There are some essential puppy training techniques that will help you have the best relationship possible with your puppy, and you can put these techniques to work for you right now.
The first points to understand about all techniques is to always use:
- gentle firmness
You must never be angry or scold your puppy. Always use patience,gentle firmness, and be persistent–you have to do things over and over again so that the puppy will gradually learn what you want and how to please you.
In this article, our essential puppy training techniques concern the following basic points:
- housebreaking your puppy
- crate training
- collar training
Housebreaking Your Puppy
Start housebreaking your puppy around 8 weeks. If you bring him home earlier than that, be sure to take him outside for toilet breaks, but don’t strart real training until 8 weeks. Be sure to do the following: set up a feeding schedule and stick to it. Never, never, never over feed your puppy. Follow your vet’s recommendation for amount of food.
Generally speaking, you should give your puppy its last meal no later than 90 minutes before its bedtime. Be sure to take it outside to relieve itself before putting it to bed.
We suggest taking your puppy out at least every two hours. Perhaps a little sooner depending on your own observations of need. Let the puppy out after every meal. When the puppy goes, give it praise. This is the time to establish a command to use when the puppy goes. When you see the puppy get ready to go, give it a command such as, “go pee,” or “go potty,” or anything else used exclusively for this purpose. Be sure to stay outside with the puppy. Do not just put it outside by itself!
If you see your puppy become restless, or sniffing the floor as if following a trail, this is probably a sign that you should take your puppy out.
Whenever you catch your puppy in the “act” inside, make a sharp noise to distract him. Do not get angry or scold. Just get his attention and then take him outside.
Another very important basic puppy training technique concerns the crate. Contrary to what you might think, the crate is not a cage or prison for the puppy. The idea with crate training is to allow the puppy to “make friends” with the crate. The puppy will actually regard the crate as its own private den. Our German Shepherd loved its crate, and we finally had to take it away because the dog simply out grew it. Anyway,
You train your puppy to the crate by leaving the door of the crate open and allowing the puppy to investigate on its own and to go in and out on his own. You could even put a tiny bit of kibble in the crate to start the ball rolling. Once the puppy has started to get to know the crate, put its bedding and a toy and little water dish in the crate. Leave the door open as much as possible only closing it for the night or during times when you must be gone for a few hours.
This is an important but uncomplicated technique. In fact, many dogs will never have any objection to wearing a collar from the very first time you put it on. However, find a collar that you like for your dog and make sure that it fits loosely, but not so loosely that it will slip off. Put it on the dog and observe. If there are no problems, so much the better. If you are starting out with a new puppy, you probably won’t encounter very much resistance, if any. If the puppy doesn’t like it, give time to adjust. We suggest putting it on for a few hours in the morning and for a few hours in the evening. Be sure to take it off before you put the puppy down for the evening.
If you successfully apply these essential puppy training techniques to your dog, you will be well on your way to having a well adjusted and obedient addition to your family.