There are many different opinions when it comes to training puppies. Some say only start at 6 months, others say 8 months. Well, they are wrong! Your puppy should have started training when it was with its breeder. If you adopted a puppy from a shelter, you need to start training ASAP. I’ve been trying to convince local shelters to let me train puppies while they are waiting for a new home but for some reason, they are resistant.
A little side note, if you are the owner or worker at a dog shelter and would like me to come and train the dogs and puppies, for free! Please give me a shout. We all want the best for these dogs and having them trained would most definitely make them more adoptable.
Back to the topic. I am a firm believer in starting training as soon as you get a puppy. Simple basic obedience can be started right away!
So, with little more to say, here are my 7 ways to prevent a disaster when getting a new puppy.
Start training as soon as soon as your get the puppy!
I’m not saying that as soon as you arrive home from collecting your puppy you need to start bootcamp and become a drill sergeant. Give the puppy a day or two to settle in and then ease into training, start with basic sit, down, stay, wait for food and so on. If you want to do a basic puppy training course with me, follow this link.
Set standards for your puppy and keep them!
For your puppy to settle in quickly and comfortably, you need to set standards and keep them. This means that if you don’t want an adult dog on the bed or couch, do not let the puppy on the bed or couch now. If your dog is going to an outside dog, that is where it must stay as a puppy. All these things need to be considered. A cute little German shepherd puppy is nice to cuddle with, but when it becomes a fully grown adult, he will end up taking most of your bed for himself.
Toilet Training needs to be intensive for the first few weeks.
If your puppy came from a breeder and it isn’t toilet trained, you bought from a shit breeder, I’m sorry but it’s the truth. Any good breeder should develop these basics when they still have the puppies. If yours isn’t toilet trained, you need to get on it ASAP. Here is a good blog to help you.
Socialise your puppy
Many people think that socialisation is simply letting their puppies play with other puppies. That is only a small part of it. Your puppy needs to be exposed to many different ages of dogs, people, environments, noises, and smells. Here is a link to get your own puppy socialisation checklist.
Exercise your puppy correctly
This means that you don’t over exercise a puppy too. It is recommended that you exercise a puppy for 5 minutes per month they have been alive. For example, if your puppy is 3 months old, it should be walked for 15 minutes (3×5) maximum at a time. These are obviously just guidelines, but it is especially important that you don’t over do it. This can result in major development issues with the dog’s bones and joints. If your puppy is over exercised it may become fearful of walking or going on leash because it will associate this activity with pain.
Your puppy needs mental stimulation
Not only does your puppy need exercise but it also needs to be mentally challenged too. This helps with cognitive development and problem solving. Playing games with your pup like hiding treats and doggy puzzles will tire out your pup more than any walk will. Here is a link to some awesome canine enrichment games.
Keep an eye on your puppy as much as possible
Many people get puppies, play with them a little bit then put them in the backyard and expect them to entertain themselves. These same people then get upset when it starts digging holes and chewing on furniture. My question to them is always the same, what did you expect? Dogs are social animals and rely on pack mates to entertain them. If you only have one dog, you are the pack mate and you are expected to keep them busy. You need to engage with them, if you need to do something else, give them a nice big bone or toy to play with. Doggie day-care is another option to keep them busy while you are at work.
At the end of the day, the more you engage and train your pup the less issues you are going to have. You really are living in a dream world if you are getting a puppy and plan on leaving it at home without being destructive. They need to be entertained and monitored while they are awake. They are naturally inquisitive and will explore their home. If you can’t be at home with your pup consider taking your pup to doggie day-care while you are at work or get a dog walker to visit your pup and take it for a walk to tire it out. Honestly, if you can’t find the time for your dog you probably shouldn’t have one.