Did you bring home a new puppy, but you’re unsure where to start with their training? Don’t worry! Training a new puppy doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 6 tips to help you get started:
We often get asked when to start training a puppy. Our answer is always “now!”. Puppies are smarter than we may think, so start training your new puppy when you get them home. Starting your training early will not only help prevent bad habits from forming, but it will also help develop their brain to make training easier down the line. It helps your puppy form a stronger relationship and willingness to work with you, and helps them better understand what it is you are asking for.
Try something simple
Name recognition is an important first step in puppy training. Getting your puppy to respond or recognize their name is essential for further training. To teach this, get some treats or kibble ready. Then, say your puppy’s name and give them the treat. They do not need to look at you in the beginning, that will come later. For now, we want to show your new puppy that their name means yummy treats appear. See our blog on teaching your “Teaching Your Puppy Their Name” for more details.
Keep sessions short
Puppies don’t have very long attention spans. Set up successful training sessions by keeping your sessions under 5 minutes. You can also keep your session short by counting out 15-25 small treats. Once the timer goes off or you get through all your treats, move on to a different activity or take a break.
Reward calm behavior
When you notice your puppy playing with one of their toys on their own or generally relaxing in the house, drop a treat for them to encourage more of that behavior. So, next time you find your puppy relaxing in their bed with one of their toys, all you have to do is give them a treat in their bed. No formal training. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated.
Teach Them a Positive Interrupter
Puppies are gonna be puppies. No way to avoid that. They will chew on things you don’t want them to and dig where you don’t want them to dig. You could yell “NO!”, but your puppy doesn’t know what “NO!” means. Teaching your puppy a positive interrupter will give you the opportunity to interrupt your puppy without having to shout “NO!”. Teaching this is much the same as teaching your puppy their name. Grab a handful of treats, make a kissy noise, or whatever noise works for you, and give them a treat. Your puppy will soon learn that this new sound equals great rewards. A positive interrupter is a great way interrupt unwanted behaviors.
Play after your session
After your puppy has done the hard work of going to school, reward their efforts with a small play session. Take some time to play fetch, use a snuffle mat, or chase a rope toy around the house. This way, your puppy will start looking forward to training times.
Our trainers would love to help you with training your new puppy! Contact us for a free phone consultation today: 786-299-1552