Congratulations on your new puppy. Your home will be filled with love, joy and that playfulness that puppies bring to our lives. We all love this part of being a pet owner. Pets make us better people by teaching us how to care for others and responsibility. Let’s not forget that last part.
As a new family member, your puppy needs to learn how to peacefully live with the other people in the house, especially if you have small children.
If you are a veteran in the pet owning area, you may already have a few tricks under your sleeve. But if you are totally new to this, you will need some guidance and practice, and most of all, you will need patience.
As with small children, training your puppy will take time until they can finally understand what is good and what is wrong, take simple orders and hopefully know where they can go and release themselves. Remember that anything your puppy does comes from a place of love and keep that in mind, especially when he misbehaves.
So if you are looking for guidance, we got you covered. We will walk you through the essentials on dog training for you, the new puppy parent. Here are 7 easy first steps that you will need to consider.
1. Get your puppy to respond to his name
This is very important. Your puppy needs to know when you are talking to him and when you are talking to someone else in the house. Try to repeatedly say his name while playing, petting and feeding him. Remember to be always positive and use a gentle voice when approaching your puppy.
2. Be prepared
Get some supplies to help you train your puppy. Some of the essential things that you will need are treats to reinforce positive behavior; a crate so your puppy learns that he has a place that it is his own; a collar and a leash so you can take him out to walk; some toys so his energy is well placed on them and not on your couch; and maybe some material for you to better understand your puppy.
There are plenty of books you can buy and videos you can watch online. Remember we are also here for you.
3. Be disciplined
By training your puppy, you will be learning a few things too. Not exactly how to respond to treats, but you will learn how to manage your emotions and, most of all, the discipline that it takes to train your puppy.
Set up a schedule that is easy to follow and fun, so everyday you spend some time training your puppy. It is well known that humans take 10,000 hours to master a task, but do not worry. The commands and initial tasks that you will teach your puppy are much easier to learn.
It is better that you have a few short periods of training throughout the day, preferably around the same time as you are feeding your puppy. The important thing here is to keep your routine everyday.
4. We are all in this together
If you live with a family, let them know that it is up to everyone to be in charge of the puppy training. It will not work if just one person pays attention to it. This can be confusing for your puppy as he might get mixed signals of what is right and what is wrong.
It is a team effort and everyone can have fun doing it. Remember that puppies learn by playing too, so your family can have a great time.
5. Understand the needs of your puppy
Puppies are amazing creatures. As dogs have been domesticated for centuries, they cannot survive very easily without our help. Puppies need love and companionship. They also need proper caring. That means vet visits, vaccines, proper nutrition, exercise and physical activity, socialization and a peaceful and welcoming home.
Have that in mind and be prepared to take care of everything, and your puppy will live a long happy life.
6. Let the world meet your puppy
You love your new puppy, let the world know and bring your friends to meet him. This is more important than you think. It is not just bragging rights (although bragging about your perfect cute little puppy is legitimate), but your pet needs to learn how to behave around people that come to visit.
Ever been to a house where there is a dog that just will not stop barking at visitors? That is very annoying and shows that the dog was not properly trained. It is exactly what you are trying to avoid.
Letting visitors meet your dog will teach him how to socialize and recognize when someone is a friend or an unwelcome presence in the house.
7. Baby steps
Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Do not expect your puppy to learn everything at once. You will end up confusing him and frustrating yourself.
Start with the easiest commands and tricks. You already got your dog to respond to his name? That is a good start. That is the easiest command on the list. Next steps include the following commands:
- Leave it
Of course, as we progress, we will get to more difficult commands and tasks for your puppy, especially the part we talked about – going potty in a special spot.
Remember to be prepared. Set a family reunion so you know everyone is on board. Get your research done and we are always there to help you along the way with a series of articles.
It is not a race, and it will be easier than you think if you keep working on your schedules and treat your puppy with love, patience and understanding.
The first thing to have in mind is that dog training is a responsibility of every dog owner and makes life easier for both the family, and your puppy. By the end of the first few months, you will have a well behaved, happy and healthy dog.