5 Important Puppy Lessons
Training your puppy should start just as soon as you bring the into your home. Don’t worry, you do not have to get any formal classes right away, but there are some things that you need to address as soon as possible. These are things that will set the groundwork for future training and allow you and your puppy to lead well adjusted lives.
Have a look at 5 lessons that you should start teaching your puppy right away.
1) Getting Used To Being Touched
Your puppy will need to be groomed and touched over the years. Because of this, you need to get them used to being handled just as soon as possible. There is nothing worse than trying to cut the nails or check the ears of a dog that hates being handled.
For best success, you need to get them used to being touched with or without grooming. They should not associate handling with something that they find uncomfortable, like a nail trim. You should touch them on other occasions as well, so that they do not associate you touching them with just grooming.
Get them used to someone touching their ears, looking in their mouths and being lightly restrained. It is much easier to get them used to these things as a puppy than as an adult that is set in their ways.
Learning Their Name
Name recognition is a big thing because it is the one thing that will get their attention when you need to correct them.
Practice name recognition by calling their name and rewarding your puppy. When they acknowledge the name, give them a small treat. If they do not acknowledge their name, add a couple clicking or whistling sounds at the end until they get the point and turn. Keep repeating this process until you no longer have to click or whistle.
Keep your training sessions short, no more than a few minutes and try to avoid over using their name. You want them to recognize it, not learn to tune it out.
Keeping Calm In A Crate
If you intend to crate train, it will take time and training to get your puppy to be calm while crated. Have patience and be sure to choose the right crate. If you have a Pekingese, you do not want them in a crate designed for a Great Dane. You want them to have room to stand and turn, but you want it to be cozy.
Once you have you crate, keep your sessions short and work up. Start with a few minutes and work yourself up to a few hours, never going over 4 hours. There is just so long that a puppy can hold their bladder and they should not spend their entire life in a crate.
To make them more accepting of a crate, keep it in a comfortable place such as your master bedroom. Also, have a special toy or treat that they only get in the crate. When they get in, give it to them and when they get out, take it away immediately.
Going Potty On A Leash
If you live in an apartment or condo, your puppy will likely learn how to go potty on a leash out of necessity. Dogs that have the luxury of a fenced in yard might not have this skill, but they need it.
When you take your dog to the veterinarian, they will need to learn to go potty on a leash. Most veterinarians do not have fenced yards for their patients and staff must instead walk them. If your pet will be staying the day at a vet or will need a fecal sample, the ability to go potty on the leash is critical.
The best way to get them used to going potty on the leash is to simply take them for walks from the start. A daily walk while they are potty training will teach them that it is okay to go potty on the leash and that they do not have to hold it until they get home.
Being Social With People & Dogs
Socializing your dog is extremely important, but only after they have received all of their vaccinations. Until then, the risk is just too high.
Once vaccinated, get them used to people by taking them to pet friendly stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Your dog lives a very isolated life at home and seeing all of these strangers acting in an nonthreatening way will let them know that people are not to be feared.
As for dog socialization, nothing beats the dog park. Just be sure to plan your visit well. Start your dog off slowly by going at non peak times. Additionally, chose a dog park that has separate areas for different sized dogs. You do not want your toy Chihuahua having to mix it up with a Mastiff. Once your dog gets the hang of things, start taking them at busier times.