Tip 1. Decide the house rules
First thing’s first – before you bring your new puppy home, it’s important to settle on some house rules. Are they allowed on the furniture? Can they sleep in your bed or will they have their own? Will you use puppy training treats to reward them? Answering these questions – pre-puppy – will help to save any confusion for your new family member.
Tip 2. Guide, don’t control
It’s better to take a more ‘guiding’ approach when training a puppy. Say a command, show them what to do, and reward them when they follow. Don’t force them or punish them when they don’t succeed. This rings especially true when it comes to crate training a puppy. You should never force a puppy into a crate – they should see their puppy crate as a safe haven, not a punishment. Instead, you should pop a cosy bed inside, encourage them to explore it, and gradually increase the amount of time they spend in it. Just remember to place down some puppy pads if they’re sleeping in their crate overnight and they’re not quite house trained yet.
Tip 3. A regular routine is key
Take note of this one, as it’s a handy tip for all aspects of puppy training. Whether you want to know how to stop your dog barking, you’re struggling with house training a puppy, or your puppy sleep training isn’t going to plan, the problem is likely hidden in their (lack of) routine. Just like us humans, dogs are creatures of habit. They benefit from being let outside at the same time each morning, as well as going to sleep at the same time and place each night. A consistent routine is the secret to toilet training a dog, especially when it comes to puppy toilet training at night – we don’t envy you there. It will help to teach them when and, more importantly, where they can and can’t ‘go’.
Tip 4. Socialise, socialise, socialise!
If you want your puppy to be confident and, more importantly, comfortable in a variety of situations, it’s vital to socialise them from a young age – roughly between 4 and 16 weeks. Adults, children, other dogs, other animals; the more you can expose them to, the better. One good way to socialise your pup (and yourself!) is to enrol them into a dog training college or find a local puppy obedience training class. This might also help you with the trickier parts of puppy training, such as lead training a puppy.