Getting a puppy is an exciting time for all the family.
Don’t let your excitement distract you from all you need to do in preparation for their arrival – from stocking up on treats to preparing a space for them to sleep and, crucially, educating yourself on how to train them properly.
Not only is puppy training essential for teaching obedience and helping your canine companion develop good habits, it’s also a way for the two of you to bond and build a strong relationship.
But it’s not easy!
Training your pup – as a first-time or experienced dog owner – can be incredibly time-consuming, frustrating, and just downright difficult. It’s nowhere near as easy as Caesar Milan makes it look.
Yes, there’ll be bumps along the road, but luckily, there are a few things you can do to make the experience a little easier. Our experts here at Pet Shop Online discuss some of the most effective in this post.
1. Start with the basics
When we say basics, we don't just mean ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’.
Although these skills will come in handy, they shouldn’t be first on your list of priorities. You should focus on house training before anything, especially if you want your puppy to develop good habits early on.
Putting them on a regular schedule is a great start – which means establishing set meal times, bedtimes and toilet times.
We understand how frustrating it can be when your dog has an accident in the house, but punishing them will only scare or confuse them. Instead, reward them with treats or toys when they go to the toilet outside or on the training pad.
Crates are also great tools for house training, as they can help prevent your puppy from learning destructive behaviours like chewing.
2. Use reward-based training techniques
Studies have shown that reward-based training, or positive reinforcement, is one of, if not the best, puppy training methods. And your pup will respond better to this than they will to punishment – which will only lead to behavioural issues, like aggression and fear.
It works by rewarding your pup with something they love – whether it be a tasty treat, verbal praise or lots of fuss and cuddles – when they do what you want and ignoring any bad (or unwanted) behaviour.
By associating rewards with good behaviour, they're more likely to repeat what they're doing, and eventually, they’ll respond to your commands without needing the reward.
This type of training also helps create the all-important bond between you and your furry friend and makes for a very happy pup!
3. Be patient
Your pup won’t be able to learn everything overnight, so it’s important not to expect too much too soon.
Every dog is different, and so will learn things at their own pace.
Some puppies will have it down within just a few weeks, while it might take several months until others are fully trained.
Consistency is key if you want your puppy to learn quickly. And sticking to short, frequent training sessions will help them to reach puppy perfection in no time at all.
Need expert advice?
Training a new puppy is no easy feat – but at Pet Shop Online, we’re always here to help and happy to offer guidance.
If you’re looking for the best healthy treats for reward-based training, or new toys to make playtimes more enriching, we’d be more than happy to provide some expert recommendations.
To find out more about how we can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.