training schools and their training styles. You can utilize reward-based training which uses high-value rewards like food treats and toys to encourage the right behavior from your puppy! This mode of puppy training will help establish confidence in your pup, trust in you as their leader, motivate your puppy to work and learn, and instill a lasting positive experience for your puppy

Be Patient and Consistent!
It is easy to become frustrated with the puppy training process. Puppies are young and still figuring out the world, so they will make mistakes. It takes time to establish communication between yourself and your puppy, so do not expect them to get it on the first try! To get them on track faster, maintain a consistent schedule for your puppy. Consider creating a daily puppy schedule that includes potty breaks, feeding and playtimes, puppy training sessions, and nap times! This will help your puppy learn to understand the daily household routine, feel confident and secure, provide structure, and promote good behavior.

Practice, Practice, Practice!
That saying "practice makes perfect" is totally true when it comes to puppy training! You will want to schedule a few short training sessions each day to teach and practice their commands. With young puppies, you may only be able to hold their attention for 5-10 minutes at a time, and about 10-15 minutes with older puppies.

A great time to do this is at your puppy's mealtime, as you can have them work to earn their breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Keep these training sessions short, fun, and motivating for your pup so they can not wait to do them again and again! And, once your puppy has completed the appropriate vaccination routine, start practicing their training routines in different locations! This will help solidify their commands, and encourage the same correct behaviors wherever you bring your puppy!

How do I get started using food lure training?
Small pieces of food or a favored toy can be used to motivate your puppy to perform most tasks. Provided the reward is sufficiently appealing, the puppy can be prompted to give the desired response by showing the puppy the reward, giving a command, and moving the reward to get the desired response. For example, food held up over the puppy's nose and moved slowly backwards should get a "sit" response, food drawn down to the floor should get a "down" response, food brought back up should get a "stand" response; food held out at a distance should get a "come" response; and food held at your thigh as you walk should get the puppy to "heel" or "follow". By pairing a command phrase or word with each action, and giving the reward for each appropriate response, the puppy should soon learn the meaning of each command.

How often should I give the command?
Ideally you should give the command phrase once and then use your food to move the puppy into positions. Once the puppy has performed the task, add in verbal praise and an affectionate pat, which are known as secondary reinforcers. If the puppy does not immediately obey on the first command, then you are likely proceeding a little too quickly. If you keep repeating the command, the puppy will learn that several repetitions are acceptable before it needs to obey. Keeping a leash attached can help to gain an immediate response if the puppy does not obey.

Remember that, early in training, your puppy does not know the meaning of the word. Therefore you could just as easily teach your puppy to sit with the word bananas or sit in any other language, as you could with the word sit. The key is to associate the word, in this case "sit," with the action of placing the hind end on the floor.

How much time should I spend training my puppy every day?
You do not necessarily need to train in a set session daily. Rather, integrate these tasks throughout the day. A goal to strive for is at least 15 minutes of training every day. These can be short 5 minute sessions spread throughout the day. Try to have all family members ask your puppy to do these tasks. Remember to try to train in every room of your house. You want your puppy to "sit," "lie down," and "stay" everywhere, not just in the training location. Practice in all locations you would like your puppy to behave and feel comfortable and relaxed in the future.

When should I start socializing my puppy?
Socialization should begin as soon as you get your puppy and often this means at 7 weeks of age. Puppies naturally accept new people, other species and introduction to new situations during the socialization period which occurs between 7 and 14 to 16 weeks of age. This period provides an opportunity for a myriad of introductions that will provide positive memories that last a life time. Puppies are eager, exploratory and uninhibited during this period and it is important to take advantage of this enthusiasm. Be sure to protect your puppy during this period and ensure that all experiences are positive, fun and not fear evoking.

Perform all training on leash
The cornerstone of all training is control. A controlled animal is focused, calm, and attentive - ready to listen and respond to instruction. Since using a leash gives you 90 percent more control over your dog, you should do all training on leash - not so that you can yank it hard when your dog does not listen, but so that you can stay in control and calmly maintain your dog's attention.

Keep it consistent and upbeat
While you may be desperately training your dog so that you can save your last few pairs of shoes from chew marks, for your dog, training is all about developing a relationship with you. They listen to commands because they want to please you. By doing training sessions regularly and with an upbeat attitude, you will build trust and affection between you and your dog. No matter which command you are working on, you will want to train your dog in 10 to 15-minute sessions three times a day. Always make sure to end each session on a good note with your dog successfully performing the technique to continue the positive reinforcement.

Be prepared for ups and downs
The best preparation a dog owner can do when beginning dog training is mental: know that there will be ups and downs in the training cycle. Some days, it will seem like your dog can do no wrong - the two of you will be perfectly in sync and your pup will be flying through the commands. Other days, you will have to try again and again to get him or her to cooperate. Rest assured that a bad training session does not mean you have failed or that your dog has no hope of learning the command. Training is a marathon, not a sprint.






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Erin Ollila

When you first decided to adopt a dog, you might have expected puppy training to be a ton of fun. But when you imagined a little dog frisking around and chewing on his leash as you take him for walks, you certainly did not picture puddles of pee on your floor or all the nighttime barking and whining.

Just because you have hit a few snags along the way does not mean learning how to train your puppy has to be tough. It can be as fun as you hoped it would be. If you are wondering how to train your pup so that you will both have a good time, read on. These four dog training hacks are the best place to get started.

1. Stick with Sleep Training
Thought sleep training was just for babies? You are barking up the wrong tree. Puppies need help learning proper sleep habits just like children. If you have not taken your dog home yet, know that for the first few days, maybe even a week, it may be difficult to get some shuteye. Why? Well, besides being a "baby" just learning about the world, your pet is in a brand new environment, and that is a huge adjustment. Getting your pup familiar with the differences between day and nighttime starts with a few small steps. First, make a comfortable environment for your pet to bed down.


A lush doggy bed or comfortable blankets in a crate will add a sense of comfort to the evening routine. Next, it is time for lights out. While you may think keeping a low light on will put your puppy at ease, you are forgetting that your job is to teach your pet the difference between night and day. Just like humans, dogs produce a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin. Because lights affect how the body produces melatonin, a dark room is a must. Besides the lights, you should turn off or cover all phones and TV screens.

Then, it is time for the training. Just like babies, your puppy may wake up in the middle of the night because he needs to relieve himself. Don't deny him the opportunity, but at the same time, do not make a big deal about the awake time either. If your dog wakes you up and you suspect he may need to pee, bring him outside, avoiding eye contact and too much verbal interaction. These will only stimulate your pet. If your puppy whines a lot for attention, the most important thing to do is to ignore him. While it is hard to ignore the whimpers of a sad puppy - especially if they are keeping you up, it is important that he understands that at nighttime he is supposed to be sleeping and you are not there to give him attention.


