A quick puppy training tip is simply this: start puppy training from the very first day you get a new puppy. It is one of the most important things to do with your brand new puppy. I really wanted to emphasize that to those of you thinking about getting a puppy.
Why? Because your new puppy will form lifelong behaviors (good or bad) within the first 2 weeks to 4 months of his life with you.
Yup, that fast. It’s really so much easier to begin training good behavior from the beginning, than having to go back and fix what you broke.
What That Training Should Include
One critical “life skill tip” on which you must focus to achieve a lifetime of great memories with your new puppy, is this: Teaching him house manners.
Let’s break it down into normal puppy behavior and how to turn that into good house manners:
- Your puppy has only learned to greet his litter mates by sniffing crotch and butt, then immediately engaging in puppy social play as they hump, jump, bump and carry on.
Your “house manner rules” should be very clear: sit quietly to greet.
- Your puppy’s play includes running, chasing, biting, and chewing on his litter mates. That’s how puppies play naturally.
Your house manner rules should require your puppy to learn to play nicely with children and don’t bite when they run and he catches them. Not a bad idea either to teach children how best to play with your puppy. That way it sets him up to succeed.
- Your puppy sees everything as a chew toy! He won’t discriminate between your good shoes and a chew bone and if it smells more like you- that’s even better!
Your house manner rules should teach your puppy to appreciate and leave your valuable stuff alone. Constant supervision and redirects to appropriate toys works best. Crate him when you can’t supervise his activity.
- Your puppy will tend to go potty when he feels the need to go no matter where he is, unless you teach him differently.
Your house manner rules should be very specific about not using your home as his toilet area.
Even though you’ve set your house manner rules, you will discover that your puppy has an unquenchable thirst for exploring and getting into everything.
Your Puppy is an Opportunity Seeker
If you leave your dinner plate on the coffee table as you make your way to the kitchen to refill your water glass, you may return to find that last piece of pizza you so badly wanted – gone! Opportunity taken!
If you leave the front door open, he will inquisitively go through it to explore. Opportunity taken! And, the list goes on.
The good news is that your puppy can learn your crazy house manner rules and more – if you teach them and are very consistent every day.
Start your house manners training the day you get your new puppy. You’ll be glad you did. Take advantage of his opportunistic nature by trading things he wants for things you want.
Be extra careful and pay attention to your new puppy so that he doesn’t develop any bad habits like chewing on the couch or coffee table. Have plenty of chew toys like a stuffed Kong toy or Nylabone ready for a quick redirect.
How you handle the correction (never harsh) will have a lifetime affect on your relationship with your new puppy.
Getting a new puppy is a full time job, but well worth the effort to end up with a well-trained dog.
Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to chat with me below. I’d love to hear what you think about puppies at Christmas.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients. Jim takes the science of dog training and makes it work in your home with your family and dog.