Building a Strong Foundation, Puppy Training

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puppy potty training checklist

Mastering Puppy Training: Building a Strong Foundation for a Well-Behaved Companion

As you know, welcoming a new puppy into your home can be very joyful and jubilant. That said, along with the endless warmth & snuggling, comes the obligation of puppy training.

Proper training is imperative to create good behavior (while discouraging less-than-desirable behaviors), cement a bond and to provide your puppy with the best chances to grow into a well-mannered, joyful dog to be around.

Below we will jump into the essentials of puppy training, covering key aspects and offering some practical tips for success in this wonderful journey.

It’s a Partnership!

high five puppy training

Establishing a Training Routine – the Earlier, the Better

Puppy training should begin immediately after bringing your puppy home. Commencing early allows you to groom your pup’s behavior from the very start, preventing or mitigating unwanted habits (that are often very difficult to change in the future).

 Establish, on a daily timetable, a consistent routine which incorporates regular training sessions, playtime, feeding as well as time set aside for your puppy to learn how to rest. Consistency is key when it comes to any training, more so with puppy training as it helps your puppy comprehend expectations while reinforcing positive behavior.

Socialization: Don’t Wait on this One!

Socialization plays a critical role in your puppy’s development; the best results usually occur when your puppy is very young and most impressionable. However, most puppy owners’ first instincts, although well-intended, often backfire and create the very opposite response they were trying to get. There is a right way (and a wrong one, too!) to introduce your puppy to various people, different environments and animals, as well as situations in a controlled manner.

Early and positive socialization, although not guaranteed, can help prevent fear, aggression, and anxiety later in life. Unlike many dog training schools, we recommend to not actually enroll your pup in puppy socialization class, instead, invite friends and family over to interact with your furry friend, and expose them to different smells, sights, sounds, and experiences. 

With that said, we’d strongly encourage a professional dog trainer to assist with this as there are components that greatly go against human instinct.

Building Communication: This Where the Commands Come In

Puppies communicate with humans through a language that relies on commands.  These command help to establish a bedrock for effective communication.

All commands should be with “teaching and showing” Using positive reinforcement not limited to just treats.  You should use plenty of play to help create an emotional bond between the command, you & your dog.  At Dedicated Dog Training, we do not strive for mechanical responses; we want our dogs to be able to express who they are, while being attentive.

We wont tell you to Keep training sessions short because every puppy has a different level of energy and attention level; however, we will encourage you to maintain a frequent training schedule that is built in to a “lifestyle for you and your puppy!

Potty Training: Keeping it Clean.

Housebreaking or potty training should be at the forefront of puppy’s training.  We strongly discourage wee-wee pads (that said, some owners of puppies may have no choice) Establishing a routine to train your puppy to go outside in our opinion and experience is the absolute best way to go.  

We show our members how to establish a clear method of communication to expedite this process.

In the very beginning, our experience shows that using a crate when you cannot commit to 100% supervising your puppy will help with your pup’s potty training and housebreaking efforts.

As your puppy begins to show signs on progress, then you must monitor your pup’s behavior for signs they need to relieve themselves, such as whining, barking, sniffling, running throughout the home or circling. 

When observing these signs, it is imperative that you act swiftly by promptly taking them outside to an area that you have designated for the beginning of your puppy’s potty training.

Being consistently patient and understanding that we are looking for “progress” as this will not happen overnight.  There’s no need to bring a treat outside with you either.  You should expect your puppy to have accidents as it is part of the process.  So, please do not get discouraged when this occurs.

puppy leash training

Leash Training: No Puppy Owner Wants to be Pulled Around Town

Training your puppy to walk nicely on a leash is essential to create joyful experiences for both you and your puppy.  Introducing your pup to their leash and collar as early as possible helps to make these foreign objects more second nature to them. Dedicated Dog Training likes to pair the leash and collar with positive things. 

Begin having your dog wear their leash and collar around the house when you can visually supervise them. They should wear it when they are not going for a walk too.

After they get a bit comfortable with wearing in the house, move to the backyard, front yard and so forth.  Probably a good idea to enlist the help of a trainer at this point as well. One thing we do not want to do is to allow the habit of pulling on the leash to go for an extended period.

Puppy Behavior Changes: Patience and Consistency

Like human transitions, such as: babies, adolescents, teenagers and adulthood, puppies exhibit this as well: whining, nervousness, barking, jumping, dominant, aggressive, etc.…. Being able to quickly recognize these transitions in a prompt manner should help redirecting these unwanted behaviors to better alternatives.

Seeking professional guidance can help you to better identify when these changes may occur and provide insight on what you can (or should not) do to help your puppy through these transitions.

In Summary

Puppy training requires a lot of effort but can pay huge dividends in a creating wonderful experience for you and your family down the road.  In our experience puppy training is often undervalued by your average pet owner. 

Let’s face it, most of us see value in fixing a problem rather than being proactive in preventing a problem.

However, this way of thinking can be very problematic for puppy owners.  Not to mention, extremely nerve-racking, costly and very time-consuming. 

We view puppy training as a small investment of time, patience, and dedication that can help to produce a well-balanced dog in the years to come!

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Long Island Dog Trainers | Dedicated Dog Training