Be proactive and cut the food and treats a few hours before bedtime, but do not forget to take your pet out a few more times to empty his bladder. It can also be a good idea to play with him a couple of hours before bedtime to wear him out. Don't play with him right before bed because this will keep his body and mind in an active state and will keep him awake. Give his body some time to get tired after play and he will be out before you know it. And finally, be patient. Sleep training takes patience and consistency. Then, once your puppy learns positive sleep skills, everyone will go back to getting their beauty sleep.

2. Be Belt Buddies
Is your puppy making puddles on the floor, or worse, is he sneaking into different rooms to relieve himself? One of the easiest ways to ensure your pet does not to get into any trouble is to keep him close to you at all times. Though this is not always easy when you are busy cleaning, cooking, chasing children or simply vegging out on the couch after a long day of work, do not fret. There is an easy way to keep your pet close regardless of what activity you are doing.


Leash your dog and attach the end of the strap to your belt loops. Opt for a long leash or lead, and your dog will never be more than a few feet away from you at all times. Then, when you notice your puppy getting antsy or whining, you can run him right outside to practice his potty training routine. Granted, this tip won't work if you are in the shower, but there is no reason why your dog can not rest on the bath mat.

3. Attach Bells to the Door
Ding, ding, ding! It is potty time! How do you know? Well, if you teach your dog during puppy training to paw the bells you strategically placed on the door, you won't have to guess when it is time to go outside. This is one of the puppy training hacks that will be useful his entire life. It is easy and fun to train your pet, too. Simply purchase or DIY a row of bells and hang them from your doorknob. The length should be long enough that your dog can either paw it or nudge it with his nose when he wants to alert you he is ready to go outside.


At first your dog is not going to know what to do with the bells. He may or may not like the sound, as it will be new to him, so you should appear upbeat and excited to ring the bell every time you take your pet outside. If you are using a word like "potty!" or "outside!" to help train your dog where to use the bathroom, say it while ringing the bell and opening the door.

After hearing the bells ring every time he goes outside to do his business, he will eventually associate the sound with the activity. After a short period of time, use your dog's paw to hit the bells instead of your hand. Encouraging your puppy to take the lead will really reinforce the training. Eventually he will be doing it all on his own.

Because dogs are naturally curious creatures, the chance to go outside is a fun new exercise for them. When they start to associate the bell with going outside, they may get in the bad habit of ringing it just to go explore, rather than just relieve himself. There are a couple of ways to help train him from making this a regular habit. Keeping a regular schedule is important for your puppy. He will start to learn over time when it is time to go outside to do his thing, so if you just took him out not too long ago do not give into his demands.


Use this strategy with caution because puppies need to go out to relieve themselves frequently as they are learning to hold their bladders, so ignoring them for too long could lead to accidents in the home. The second strategy is to reward your dog directly after he does his business outside with a treat and praise. This will help him connect the ringing of the bell to going outside to doing his business. If he rings the bell and does not go to the bathroom outside, do not reward him with treats or praise - use these only as methods for rewarding the correct behavior from bell to bathroom.

4. Choose the Right Words
Obedience training can be a lot of fun! It is a good time to use both words and physical cues for how to train Puppy to do things, such as sit, lay down and come back to you. Here is a tip you can put into practice right away: be specific with the words you use, so your puppy will understand exactly what it is you are asking of him. For example, saying "come!" when you want your dog to retreat to you after playing outside or find his way to the kitchen for dinner time may make sense at first. But eventually, after the training is over, your dog may not respond to a general term as often.


Instead, use words like "inside" when you want your puppy to find his way back into your home or "dinner" when it is time to eat. Similarly, be specific and say words such as "walk" instead of just "outside" or "bedtime" instead of "upstairs." You may not speak the same language, but the clearer you are with your puppy, the more of your vocabulary he will learn. Puppy training can be an exhausting experience, but it can also be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences for both of you. It is a great time to bond. After all, he is not only learning about you, but you are learning about him.



This material proudly presented by
Adrienne Kruzer

Potty training a new puppy can be difficult if you do not know what to do, but there are several aids you can use to help your puppy go potty where you want it to go. Using potty pads - also called puppy pads, or pee pads, is one way to help teach your puppy where it is appropriate to use the bathroom. Consistency is key to this training technique, which you can then use to also teach your puppy to eventually potty outside.

Choosing a Potty Pad
The idea behind using a potty pad is to provide a visible, consistent area for your puppy to go potty. You will want to choose something that is absorbent, easy to clean up, and large enough for the messes that your specific puppy makes. Large breed dogs may need heavy duty options compared to toy breeds. Newspapers, paper towels, cloth towels, and store-bought pee pads or indoor or outdoor carpet potty stations are all options.

Newspaper and paper towels can be messy and difficult to clean up after your puppy potties on them, but they are inexpensive. Cloth towels are absorbent but will need to be washed regularly, and your puppy is more likely to try to chew on it like a blanket or toy. Store bought pee pads are the most popular option due to their absorbency, size options, and ease of disposal. If you plan to train your small dog to use the potty indoors, then indoor/outdoor carpet potty stations specifically designed for dogs are good options.

Introduce Your Puppy
to the Potty Pads

Allow your puppy to see and sniff the potty pads you chose. This will help it get used to the new item so it is not scared of it at potty time. Let your puppy walk on the pad while you repeat a consistent command that you plan to say at potty time, such as "go potty."

Anticipate When Your Puppy Will Potty
While potty training your puppy, you will need to keep them close by so that you can anticipate when they are about to go potty. There are a few key times and behaviors to watch for that will help you anticipate your puppy having to urinate or defecate:

Puppies usually potty after sleeping, eating, drinking, and after playing. After your puppy does one of these things, you will want to pick it up about 15 minutes later and place it onto the potty pad in anticipation of it having to urinate or defecate.

If your puppy starts sniffing around on the ground instead of playing or chewing on a toy, this is a good indication that it needs to go potty.

You will want to pick it up and place it on the potty pad if it starts doing this.

Your puppy may have to go potty every two to three hours. Get in the habit of taking your puppy to the potty pad every few hours.

Reward Your Puppy
Praise and treats work wonders with puppies. If your puppy goes potty on its potty pad, make sure you immediately praise it. This can be verbal in an excited tone of voice, by petting your puppy, or by giving it a special, soft treat reserved only for potty time.

Be Consistent
Keep your puppy on a regular schedule. This will make it easier for you to anticipate when your puppy may need to potty. Say the same command phrase each time. Keep the potty pad in the same place until your puppy starts going to the potty pad by itself. Once your puppy knows what to do on the potty pad, you can slowly move it closer to the door or outside where you want your puppy to eventually use the bathroom without the use of the potty pad.

