10 top tips for training puppies

A new puppy is a big commitment and caring for them does take a lot
of work – but with a little time and patience, you’ll soon be living happily
together. Here are our top tips:

1. Reward, don’t punish

Reward your puppy when she does something good with lots of praise,
treats, and games, that way and she’ll soon learn that it pays to behave
nicely. When your puppy does something you don’t want her to do, it’s
much more effective to ignore that behaviour, then give her something
good to do and reward that.

2. Toilet training

Getting your puppy into a regular schedule can go a long way to sorting
out his toilet training. Puppies need to toilet very often, always take him
out after sleeping, feeding, and about every hour when she is active.

3. Crate training

A crate is a great option for those times when you can’t be watching them.
Teach your puppy to enjoy being in her create by feeding and giving chews
in there and only progress to closing the door when she really likes her
crate. You should never leave your puppy in her crate for more than a few
hours at a time.

4. Keep them contained…

There are so many tempting things to chew on, hide under or get harmed
by around the house, so don’t give your pup the run of your house straight
away. Keeping him in the same room as you to begin with is a great way to
stop him developing bad habits.

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5. But also get out and

A lot of behaviour problems in dogs come down to a lack of socialisation early on. That’s why it’s really important to get your puppy used to new people, places and situations as soon as you can. So don’t shy away from inviting people round, or taking your puppy out when they’re very young.

6. Give them the right things to chew on

Left to their own devices, puppies won’t generally choose the most sensible
things to sink their teeth into. When she’s gnawing on your shoes, furniture
or children’s toys, try redirecting your puppy to something she can have,
like a chew or toy. She’ll soon learn what’s allowed.

7. Keep biting in check

Like babies, puppies try everything with their mouths, to discourage
mouthing (teeth on skin or clothing) say ‘ouch’ and stop the game. Wait a
few minutes then start the game again using pups toy. This teaches her
that the fun ends if she uses her mouth on you, but if she stays on the toy it
will continue.

8. Start early with basic commands

You can start teaching a puppy to ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘come’, as soon as you
bring them home. This will go a long way towards helping them grow into a
well-behaved adult.

9. Provide lots of entertainment

When not given enough to do a puppy is much more likely to get into
mischief. By providing interesting toys, going for lots of walks and practising
basic command training, you can help him stay out of trouble.

10. Try a local puppy training class

It’s one of the best ways to work on all aspects of puppy training, with an
experienced dog trainer on hand to help. You’ll also get to know a few other
pups and owners. You never know, you might both make a few new friends!