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Essential Training Tips For New Puppies And Pet Parents!

12 Apr 2013 | by Alka Paul | Posted in: Training

Training a puppy is every pet parent’s dream! However, this can turn into reality if the puppy training starts from an early stage, resulting in an obedient and a balanced companion for a lifetime!

People often wonder at what age they should start training the puppy. Well, most of the trainers will say ‘immediately!’ Early training is one of the best methods to prevent behavior problems in the near future. Besides showering you love and affection, it is equally important to train your puppy from the time you bring him home. Training involves patience, without any kind of anxiety. You must trust your pet completely and he should feel that you really do. Once he senses this, he will begin to trust you too.

New pet parents get busy searching for the right accessories and treats for their puppy, instead of thinking of how well they could teach their puppy. There’s no doubt a puppy requires nutritious supply of food and comfortable shelter, but at the same time he needs the support of a pet parent who not only bestows love, but is a good pack leader too.

The following puppy-training guide and tips can help you prepare in advance and make your new furry friend, a happy and healthy member of your family!

Crate Training

Crate training is one of the best and efficient ways to start training your puppy. When your puppy gets sufficient time to become comfortable in his crate, he would love to spend his time there. Even in your absence, he will be more than happy to stay in his crate. You need to buy a smaller crate, or you can block the other end, discouraging him to use one end to sleep and the other to relieve himself. Most puppies will not eliminate in the place they sleep.

When your puppy is in the crate while under your supervision, he will not develop the habit of messing your house or chewing on household things. Nevertheless, you should not crate him for too long. Until your pooch is completely trained, you can choose a small area in the house like the kitchen or the utility room, where he can spend his time instead of allowing him to run free and mess your entire place. Hence, crate training is a great tool for housebreaking.

Potty Training

Adopting a puppy can be fun, but remember it comes with a huge responsibility. When you bring your new puppy home, you should be prepared to clean up unwanted messes. Hence, the moment he comes to your home, you need to commence with toilet training. You should keep him in a place where you can keep a close eye on him and watch for signs.

Once you take your puppy out of his crate, you need to take him outdoors to relieve him. A puppy needs to do potty soon after he eats or drinks. The minute you see him sniffing or trying to squat, you must quickly pick him up and take him outdoors to eliminate. If you are unable to take him out, you can take him to the toilet.  Each time he wants to do potty, keep using the words ‘Good boy, go potty, good boy, go potty’ while you are directing him to the designated area, as this will help him to understand that he has to always eliminate in the same area. As soon as he does the potty, you must reward, praise and give him a treat, to reinforce good behavior. It is vital to be consistent during this process so that your puppy learns this good habit.

In the initial stages of potty training, it is advisable to take your puppy outdoors to eliminate every 1.5 hours. You need to give him drinking water 15 minutes before you take him outdoors. As the training progresses, your puppy will be able to stay for longer intervals without feeling the need to eliminate. Before your puppy’s bedtime, it’s advisable to play softly with your pooch for a few minutes. This can encourage a good sleeping pattern and you will be on the way to a well-trained puppy!

Feeding schedule for puppies

A puppy should be ideally fed three measured meals a day, and at the same time every day. The first meal should be between 7 to 8am, 1 to 2pm for lunch and 6 to 7pm for dinner. If the last meal finishes before 7pm, he will have sufficient time to digest his food and eliminate before he retires to bed. It is advisable to always stick to this schedule for at least 4 to 5 months, after which the meal timings can be changed to twice a day or as advised by your veterinary doctor.

The meal should be nutritious and well balanced, especially designed for puppies. It is best to go for branded dog dry foods, which are high in quality such as Royal Canin, Pedigree or Drools, instead of feeding him cheaper dog foods as they contain more of fillers and sugars and lack the necessary nutrients. The premium dry puppy foods have excellent ingredients, such as chicken and rice or corn, and are suitable for most puppies. Once your pooch starts eating branded food, his consumption will be less, as he will be getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. You will see his energy levels rise, along with a healthy skin, shinier coat and cleaner teeth.

It is not advisable to offer treats to a puppy that is in the weaning stage (less than 2 months). Once they become older, you can offer them a wide variety of natural treats such as dog biscuits and dental chew sticks, which are good for their gums. However, it is best to check on the label for instructions before feeding them.

You should refrain your puppy from overfeeding, even if he is asking for more. This can lead to obesity problems in the future. If you puppy is hesitating to eat his food, you can try feeding him inside his crate, where he will have his own little space to relish his meal. Drinking clean water should be in his bowl 24x7. Once he drinks water, you can wait for about 15 minutes before you take him outdoors or to the toilet to eliminate. He may find the need to eliminate more than once, so you should gather a lot of patience during this training process and be prepared to take him out once again.

 Training to stop biting / chewing

All puppies bite and chew on everything that comes in their way! This is very natural and here are few things you can do to stop this annoying behavior.

Distract your puppy with activities such as playing fetch with the ball. Refrain from playing aggressive games such as tug-of-war.

Offer your puppy to chew on a toy, such as Kong, Karlie etc, which are available in most pet shops. You can also offer him small treats such as Lets Bite, Chomp etc. Keep praising him as he chews on the toy by repeatedly saying, ‘good boy’. He will soon adapt to all activities that rewards his good actions.

Don’t pay much attention to your puppy when he is biting or chewing on something. Instead, ignore him and walk away. This will discourage him to repeat this act.

Sometimes you can use vinegar on your hands, so that your puppy will find biting them unpleasant.

Avoid situations, which your puppy may find stressful such as hunger, separation, pain and confinement, as this will encourage biting.

It’s best to familiarize your puppy with your friends, animals and things around him. Puppies usually bite in unfamiliar environments.

Lastly, bestow him with all your love and care to make him feel safe and secure.

The most important part of puppy training is that you must praise and reward your puppy every time he does the right thing. You must praise him when he listens to your commands, when he chews on his toys instead of the sofa and when he eliminates outside the house, instead of causing a mess inside. The more time you spend with him, the training will be a lot easier and faster. Communicating with your pet goes a long way in effective puppy training! 

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