Training Mistakes to Avoid
Do not encourage your puppy to pull or chew on the potty pad, eat food on it, or play on it. This may confuse your puppy as to what the purpose of the potty pad is. Do not move the potty pad around until your puppy knows what it is for and is going potty on it consistently. Be sure to find and use a treat that your puppy is really excited about getting. This will help with the training process.

Problems and Proofing Behavior
If your puppy is not making it to the potty pad on time, try putting it closer to where it usually plays or eats, and then slowly move it closer to the door if you aim to eventually teach it to potty outside. If you are having issues keeping an eye on your puppy and it has accidents when you are not looking, try the following strategies:

Add a bell to its collar to help you hear where it is.

Leave the leash on for the puppy to drag behind it, which will leave somewhat of a trail for you to follow.

Consider putting your puppy in a crate or exercise pen to nap, which may encourage it to whine if it has to potty since dogs do not like to mess where they also sleep.

If your puppy seems to be constantly urinating, talk to your veterinarian about potential problems that some puppies are known for having.




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A puppy needs a good learning foundation in order to be a confident adult. But learning is more than just teaching your puppy basic cues such as sit and stay. The most important aspect of the learning process is to introduce your puppy to the environments and situations she is likely to experience throughout her life. Socializing her with people, dogs and other animals will encourage her to be socially confident as she grows. Habituating him slowly to human touch will prevent touch aversions in adulthood.

The brain of a puppy is like a sponge and every experience is stored away in her memory, building her personality. While a puppy might be born with a certain temperament, it is the way he is raised that will truly determine his personality. The more positive and enriching experiences she has, the more confident he will be as an adult. Puppies are learning all the time, not just when they are being trained, so your behavior and the way you handle your puppy will influence his development. Punitive handling and harsh corrections will damage your pup as she grows so stay away from punitive trainers or any equipment that can harm him, including shock, choke or prong collars.


Puppies need to be gently guided into making good decisions, allowed to investigate their environments and given reinforcement for the good behaviors they do, as well as being redirected from indulging in behaviors that you do not want. All puppies need boundaries, but these must be given in a humane way so as not to instill fear.

A puppy that experiences fear or rough handling as he grows is more likely to be reactive and show aggressive behavior as an adolescent and into adulthood. The investment you make giving your puppy a good learning foundation will pay off throughout his life. Puppies are certainly cute but raising one can be challenging. Seeing a pup develop into a confident adult, however, is worth the hard work.


Teach your Puppy Name
Puppy training should begin the day they arrive in your new home. Start by helping them to get to know their name. Use it every time you play with them, feed them or cuddle them and they will soon recognise it and respond when called. Once they know their name, you can use it to communicate with them and start training your puppy.

Part of the fun of bringing home a new puppy or dog is finding the perfect name for them. But did you know certain names are better for training? It helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant that they can always hear clearly.

A strong ending, like in the names "Jasper," "Jack" and "Ginger," perks up puppy ears - especially when you place emphasis at the end. Whatever their name, be sure to associate it with fun, pleasant experiences as much as possible, rather than negative ones. Ideally, your pup should think of their name in the same way they think of other fun stuff like walks or dinnertime.

How to Teach a Puppy to Come When Called
When your puppy comes to you, do not reach out and grab him. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer him treats as you reach for the collar. Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach him that you are unpredictable, and it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to his or her name, even if they have been up to mischief!

1. Sit with your puppy and say his name or the word "come."

2. Each time you say "come + name," give your puppy a treat. He does not have to do anything yet! Just repeat the word and give a treat.

3. Next, drop a treat on the floor near you. As soon as your puppy finishes the treat on the ground, say his name again. When he looks up, give him another treat.

4. Repeat this a couple of times until you can begin tossing the treat a little further away, and he can turn around to face you when you say his name. Note: Avoid repeating your puppy's name - saying it too often when he does not respond makes it easier for him to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy and go back to a step where he can be successful at responding to his name the first time.

5. Once your puppy can turn around to face you, begin adding movement and making the game more fun! Toss a treat on the ground and take a few quick steps away while calling your puppy's name. They should run after you because chase is fun!

6. When they catch you, give them a lot of praise, treats or play with a tug toy. Coming to you should be fun! Continue building on these games with longer distances and in other locations. When training outside - always in a safe, enclosed area, it may be helpful to keep your puppy on a long leash at first.


How to Teach a Puppy Loose - Leash Walking
In competition obedience training, "heel" means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say "let's go" or 'forward" instead of "heel" when they train this easy way of walking together. Whatever cue you choose, be consistent and always use the same word. Whether your puppy walks on your left side or your right side is completely up to you. But be consistent about where you want them so they don not get confused and learn to zig zag in front of you.

1. First, make sure your puppy is comfortable wearing a leash. This can feel strange at first, and some puppies may bite the leash. Give your puppy treats as you put the leash on each time.

2. Then, stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop and give him several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg.

3. Take one step forward and encourage him to follow by giving another treat as he catches up.

4. Continue giving treats to your puppy at the level of your knee or hip as you walk forward.

5. When he runs in front of you, simply turn in the opposite direction, call him to you, and reward him in place. Then continue. Gradually begin giving treats further apart from every step to every other step, every third step, and so on.

6. Eventually, your dog will walk happily at your side whenever he is on his leash. Allow your dog plenty of time to sniff and "smell the roses" on your walks. When they have had their sniffing time, give the cue "Let's Go!" in a happy voice and reward them for coming back into position and walking with you.


How to Teach a Puppy to Sit
Never physically put your puppy into the sitting position - this can be confusing or upsetting to some dogs. There are two different methods for showing your puppy what "sit" means.

1. Stand in front of your puppy holding some of his dog food or treats.

2. Wait for him to sit โ€“ say "yes" and give him a treat.

3. Then step backwards or sideways to encourage him to stand and wait for him to sit.

4. Give another treat as soon as they sit.

5. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying "sit" right as he begins to sit.

1. Get down in front of your puppy, holding a treat as a lure.

2. Put the treat right in front of the pup's nose, then slowly lift the food above his head. He will probably sit as he lifts his head to nibble at the treat.

3. Allow him to eat the treat when his bottom touches the ground.

4. Repeat one or two times with the food lure, then remove the food and use just your empty hand, but continue to reward the puppy after he sits.

5. Once he understands the hand signal to sit, you can begin saying "sit" right before you give the hand signal.


How to Teach a Puppy to Lie Down
"Down" can be taught very similarly to "sit." Just like with sitting, never use force to put your dog into a down.

1. You can wait for your dog to lie down - beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help

2. Capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down

3. Give him his release cue to stand back up and encouragement with a lure if needed, and then waiting for him to lie down again.

4. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying "down" right before he does so.

You can also lure a down from a sit or stand.

1. Hold a treat in your hand to the dog's nose and slowly bringing it to the floor.

2. Give the treat when the dog's elbows touch the floor to start.

3. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and giving the treat AFTER he lies down.

4. When he can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying "down" as you move your hand.


How to Teach a Puppy to Stay
A puppy who knows the "stay" cue will remain sitting until you ask him to get up by giving another cue, called the "release word." Staying in place is a duration behavior. The goal is to teach your dog to remain sitting until the release cue is given, then begin adding distance. Once your dog can stay, you can gradually increase the distance. This is also true for the "sit." The more solidly he learns it, the longer he can remain sitting. The key is to not expect too much, too soon. Training goals are achieved in increments, so you may need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To make sure the training "sticks," sessions should be short and successful.

1. First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as "OK" or "free."

2. Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat.

3. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.

4. When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat.

5. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him.

6. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats - it can help to sing the ABC's in your head and work your way up the alphabet.

7. If your dog gets up before the release cue, that is ok! It just means he is not ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.

8. Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance.

9. Place him in a sit and say "stay," take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word.

10. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned, which is more realistic.



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Socialization is a big project. It requires exposure to the types of people, animals, places, sounds and experiences that you expect your dog to be comfortable in later in life. Your puppy is constantly learning about the big wide world, and it's important to provide them with positive experiences with a variety of sounds, people, animals, surfaces, and handling while they are young so they have less fear later on in life.

This is called Proactive Exposure Training or Socialization. Start "low and slow, short and sweet" when beginning this process with your pup, meaning low volume for sounds, further distance from people or other animals, and slowly increasing the duration of the interaction depending on your dog's reaction. Being able to read your dog's body language can help you evaluate how they are feeling about what is going on around them.

Early Puppy Socialization
Advice, Research, and Power Tips

Socializing a Puppy I
Meeting other pups

Socializing a Puppy II
Meeting an Adult Dog

Socializing a Puppy III
Meeting a Children

Socializing a Puppy IV
Meeting & Loving a Vet

Socializing a Puppy V
Meeting a New People

Socializing a Puppy VI
Teaching your Puppy to Love Being Handled

Socializing a Puppy VII
Teaching your Puppy to Wear Muzzle

Socializing a Puppy VIII
Conditioning your Dog to Nail Trimming

Socializing a Puppy IX
Counter-Condition Grooming \ Desensitizing

Socializing a Puppy X
Vet Visits

For more puppy socialization videos !


This information courtesy of

Denise Flaim

Even before your puppy is vaccinated, you can still provide opportunities for him to socialize. Here are some ideas:

Invite your friends over
Children, adults, men, women, the UPS driver, the gardeners - have your pup see and experience these people in and around your home.

Take your puppy to a trusted friend's house
Just going into a new environment will offer your puppy lots of new experiences.

Invite your friends' healthy, vaccinated, and puppy-friendly dogs over for a play date
Playing with other dogs is important for puppies' social development and to learn not to bite hard in play.

Take your pup on a walk in a stroller, wagon, or sling
Just do not allow him to walk places where there might be feces or urine from other animals.

Take a large blanket to the park
Let your pup watch the world go by on the safety of the blanket.

Take your pup for car rides
Help him get used to the motion on short rides to the store or even just around the block.

Visit businesses that welcome dogs or a sidewalk cafe
Carry your pup in or in the case of a cafe, set him up on a mat and let him take in the sights and smells.

This information courtesy of

In addition to exposing your puppy to a variety of experiences, people and environments, we also suggestion exposing your companion to various sounds. Since sounds are often the source of fears in dogs, getting your dog used to some noises will help prevent him from being scared of them later. How to accustom your dog to life sounds? Use the socialization sounds playlist! The audio clip below contains a variety of sounds your dog may hear during his life: car noises, thunder, lawnmower, baby crying, etc. By having your puppy regularly listen to this sounds playlist, it will gradually become accustomed to certain noises and will therefore be more confident when having real encounters with these noise for the first time.

Here is how to use
the socialization sounds playlist:

Play the audio clip below at a very low volume to get started.

After a few play, gradually increase the volume, never going highr than the puppy can easily cope with.

Do not leave the puppy alone while the noises are playing. Play with him and feed him treats to ensure a positive association with the noises.

Play the sounds playlist everyday until your puppy is able to accept the noises played at a volume comfortable for humans. Then continue to play the playlist once a week until your puppy is 1 year old.






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For successful training, practice the following basic training steps with your puppy every day. Keep training sessions short. Your puppy will see everything as a game, so keep them stimulated by changing what they are learning. Do each command for about five minutes and come back to it whenever you can. Practice the commands in lots of different places: in the living room, garden, hall or kitchen, even out on walks - so that they get used to responding to you in all sorts of situations.

You can use the click technique to help with other aspects of your puppy's training, such as encouraging standing still for grooming and getting them used to travelling by car. Your puppy will learn very quickly and respond to love and affection as well as rewards. Obedience training will help build a lasting bond between the two of you and you will be rewarded with a happy, well-trained dog.

Table Manners
Giving in to your puppy's every need is not a good thing. As puppies grow, so will their need to assert themselves. Puppies often choose mealtimes as a battleground. But giving in is a mistake. You need to make sure your puppy knows that you won't respond to every demand. Your puppy needs to learn that people, particularly small children, can be a bit unpredictable and to accept that their unpredictable behaviour is not threatening. You can help by imitating a child's behaviour.

Try stepping quickly towards their bowl - then drop in a treat. Gently bump into them, while they are eating, or roll toys nearby, anything to cause a distraction, but drop a treat in the bowl to reward for continuing to eat calmly. Do this every so often, but not at every meal. If your puppy freezes mid-mouthful, growls or glares at you, stop and try again another time. If this continues, it is best to seek advice from a veterinary behaviourist or certified dog trainer.

Reading your Puppy's Body Language
Dogs have always communicated with each other by using body language. This involves facial expressions, body postures, noises and scents. Dogs will use their mouth, eyes, ears and tail to express emotions. By learning how to interpret your puppy's body language, you can interpret your puppy's intentions.

Signs of aggression or submission - If your puppy is feeling brave or aggressive, they will try to make themselves larger by standing tall, with ears and tail sticking upright. They will also push out their chest and raise the hair on their neck and back. They might also growl and wave their tail slowly. On the other hand, a submissive dog will try to make themselves appear small and act like a puppy. This is because an adult dog will "tell off" a puppy but not attack them. Submission will take the form of a sideways crouch near to the ground, tail held low but wagging away. They may also try to lick the face of the dominant dog or human and even roll onto their back.

