You will rarely find a sane person who doesn’t love dogs, especially, little puppies. Several people believe in “adopting, not shopping” puppies for the sole purpose of giving them a loving home that they can call their “forever one.” In fact, research indicates that it is always a great idea to bring up your kids in the presence of puppies and dogs. This inculcates compassion and humanity if one grows up in such a loving environment.
However, bringing home a cute little puppy is not your “happily ever after.” Like all things alive, even these animals require a bit of training for their good as well as ours. Therefore, in case you just brought home your little furry bundle of happiness and are wondering how to train a puppy, your concern has good reasons.
Just like human kids tend to get unruly in the absence of certain restrictions and ground rules, the problem becomes much more severe in the case of dogs. Of course, the fundamental communication gap across two different species is the most significant reasons behind this. So, instead of regretting later, it is better to start the training phase right when the dog is still in its puppy years. Read through this guide to learn to how to train your puppy.
Here, we have covered some essential tricks and commands that you must teach your puppy. However, keep in mind that all the training hacks mentioned in this article have been generalized. Certain minor variations may be there depending on the breed of your puppy.
When To Start Training Your Puppy?
According to the experts, it roughly takes 4-6 weeks for a puppy to get completely house-trained. And, you can start training your puppy when it is between 12-16 weeks in age. By this time, the little one will supposedly have enough control over its bower and bladder movements. This is essential so as to not interrupt or disrupt the training sessions.
Essential Steps For Training Your Puppy
In case you do not want to go for the hassles of hiring a professional to train your puppy, you can unhesitatingly opt for house-training the furry kid by yourself. All you need is a little patience from your side and enthusiasm from your puppy’s end.
Experts believe that the training phase begins with confining your puppy to a defined space. This space can be anything from a crate to a room or even a leash. Now, you are supposed to allow more room or area gradually depending on the puppy’s need to go outside. Follow the given steps carefully once you start training the puppy:
- First of all, you should strictly maintain the puppy’s feeding routine and never allow any food between the meals.
- Take him/her outside the first thing in the morning so that it can defecate. Repeat this after every hour.
- Also, take him outside after each meal and naps. Make sure you take it out to poop/pee at night before it is left alone.
- It is extremely essential that you always take the puppy to the same spot for doing his business. Gradually, he will be recognizing his own smell and go there all by himself. Also, you need to stay with him outside until he is thoroughly trained.
- Now, this step might sound a little funny or weird. But that’s how life is with a four-legged companion! Once your puppy defecates, praise him or even give him a treat. This will encourage him that he has probably done something great and would try to continue being a well-trained “good boy.”
How To Train A Puppy Using A Crate?
If you are trying to house-train your puppy, then a crate is a great idea for starters. It lets you keep a keen watch on that little monster and analyze its mood and behavioral changes.
There are certain expert-approved guidelines for using a crate to train a puppy. First of all, make sure that the crate is large enough for the puppy. This depends on the breed of course. You cannot use the same crate for holding a Shiba Inu puppy and a Great Dane puppy. So, the crate must be comfortable enough for the puppy to stand, turn around and lie down. However, it shouldn’t be way too large, and the puppy shouldn’t find any corner or space for defecating or urinating.
In case you are using the crate for a long time, make sure there is ample fresh water for your little one. Also, give the puppy breaks amidst the training sessions during the first few months. However, refrain from using a crate if the puppy eliminates in it. This behavior indicates bad behavior learned from the shelter or pet store. Or, the crate is way too big, and you need to replace it immediately.
Potty Training Your Puppy: Do’s And Don’ts
One of the biggest challenges in training your puppy is getting it potty-trained. Many pet owners have been found to lose patience during this phase thereby leading to aggressive behaviors from the dog and other problems. Have a look at what you should and shouldn’t do while potty-training your pup:
- If the puppy accidentally defecates somewhere it’s not supposed to, never punish him. This instills fear in it for you, and this is a complete no-no.
- If you catch your puppy while he is eliminating on your furniture or somewhere else, clap loudly or tug his collar gently. This makes him aware that he has probably made a mistake and shouldn’t repeat it again. Take him outside immediately and let him complete his business. Once he is done, praise him or give him treat. This will help him differentiate between what’s acceptable and what’s not.
- If you did not catch the puppy while he was eliminating inside the house but found evidence later, never react angrily. Puppies are, after all, not intelligent enough to connect your anger with their previously-committed mistakes.
- It is advised to stay outside with your puppy for a long time. Allow him the time to explore and let the pup finish doing his business.
How To Leash Train A Puppy?
Leash-training your pup is as essential as potty-training, if not more. Only then, you will be able to take it out for longs walks or for a visit to the vet without any fears. Now, there are some leash-training hacks that experts swear by, and you can implement them as well:
Step 1: Introduce Your Puppy To The Leash
While learning how to train a puppy to walk on a leash, the very first step is to make your pup comfortable with the harness and leash. So, begin by letting the furry kiddo wear the leash for short periods in your house. Do this during his play-time or while you are giving him treats. The basic idea is to make the puppy believe that “leash time” means fun and food.
Step 2: Use A Cue
Since the idea is to equate leash with food, teach your pup a sound cue which means that food is coming. You can use either the “click and treat” approach or use a cue of your own choice. Place the collar and leash on your puppy and then make this sound cue in a quiet area. As soon as he turns towards you, reward him. You will see that, gradually, the puppy will not only turn but will also come towards you for the reward.
Step 3: Allow Him To Come To You
As he turns towards you and starts walking wearing the leash, you need to take a few steps back and then give him the treat once he gets to you. Continue this process and observe the progress you are making in leash-training your puppy. However, keep these training sessions short as puppies usually have a tiny attention span.
Step 4: Practice Leash-walking Inside
Once your pup thoroughly understands how to come to you with the help of the above hacks, you can now practice walking him on the leash in your home. At times, feeling or seeing the leash might irritate your little pup. In such cases, make use of treats and praises as a distraction.
Step 5: Go Outside!
Make sure that you take your time to practice leash-walking the puppy inside your home. Once your dog has had enough practice, you are finally ready to take it outside for a long walk on the leash. This can be pretty challenging for you as well as the puppy as there will be new sounds, smells, and sights that are intriguing for him.
Keep monitoring his behavior and mood and always distract him whenever he is about to lunge forward. More importantly, make sure that he is always walking behind you. This indicates that you are the master and must be obeyed.
5 Basic Commands In Puppy Training
No matter how much you love your little puppy with all his cuteness and hypnotizing puppy eyes, you still need to draw a boundary somewhere. Make it clear that you are the alpha and not the other way round.
Following are the 5 basic commands that you must teach your pup during training:
- First of all, teach him how to come to you.
- Teach him how to walk on the leash loosely.
- Command him to sit.
- Command him to stay.
- Also, teach him how to lay down.
Hopefully, this guide will be of help to you in case you are embarking upon the challenging journey of training your puppy. Be patient as it takes a lot of time and effort to bridge the communication gap between humans and dogs. However, its all worth it as the net output will be a healthy companionship with your best friend forever!