Now that you have your puppy, congrats! But before you blindly decide to bring your puppy home for the first time, you will need to know that it can be disastrous. For example, without proper guidance, it is highly likely that your puppy will develop anxiety issues. Without proper training, you may also develop anger issues due to the puppy’s random pooping or peeing around your favourite furniture. As such, in order to prevent issues from developing, whether to you or your puppy, you will need to know that there are some preparations that you will need to undergo so as to prep the puppy for the house and stay with you.
What preparations are needed
If you are thinking along the line of training your puppy to respond to commands, you are not wrong, but there are more than just basic commands that your puppy should know. There are training programs such as house training, introduction to spaces, potty training, and in some cases agility training. All of these will help your puppy as it can aid in a complete holistic development of its life.
If you are a first time owner of a puppy, it is very possible that you face difficulties when it comes to training your puppy. The cute puppies that you see on social media platforms have most likely been trained by their owners. Trust us, not all puppies are that cute! But having said that, all puppies love attention, and most of them can be playful, hence training the puppy does require you to have a higher patience level so that the puppy can have a proper and effective training session.
Read on to find out what are our top puppy training tips that can serve as a cheat sheet for you to train your puppy effectively.
1. Familiarise your puppy with their new home
Before you get the new puppy in the house for the very first time, we will advise you to get the puppy to be first aquatinted with the surroundings. This includes bringing the puppy around the exterior of your house as well as to the sidewalks. This will greatly aid the puppy to develop a sense of familiarity to your area. Note that this is an important step, since it is very likely that your puppy is feeling anxious, hence this step can help to alleviate the anxiety issues.
2. Introduction to your family members
This is again an important step that most new dog parents omit. If your family were to rush out and attempt to play with the puppy even before being acquainted, it can potentially cause severe reaction in your new puppy. What you should do is to inform your family members that you are bringing the puppy home for the first time, and that the family members should not be rushing out to greet the puppy even before the dog is properly introduced to them. Always make it a point to get your dog acquainted with your family members first so that your new dog will not develop a sense of fear!
3. Preparing your house
It is very easy for us to bring our puppy home, but what is more difficult is the prevention of accidents from happening. Accidents includes the puppy crawling and chewing through your belongings, or the puppy randomly defecating around the house. In order for you to prevent this from happening, make it a point to demarcate or specify a place that the puppy should be in. We would recommend you to put the area in a corner of the house, since dogs love to seek solace in confined spaces. You can also ensure that there are no items lying on the floor that can be potential hazards for your puppy.
4. Bringing your new puppy into the house
Once the above is done, you can proceed to bring your new puppy into the house. Make an effort to properly introduce the puppy to spaces in and around the house too. This process is termed as “housebreaking”, and there are much more than simply introducing the puppy to the house. It does include the option of getting a dog crate for the puppy. While most people might assume that the dog crate is a tool for enabling punishment, it is indeed far from that.
You see, dogs, when they are feeling anxious, love to be surrounded by an enclosed area as it helps to provide the illusion of comfort. Hence, whenever the puppy feels anxious due to various reasons, they tend to retreat into the crate! With that, we will strongly urge you to get a dog crate even before you get the puppy. We will recommend that you put the dog crate in a corner in the house. If you are able to do so, put a black cloth over the crate so that it can block the puppy’s direct line of sight when it is in it.
5. Space in the house
As the puppy is still relatively new to the house, it will be important for you to ease them into the house slowly as opposed to letting it run around freely. To start off, you should have already demarcated a place in the house that is designated for the dog to play in. Once the dog is comfortable in that space, you can proceed to increase the radius of the play area. The ultimate goal is to eventually remove the gates so that the dog can run freely without intruding into off-limit places. We will recommend you to put the dog’s favourite toys into the play area so that it will not be too bored.
6. Potty training
This is perhaps the one type of training that befuddles most owners, and this is because the owners themselves are clueless about how to get the dog to defecate at specific designated spots. To start this training, you will need to ensure that the puppy is about 3 to 4 months old as experts say this is the time at which the dogs are best receptive to this training.