Your puppy's tail - Most of us recognise that tail wagging is a sign of friendliness and pleasure, but the tail can indicate other moods, too. The normal way a dog holds their tail varies from breed to breed but generally speaking, a tail held higher than 45 degrees to the back expresses alertness and interest. If your puppy's tail is waved slowly and stiffly, that is an expression of anger. If it's clamped low over hindquarters, it means your pet is afraid. An anxious or nervous dog may droop their tail but wag it stiffly.

Your puppy's eyes - If your dog's eyes are half closed, that's a sign of pleasure or submission, while eyes wide open can indicate aggression. In the wild, dogs stare at each other until one backs down or makes a challenge, so you should never attempt to outstare your puppy, especially if they are nervous.

Your puppy's smile - Submissive dogs and some breeds such as Labradors often open their mouths in a kind of lop-sided "grin", and indeed, it is a sign of friendliness. But when lips are drawn back tightly to bare the teeth, that is aggression, make no mistake.

Wanting to play - If your puppy wants to play, they will raise a paw or bow down and bark to attract attention. Or they might offer up a toy, or bound up to another dog to get them to join in a chase.

How your Puppy Sees You
Your puppy will watch you to read your body signals more than listening to you, and will quickly learn what you are feeling even without you speaking. If you want to improve communication with your puppy, you can improve upon your own body language. For example, crouching down with arms opened out is a welcome sign while towering over and staring is a sign of threat.

How your Puppy Learns
Your puppy will learn very quickly, so it is important that they learn how to behave properly right from the start. Dogs learn by association, so if your puppy does something good, give a reward. Then the good action is much more likely to be repeated. The reward must be linked to the action, so reward quickly, within a second or two. The reward itself can be a few kibbles of puppy food or praise, or both. Your puppy needs to be taught what they can and cannot do. Some harmless behaviours can be ignored, but potentially dangerous ones need to be handled immediately by interrupting the behaviour with a sharp "no" to get their attention โ€” be sure to reward when they stop and pay attention to you. Shouting or hitting will not help your puppy learn.

Barking and Whining

Barking is a totally natural aspect of a dog's behaviour, but you, your family and your neighbours will be happier if you can bring it under control. It is hardly surprising many people have barking problems with their dogs, since most dogs have no idea whether barking is something good or bad. That is because our reaction to barking is confusing to dogs - sometimes ignored, other times shouted at to stop, and also encouraged to bark if, for example, there is a suspicious stranger nearby. To help your dog know when barking is acceptable, you simply need to teach barking is allowed till told to stop. "Stop barking" should be considered as a command for obedience rather than a telling off.

Start the training by letting your dog bark two or three times, praise for sounding the alarm, then say "Stop barking" and hold out a treat. Your dog will stop immediately if only due to the fact that they can not sniff the treat while barking. After a few seconds of quiet, give the reward. Gradually increase the time from when the barking stops to the giving of the reward. If you are concerned about excessive barking that you have no control over, you should seek advice from your vet about next steps, such as specialist training or therapy.

If you comfort your puppy whenever they whine, it may actually make things worse. It will make your puppy think they are being praised for whining, and get into the habit of repeating it for your affection. You can help your puppy learn to stop whining by not going to then when whining. Ignoring your puppy and only giving attention and praise when they stop, teaches that whining and whimpering is not the way to earn your approval.


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House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet. It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside.

Your puppy's previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones. And while you are training, don not worry if there are setbacks. As long as you continue a management program that includes taking your puppy out at the first sign they need to go and offering them rewards, they will learn.


br>When to Begin House Training Puppy?
We recommend that you begin house training your puppy when they are between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, they have enough control of their bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it. If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring them home and have been eliminating in a cage and possibly eating their waste, house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog's behavior with encouragement and reward.

Steps for Housetraining
Your Puppy

We recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that they need to go outside to do their business, you can gradually give them more freedom to roam about the house. When you start to house train, follow these steps:

1. Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away their food between meals.

2. Take the puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take them outside after meals or when they wake from a nap. Make sure they goe out last thing at night and before they are left alone.

3. Take the puppy to the same spot each time to do their business. Their scent will prompt them to go.

4. Stay with them outside, at least until they are house trained.

5. When your puppy eliminates outside, praise them or give a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

Using a Crate for Housetraining Your Puppy
A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on them for signs they need to go and teach them to hold it until you open the crate and let them outside. Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:

1. Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for them to use a corner as a bathroom.

2. If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure the puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.

3. If you can not be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives them a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.

4. Do not use a crate if your puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: they may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where they lived before, they may not be getting outside enough - the crate may be too big or they may be too young to hold it in.

Signs That Your Puppy Needs to Eliminate
Whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or, if your puppy is unconfined, barking or scratching at the door, are all signs they need to go. Take them out right away. Accidents are common in puppies up to a year old. The reasons for accidents range from incomplete house training to a change in the puppy's environment. When your puppy does have an accident, keep on training.


Then if it still does not seem to be working, consult a veterinarian to rule out a medical issue. Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you. If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so they know they have done something unacceptable. Then take them outside by calling them or taking them gently by the collar. When they are finished, praise them or give them a small treat.


If you found the evidence but did not see the act, do not react angrily by yelling or rubbing their nose in it. Puppies are not intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident. Staying outside longer with your puppy may help to curb accidents. They may need the extra time to explore. Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.


Dog Tricks, Obedience, Dog Training & Teaching Techniques & Video
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Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

When to Begin House Training Puppy
Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it. If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home and he is been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating his waste), house training may take longer. Potty training a dog can be anyplace from effortless to extremely difficult, based on him, your household and your living. Numerous keepers become fortunate and notwithstanding the blunders they inadvertently create, they are with a potty trained dog. However, some holders require help from an instructor or behavior therapist.

Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

Assuring your home is without pee spots and smells is something you must do before starting your potty training strategy. Buy black light and an animal scent cleaner from your nearby animal shop. Switch off the lights and completely examine your house, rugs and furnishings once it is dim. The black light will show all aged spots therefore you can efficiently wash and eliminate them. There are numerous helpful maintenance items available.

Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

Buy an excellent cage when you do not already have one that is sufficient for your dog to stand and lay. In a peaceful yet not remote portion of your house, place the cage. Create and observe an administration plan round the clock of potty breaks. Considering you do not desire your puppy to get a mishap so this is important. Your plan should add food, game, training and rest time and toilet breaks for the whole week plan.

Either you employ a dog walker or pet sitter that can assist you with that part of your potty training plan when you cannot be back throughout the break. This will be important for achievements. Maintain a day-to-day log on your dog's feeding plan and toilet behaviors. Observe as to when he pees and defecates. Mention precise time your dog consumes and any goodies provided every day. Usually, your record will assist you find how much time after feeding he wants to utilize the toilet. When necessary, you can utilize these facts to modify your plan.

Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

Your dog's day will incorporate eating, resting, gaming, teaching and toilet breaks. Throughout all these durations, he is in its cage or connected to you. Absolutely, in the potty training duration, he must be monitored. Observe for indications of having to visit the toilet once he is tethered to you. Rapidly bring him away to its specified toilet spot when you see he is sniffing the surface, trolling in circles or appearing uneasy. Get your dog from its cage, on a chain, and bring him to its specified toilet spot at the planned toilet occasions. Maintain him on its chain however allow him discover while you stay in a place. First, disregard him. He will ultimately visit the toilet considering he is not acquiring awareness from you and there will be restricted issues of attention to discover in the limited region described by the chain.

Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

Reward your dog when he has completed. Render him care and goodies. Have a small occasion with him. This allows him understand that his conduct is great and merits reward. You must make a circumstance where he desires to visit the toilet in that specific spot. Just upon your dog has been to the toilet should it be let from the chain to run or directed for his lengthy stroll. Eventually, this guarantees that he will understand that the quicker he finishes his toilet conduct the faster he receives his incentive of goodies, run or stroll. When you return him in to its cage, constantly workout or enjoy with or teach him.

Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

Reveal to your dog you are a trustworthy and good chief. Don't penalize him for blunders. His mishaps are your mishaps. Merely have his awareness with a deafening clap and instantly bring him away to their toilet spot when you see him showing indications of requiring the toilet while inside and you are sluggish having your dog outside.

Dog Obedience and Agility, Potty Training & Teaching Techniques & Video

Do's and Don'ts in Potty Training Your Puppy
Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you.

If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so he knows he is done something unacceptable. Then take him outside by calling him or taking him gently by the collar. When he's finished, praise him or give him a small treat.

If you found the evidence but didn't see the act, do not react angrily by yelling or rubbing his nose in it. Puppies are not intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.

Staying outside longer with puppy may help to curb accidents. He may need the extra time to explore.

Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.


DOG CRATE POTTY TRAINING, PUPPY CRATE TRAINING - Dog Tricks, Obedience, Dog Training & Teaching Techniques & Video
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Sue Sternberg

Dog Crate Training & Teaching INFOGRAFICS

A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on him for signs he needs to go and teach him to hold it until you open the crate and let him outside.


Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:
Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for him to use a corner as a bathroom.

If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.

If you can not be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives him a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.

Do not use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: he may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where he lived before; he may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big, or he may be too young to hold it in.


Do you recommend crate training adolescent dogs to some of your adopters? If you are going to recommend crate training for your dogs when they are adopted, crate train them while they are at the shelter.

This approach is easier on the dog: the dog is not completely bonded to one person at the shelter and so experiences less separation distress when crated. Crate training at the shelter also helps the adopter who may be reluctant to use a crate or be unfamiliar with crate training. When the shelter has already crate trained the dog, the adopters will be more likely to use the crate, and the chances for a permanent, successful adoption are greatly increased.

The Benefits of Dog Crate Training

Dog Tricks, Obedience - Photo of Shih Tzu in a wire crate by Dave Clark

How to Crate Train Dog
REMEMBER: you cannot counsel or do this type of quick, easy crate training with dogs already in a home. This is NOT the advice to give to owners over the phone. Instead, this is advisable only for dogs in shelters. Note: NEVER crate train a dog with a choke-type collar on or with a leash attached to his collar.

GOAL: Train the dog to spend time comfortably and calmly in a crate.

1. Place soft blankets and toys or chewies in the crate.

2. Clip a small bucket of water in the crate.

3. Find natural, short opportunities to crate train: a one hour nap, a ten minute "chew on the bone stretch," a rest after a tiring exercise session, or an overnight all make good crate training opportunities.

4. Crate train only for the amount of time the dog can comfortably hold his bladder and bowels. The rule of thumb for puppies is to crate in hours for the age of the puppy in months plus one. For example, a four-month-old puppy can stay in a crate comfortably for at most five hours. No dog should ever be crated for more than nine hours at a stretch.

5. Always supervise dogs when they are first crate trained to ensure they are not panicking.

6. Never force a dog into a crate or lock a panicking dog in a crate.

7. Some dogs will not take readily to a crate and may panic or harm themselves trying to escape. For these dogs, detach the crate door, place comfortable bedding and a few treats in the back of the crate, and leave the doorless crate in the run with the dog.

8. Feed him in the crate for a few days to help him acclimate.


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It is important to start training your new puppy as soon as you bring it home. Training can be done yourself or a professional can be hired. Local dog training classes are often available. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a trainer or look in your local newspaper for a trainer in your area.

Puppies, Puppy, Pup, Pups

Behavioral training prevents and or corrects bad habits that your puppy or dog may develop or already has developed. Jumping, car chasing, begging, climbing on furniture, and chewing are just a few. It is very important to be consistent during the training process. For example, do not let your puppy on the couch unless you are planning to allow it on the couch when it is full grown. This will confuse it, causing problems. Taking the time to learn natural dog behavior and satisfying the dog's natural instincts along with proper exercise will help you communicate to your dog and can mean the difference between success and failure.

Puppies, Puppy, Pup, Pups

Obedience training is training the dog to obey certain commands such as sit, stay, come and teaching it to heel. Training sessions should be frequent but short to prevent your dog from becoming bored; ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient.

Puppies, Puppy, Pup, Pups

Tip: training your dog right before meals will help them associate their meal with a reward for the training and also make them more interested in the food treat you use in your training session.

Puppies, Puppy, Pup, Pups

Before giving a word command to your dog, speak its name to get its attention; then speak a one-word command such as "stay," "sit," "come" or "heel." Do not get impatient. You will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement. Do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command. Be sure to keep any frustration out of the tone of your voice. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break. Your dog can sense this and will start to associate training with your unhappiness. You cannot hide your frustration from a dog. You cannot pretend. Dogs can feel human emotion, so stay relaxed, firm and confident.

Puppies, Puppy, Pup, Pups

Some of the specific commands are "sit," "stay," "come," "down" and "heel." When speaking the commands, say them loudly and clearly, repeating them often. The dog may have to hear the commands over and over, but will soon begin to associate the word with its meaning. Always remember to praise your dog when it responds correctly. This will encourage your dog to perform correctly the next time. You may either use food, or affection such as a belly rub, a pet or verbal praise as the reward or both.

Puppies, Puppy, Pup, Pups

A lot of puppy and dog training classes teach the heel command only in the advanced classes. The heel command should actually be one of the first things you teach your puppy or dog. They need to learn how to follow. Once you establish this all other aspects of training will be easier and their behavior in general will be better as the dog will learn to respect you as the leader.












