Getting a puppy can be one of the most exciting moments for you and your family, but it can also be overwhelming knowing what to do and where to start. There are lots of topics to cover, but training is a difficult but critical area to focus on with your puppy. Socialisation at these early stages is critical for the development of your pup to keep them happy and safe, and provide a happy and easier life for you and your family in the future as well.
Your puppy can start their training of learning manners and their basic commands as soon as he or she comes home. Training your puppy will take a lot of hours and participation from everyone in your household but it will save you a lot of issues later on. Aside from the obvious benefits of training, your puppy will also reap the benefits of having a special bond with you, mental stimulation of learning and developing and helping them redirecting anxiety or negative behaviours into positive actions.
Once your puppy has had their vaccines you can begin socialising them in a positive and safe way to help them get adjusted. Socialising them properly does not mean taking them to a dog park - we do not recommend this action at these stages of their learning and development. Any negative experience in this type of environment can impact your puppy later on and cause them and you issues in behaviour.
You can enrol your puppy in Puppy behaviour classes as well as the training you do at home. There are lots of online websites to help you do this in the best way. If you have friends or family with gently dogs, you can begin to have doggy-dates and begin their socialisation. As well as exposing your puppy to different types of dogs, including dogs of all breeds and sizes they will need to be socialised to people as well! We've all met those dogs that are fearful of different types of people (sometimes men, sometimes women, sometimes kids).
Having your pup exposed to different people, including people in uniforms, holding walking sticks etc will be a positive experience for them to get used to this, and you will want to start exposing your puppy to vacuum cleaners, fireworks, thunderstorms and other loud noises. To do this start by getting the vacuum cleaner out and leaving it near your puppy so they get comfortable seeing it and not reacting to it. From there you can turn it on, leave it on the ground and again give your pup time to adjust until you eventually pick it up and move it around. Do this repeatedly each week to get your pup accustomed to it.
You will also find fireworks/thunderstorm noises on youtube that you can play in the background to get your pup used to these noises.
General training and learning commands should be done through positive reinforcement. This is a fun and enjoyable experience for your pup and teaches them desirable behaviours will be rewarded with treats and praise, whilst ignoring undesirable ones or redirecting undesirable behaviours.
Yelling, picking up or interacting with your puppy when they are showing undesirable behaviours can actually be a reward for them - as they are still getting attention which is what they are seeking. So be sure to ignore these behaviours, or replace it with something else (e.g. if chewing on furniture, provide a chew toy instead).
Training will take significant patience, such as redirecting barking to having your pup sit on their bed. This repetitive reinforcement will help them to learn what is expected of them.
Introducing your puppy to different people, pets and environments will help them become confident adult dogs, who are relaxed, happy and respectful in day-to-day scenarios. Doing the work upfront will benefit you and them as they get older. Some areas to socialise your pup to are:
People and Animals
- children of all ages
- people with walking sticks, wheelchairs etc
- dogs and other puppies
- cats, rabbits and other animals
- people wearing different clothing such as toolbelts, hats, glasses, facial hair
- bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, motorbikes
- other homes
- sidewalks and busy streets
- construction sites
- grassed areas
- bath time
- loud noises
- car trips
- leash training
- thunderstorms and fireworks
- crate training
We hope you have found this guide helpful as a starting point of considerations in training your puppy. The food that your puppy eats also will impact their behaviour and development. If you would like to try adding a whole foods diet to your pups meals, we are offer 40% off your first 7 packs using code 7NEW. You can get started here, and reach out anytime with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org