Getting your first puppy is an exciting and life changing experience! Anyone that has ever interacted with a puppy before knows how hyper and playful these furry bundles of joy can be. Before making the decision to adopt a furry family member, first time puppy owners need to know the proper training techniques to implement while your pup is still young.
Why do I need to train my puppy?
The goal of puppy training is to instill good habits and develop a loving bond with your new best friend. Owners who neglect their pup’s training needs typically end up dealing with behavioral problems in the future. Some of these behaviors can be destructive or even dangerous if left unchecked.
Training your puppy to get used to a leash
New owners may not realize that puppies will likely have no idea what to do with a leash, they may even panic and throw a fit if you try to walk them right away. Leash walking is a learned behavior that should be taught early.
Start by giving your puppy a collar and leash to wear for short periods. Use this “collar and leash time” to play with them and give them food so that they associate their collar with enjoyable activities.
Practice exercises such as waiting for your puppy to come to you while they are wearing their leash. After a few days of practice, you can start walking them around the yard with their leash. Your first few walks should be for only a few minutes. You can gradually increase the walking time each day to help them get used to it.
Potty training your puppy
It’s recommended that dog owners start house training their puppy when they are between 12 and 16 weeks old. During this time, it will be helpful to keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and remove their bowl in-between meals.
It’s important to take your puppy outside first thing in the morning and then once an hour to help them get used to relieving themselves outdoors. Try to take your puppy to the same area each time so that they know where to go to do their business. They’ll slowly learn to associate the outdoors (and not your living room!) with relieving themselves.
Crate training your puppy
Crates can be helpful for a variety of reasons. At night, it’s important not to allow them to roam the house or sleep with you (We know, it’s really hard to say no to an adorable puppy.) because they will most likely have accidents in your bed and all over your home if left to their own devices. Crates can also be used to safely transport your puppy to vet appointments in the car and to help them nap while you’re not home.
Introduce your puppy to the crate by placing a soft blanket in the crate, leaving the door open, and placing it somewhere close to where you and your family sit. It is also helpful to cover the crate with another blanket so they are more safe and are not distracted by other things in the room.
Encourage them to explore the crate and reward them for doing so with treats and praise. Once they have had some time to get used to the crate, start feeding them exclusively in the crate. They will quickly learn that the crate is their friend and choose to spend time in the crate on their own.
When they are fully comfortable with the crate, you’re ready to practice closing the door. Try closing it for 30 seconds and reward them for sitting quietly. Slowly increase the amount of time the door is shut throughout the day, eventually, they will learn to be totally comfortable being in the crate for long periods of time.
Training your puppy can be a long and tedious process. With any kind of work schedule, it’s hard to maintain your puppy’s feeding and potty break schedule everyday. Little Friends Pet Sitting has professional pet sitters and dog walkers all over the Charlotte, NC area that are available for all of your puppy care needs!