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Looking for a way to train your puppy using positive reinforcement? Then puppy clicker training might be right for you. Puppy clicker training is a common and effective method of training which enables us to mark desirable behaviour. The clicker is a very simple device which makes a little click when you press it. It is an effective tool that can help with house training puppies, managing unwanted puppy behavior, and keeping your dog safe. Most importantly, be sure to have fun with it. Using a dog clicker can be a bonding experience that deepens your relationship with your puppy.

Introducing the Clicker
A key thing to remember when clicker training your puppy is that click = food. Before you start to clicker train, test clickers in a store to ensure they are not too loud for your dog. To begin puppy clicker training, hold the treat in your hand and put it next to your dog's mouth while clicking so that the dog associates this sound with food. Nothing is being asked of the dog in these first stages, just a click and a treat. You should do this gradually over a few days.


Clicker Training a Puppy
Once you have introduced the clicker, you can start to ask commands. For example, ask your dog to "Sit" and once they perform the desired behaviour, click and treat. You can do this with other commands such as down, again only clicking when your dog reaches the position being asked of him. Always be patient and wait for the precise position, then click and treat. You can also try to ask your dog to stay, and click after a few seconds as well as rewarding him with food. Top tip: Do not repeat the command endlessly, just one clear command.

When to Start Clicker Training a Puppy?
You can start to train your puppy as early as eight weeks, however you should note that the time it takes to train your puppy could depend on their age, temperament, gender and breed. It is important to not get frustrated if your puppy is not learning the commands as quickly as you hoped, for it is all about repetition and patience. Rely on the positive reinforcement of the clicker and treat and eventually, your puppy will begin to pick things up.

When to Stop Clicker Training?
The clicker is here to primarily introduce a new behaviour in the early stages. It is a good way to help you install these desirable behaviours in your puppy. Once the behaviours are there, and the dog is performing nicely and promptly to your commands, you can begin to reduce clicker training. You can also reduce how much you feed your dog after every command as the dog will be willing to do it for you. Perhaps feed the dog every third command it carries out, and then fifth time, and so on. You can allow treats to become less frequent until you are not really walking your dog with food at all โ€“ although, the occasional use of food is always handy!


1. Avoid Noisy Places
Begin clicker training your puppy in a quiet area where there are few distractions. This way, your puppy will be better able to focus and hear the clicking noise.

2. Do not Train on a Full Tummy
Puppy clicker training should take place when you know your little furball has an appetite - not right after mealtime. If your puppy has a belly full of food, he or she may be tired and less interested in treat rewards.

3. Timing is Key
Make sure you click while you are puppy is performing the task or behavior. If you are too early or too late, your puppy may have trouble associating the click with the behavior you are trying to teach.

4. Think about Snapping a Picture
One way to help you get the timing down is to pretend you are taking a picture. Press the dog clicker the moment when you'd be able to capture a shot of your puppy in mid-action.

5. Start with Simple Behaviors
It can be easier to get started with natural actions, like responding when you call your puppy's name. Click at the exact moment your puppy looks at you. From there, you can move on to other simple behaviors, like sitting or lying down.

6. Catch your Puppy in the Act
If you see your puppy about to perform a behavior you have been working on, such as sitting or lying down, use the clicker and offer praise and a treat, if you have one handy. This can help reinforce the puppy clicker training process.

7. Nudge your Puppy Along
Another way to help your puppy training progress is to lure your pooch into performing a behavior. For instance, gently nudge - never force, push, or pull your puppy into a sitting position with the clicker in your hand. When your puppy complies, click and offer a treat. If your puppy jumps back up, repeat the process.

8. Keep it Short to Start
Puppies by nature have short attention spans, so keep clicker training practice brief at first, maybe 5 minutes or so. Puppies can learn a lot in short bursts because they are more interested and engaged. Long and boring clicker training sessions can be frustrating for both of you.

9. Only Click Once
If you are especially proud of your puppy, you can offer an extra treat or more praise, but do not increase the number of clicks. This can confuse your puppy and slow down the clicker training process.

10. Click Good Behaviors
You can click good behaviors to help teach your puppy the right way to do things and stop bad behaviors. For instance, if your puppy tends to pee on the carpet, give a click when he or she goes to the bathroom in an appropriate place. If your puppy jumps all over guests, click when paws remain on the floor when a visitor arrives.

11. Click for Partial Success
You do not have to hold your click until your puppy gets it exactly right. You can click for small steps in the right direction. For example, if you tell your puppy to sit, and he or she begins to crouch down, click even if your puppy gets back up on all fours.

12. Take Breaks as Needed
Puppy clicker training requires time and patience. If you or your puppy starts getting frustrated, put the clicker down for awhile. Avoid scolding or punishing your puppy while clicker training, since it can be confusing to mix in negative reinforcement. The clicker is all about reinforcing behaviors in a positive way.







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Steve Duno

The arrival of a new puppy can be an exciting, happy time. But without a basic understanding of the do's and don'ts of puppy raising, things can go sour fast. Housetraining woes, destructive chewing, barking, and other unsettling behaviours can quickly turn those good feelings into frustration and even regret.

But by avoiding the most common errors, you can increase the odds of enjoying the experience, and mentoring that puppy into adulthood. By avoiding these classic blunders and by being a caring, reliable mentor to your new puppy, you will get through that challenging first year and dramatically increase the odds of creating a calm, confident, happy adult dog.

1. Taking Your Puppy Home Too Soon
This one is HUGE. During the first eight weeks of a puppy's life, she receives precious nurturing from her mother and learns invaluable social skills from her littermates. Unfortunately, some breeders and shelters allow puppies to leave the litter too soon - this short-circuits the social imprinting process and can lead to ingrained problems. Puppies who leave too soon - before eight weeks of age, often struggle to learn proper bite inhibition and do not learn to interact normally with dogs or people. They can become skittish toward strangers and fearful toward other dogs. Avoid lifelong issues by simply choosing a puppy that has been with its mother and littermates for at least eight weeks or, better yet, 12 weeks.

2. Not Starting Basic Training Immediately
An 8 week old puppy is completely capable of learning basic obedience commands the moment she walks into your home. Oddly, many people fail to recognize this, thinking that the only training that should occur is housebreaking. Not true! By beginning simple obedience skills such as sit, down, stay, and come, you will give her a heads up and create a sense of focus and enthusiasm crucial to a well-mannered pet. Start training right away, day one!