One key component of this training is the power of routines. By observing the dog’s pooping and peeing routines, you can quickly zero on the specific time at which potty training can be most optimum. Once you manage to zero on the trigger, whether is it after meals or after a certain activity, you can then start the training proper.
To start off, once you have supplied the trigger, observe the dog for its behaviour. If it does show subtle signs that it wants to defecate, proceed to bring the dog to the designated toilet area and encourage the dog to poop or pee. Once it is done, provide the puppy with a treat. This will help to reinforce the training methodology, and eventually the puppy will learn to pee and poop only at designated spots. But a word of caution here: you should not provide the dog with too much treats as it can be unhealthy for them. If you have the time, you can always conjure up your own healthy dog treats!
7. Basic obedience training
It is imperative that your new puppy be taught basic obedience training as it can aid you when trying to control its behaviour. Most owners fail to understand that the failure to train your puppy will result in a dog that is tougher to control when it is older. As such, this is one training that you will need to pay extra attention to!
But obedience training isn’t as simple as commanding your dog to follow certain actions. It involves observing your dog for its bodily cues as well as to ensure that you do not lose patience with the dog at any point of time. It is pretty similar to how you would get your child to understand you too. Most experts recommend that you start obedience training as early as 7 weeks old! Some of the basic obedience training includes getting your dog to understand command such as come or even stay.
Now, some owners might doubt the important of obedience training for the puppy. To break it down for you, obedience training your puppy can bring about a whole lot of benefits to you as well as to your puppy. First of all, by getting your dog to respond to certain commands, you can be potentially saving its life. Just imagine not having the ability to stop your dog while it attempts to just in a thorny bush or into oncoming traffic. Also, if you are envious of owners whose dog could walk obediently beside them, then you have to know that it is one of the benefits of obedience training.
But one of the most underrated benefit is that while you are training your puppy, it will help to create a subtle but strong bond between owner and the dog, since one of the key ingredients to a successful training session is constant communication. But the caveat here is that you should not lose your temper, ever, to your puppy. If you ever feel angry or frustrated, choose to walk away first before coming back as it can help you cool your raging nerves!
One of the most important factors in having a healthy dog is the introduction of socializing to it. This is an important developmental tool that is often neglected by many. It is highly recommended that you start socializing your puppy when they are as young as 3 weeks old. But in order to protect your puppy, you might want to consider getting their basic vaccinations in place first so that your puppy is well protect from common diseases first. Once this is done, the socializing can start!
To start off, bring your puppy out for walks so that it can be acquainted to other humans or other dogs. Ensure that you keep your puppy on a tight leash so that you can rein the puppy in should there be any potential problem. One other good way to start the whole socialization process is by arranging a play date with other puppies that are around the same age.
9. Essential things for a new puppy
Granted, you have followed all of the above. Now, the next best thing that you can do is to ensure that your puppy has the best items that it needs in order to develop healthily. With that, here are some of the essential things that you will need to get for your new puppy.
- Dog crate: This is an essential item as it can help to soothe your dog when they feel anxious.
- Dog food and bowl: Get only dog food that is meant for puppies. As a rule of thumb, we will try to avoid food that are high in protein levels. Getting a food bowl will be equally important to prevent bloat in dogs.
- Leash: This is an underrated item as it can help to keep your puppy safe when you bring it out.
- Dog bed: You would want the dog to sleep in a comfortable bed as opposed to sleeping on the cold hard floor.
- Shampoo: Get a gentle puppy shampoo that is safe for puppies. This is essential in keeping the puppy safe from fleas!
- Modular playpen: When you introduce the dog to your house, you will need to demarcate a space so that you puppy can play in. The best way to do this is by getting a modular playpen whose shape can area can be changed as the dog grows older.
- Interactive dog toys: Most owners will negate the importance of engaging the puppy intellectually. To help hone your dog’s intellectual skills, you can always by interactive dog feeders or even interactive dog toys that can keep your dog engaged for hours, hence honing its intellectual and cognitive skills.
Your puppy’s wellbeing is entirely controlled by you. So long as you follow our guide to a T, you can be assured that your dog will grow up happily and healthy!