What to Keep in Mind When Obedience Training Your Puppy

Congratulations on your new puppy! Now is the time to make sure the puppy knows exactly what their responsibilities are as members of your household. As a dog owner, your job is to catch them behaving well and reward them for it.

Age

Dogspring Training recommends that puppies stay with mom and littermates for the first eight weeks of their lives. This is crucial to developing their jaw strength and learning socialization. Once they come to live with you, make sure to keep working on socialization so your puppy learns to feel safe and secure in a variety of settings and with a variety of people. Good behaviors such as not jumping on people and house training are critical at this stage.

How Often

Make sure your puppy has a safe space in your home. For many of us, this is a crate. Line the crate with something soft that smells like you such as an old towel or sweatshirt. For the first few weeks, you should always keep your eye on your puppy when they’re out of the crate. The easiest way to promote good behaviors like potty training is to catch them behaving well and reward them. If you notice your puppy sniffing in the house, immediately take them to an outdoor spot that you would like them to use as a bathroom. Wait until they go and reward them. Practice socialization and focus on you with short games of tag and healthy treats as incentives. Use short, fast training sessions and set aside brief periods throughout the day.

Rewards

Dog treats can be loaded with fillers that can cause skin irritation or gut inflammation. To keep your puppy as healthy as possible while using treats as rewards for behaviors you want to reinforce, invest in treats that won’t upset their digestive system. There are many treats to choose from, but VitaLife recommends looking for treats with high-protein ingredients like organ or muscle meat. Take care when treating your puppy with rawhide pieces or bone fragments as small dogs may not have the patience or jaw strength to chew such items. It can cause intestinal blockages if the puppy manages to swallow large pieces. Puppies are similar to babies in one respect. There’s a point in their development when pretty much everything goes into their mouth, so be sure to keep small objects such as Legos and Barbie shoes out of their reach. 

Your puppy is learning to focus on you as the head of the pack. Maintain eye contact as you participate in focused training and try to keep your hands still so your puppy will focus on your face. Reward your pup with healthy treats for good behavior and take steps to get them accustomed to a change in their living environment. If you follow these steps, your new puppy will start to feel safe and secure in their new home.

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