3. Failing to Crate Train
Dogs are denning animals and prefer snug spots in which to eat or rest. A crate takes advantage of the dog's innate desire not to soil its sleeping or eating area. The crate is in fact a great place to feed a puppy - she will be able to eat in peace, away from other pets, children, or other distractions. Choose a plastic crate, which gives a more secure, snug sense than does a wire crate. It should be tall enough for the puppy to stand in, and just long enough to allow her to turn around. Too large, and the puppy might eliminate in the back and lie down in the front. Feed in the crate, and have her sleep in it as well. When you cannot be with her, she should be with someone else, or in the crate.Though she can sleep the night in the crate, it is best not to leave her in it any longer than 6 hours overnight, or more than four hours straight during the day.

4. Too Much Independence Too Soon
Puppies have an unquenchable curiosity about their environment. But if you allow yours to wander your home unsupervised, she will inevitably get into some sort of puppy trouble. Improper elimination, destroyed clothing or shoes, chewed wiring, or even escape can end up ruining your day and perhaps even hurting her. Every "accident" in the house due to lack of supervision sets your housetraining efforts back. Prevent this by ensuring that your new pup is either with you, in her crate, or within a fenced enclosure. While indoors, try tethering her to your belt loop with a light, 6 foot lead - she will accompany you all about the home, yet never be more than six feet away. Only when her housetraining is reliable should you begin to slowly increase her indoor independence.

5. Free Feeding
Leaving food down all day for your puppy to munch on is a mistake. By allowing her to snack all day, you will reduce the chances of creating a predictable elimination schedule, if she always has food in her system, she will need to go more often. By feeding at specific times, you will "synchronize" her system, and make housetraining easier. Also, feeding at precise times creates a stronger food drive in your puppy. Predicting when she is hungry is a training tool - 20 minutes before mealtime, she will do just about anything for that cookie! Finally, feeding at precise times allows you to know exactly how much food she is eating, so you can keep her trim. Those who free feed puppies never really know how much food gets eaten, because they keep adding to the dish throughout the day.

6. Pushing a Puppy's Face in Her Mess
A 10 week-old puppy has no idea what you are teaching her when you shove its nose into stool, other than you seem to get mad whenever that mess appears. This will only teach your pup to fear the presence of the mess, causing her to eliminate in hidden spots, such as a closet. Instead, crate train her properly to avoid the issue. If you catch her in the act, simply clap a few times while saying "AAH-AHH!" then get her out quickly to the appropriate spot. Do not forget to treat the area with an odour eliminator.

7. Repeating Commands
Once a puppy knows a behaviour, do not repeat the command over and over. By doing so, you are actually training her to sit-sit-sit and not sit. She will literally wait for you to say it five times instead of once. Say it just once then wait a second or two. If she does not sit, you have either not taught the behaviour well enough or she is just ignoring you. Gently tell her "no," walk her to a different spot, and ask her again, verbally and with an upward hand sign while holding a treat in your gesturing fingers. When she sits the first time, hand it over!

8. Scolding After the Fact
You find a mess in the hallway, and have no idea when it happened. Your puppy comes over wagging her tail, and you yell at her for making the mess. What is wrong with this picture? Plenty. Dogs - especially puppies, have a poor sense of time and will not understand being punished for something that happened an hour ago. All you do is to make her think that you get angry whenever there is waste present. This will make her secretive about eliminating, and throw off her housetraining. Instead, say nothing to your dogโ€”an accident discovered after the fact is an accident discovered too late. Instead, reduce her independence, use the crate, and thoroughly clean up the mess until she is reliably eliminating outdoors.

9. Failing to Establish a Routine
Dogs love routine. Knowing when they will eat, play, walk, and sleep creates a confidence in them that minimizes stress and builds a healthy anticipation. For puppies, it is especially important to establish a reliable schedule for feeding, walking, eliminating, and playing. If this framework of routine gets thrown off, it leads to confusion for the puppy and the ensuing "accidents" and behavioural mishaps can stress everyone out. Especially for the first 6 months, commit to a solid schedule for your puppy that includes predictable chances to eliminate, eat, nap, play, and train. Whatever schedule you set, sticking to it will inspire confidence in your puppy and make her transition into adulthood easy.

10. Failing to Socialize
The first eight weeks of your puppy's social life are covered by her littermates, After you take your pup home, however, it is up to you. Socialization to people and other dogs, particularly within the key eight week to 16 week socialization window, is paramount to raising a happy, well adjusted dog and, this is key - one that plays well with others. Unfortunately, once puppies come home, they often only see other dogs on walks, or out a car window. This leads to an antisocial mindset and possible dog aggression. The same goes for exposure to people - puppies often only see their immediate family and rarely interact with other humans. To maintain a happy go lucky puppy, invite friends over regularly. Let them play with and train your puppy. Even let her do an overnighter at a trusted friend's home to build confidence. For puppies under 4 months, you can socialize with other healthy puppies on the same vaccination schedule, provided it is in a spotless venue. A puppy class with similarly vaccinated puppies and hygienic conditions will work too. Avoid dog parks until 6 months, as well as any areas where unruly dogs, loud noises, or dangerous conditions abound.

11. Exaggerating Greetings and Departures
Dogs who overreact whenever people come or go from the home often learn this behaviour from family members who stage elaborate emotional scenes whenever they depart or arrive. Eventually the dog becomes agitated and vocal whenever the door is used. Instead, whenever you leave your puppy, just leave without fanfare. The same goes for arriving; say nothing for a minute, until the puppy calms a bit. Then greet, focus her with a treat, and praise.

12. Consoling
Dogs do not understand human abstractions such as empathy or consolation. Instead, they understand simple action and reaction. If, for instance, your puppy gets scared by a big white dog, she may continue to associate white dogs with danger. Consolation after a scary experience can have the same negatively reinforcing affect on a puppy - if she gets scared, and you pick her up and soothe her, she can literally learn that being scared or nervous gets your emotional and physical praise. This can make for a nervous yet manipulative dog later in life. Instead, when your dog has a scary experience, ensure her immediate safety then redirect her anxiety by giving her a sit command then rewarding her with praise or a treat. Redirecting her away from the frightened mindset instead of consoling her will teach confidence and minimize the chances of the anxious behaviour becoming engrained.

13. Failing to Puppy Proof the Home
Shoes, socks, underwear, children's toys - you name it, a puppy on a mission may shred it. Worse yet, exposed wiring, toxic cleaners or solvents, poisonous houseplants, or even human medications can injure or kill a puppy. Many of us forget how inquisitive and scent-driven puppies are and how while teething they need to chew. Puppy proof your home by removing clothes, human toys, TV remotes, and loose objects from puppy's reach. Replace these things with toys and chews designed for pups. Hiding wiring under carpets and placing plants above the puppy's reach is also a good idea.

14. Hitting
Hit your puppy, and you will create a fearful adult dog who knows nothing of trust. We are smart humans who can find a hundred ways besides hitting to modify bad behaviours. Agreed?





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