Puppy Training – everything you need to know

Puppy Training – everything you need to knowWhether it’s praise, food or toys, Rookes Pet Products believes all training should be reward-lead.

We will cover all basic areas of Puppy Training, from basic obedience and manners to crate training, tricks and toilet habits.

Right now, your new puppy is susceptible to learning, but has a short attention span so it is important to keep training efforts brief but regular. Training your puppy is a great way to bond with your pet but will also create a strong foundation for a happy and safe dog. Most training is learnt through play and is enjoyable for both dog and owner but at what age should you teach your puppy new tricks?

8 weeks

Toilet Training – Hone in on your puppy’s way of showing he needs to relieve himself as soon as possible and immediately teach good toilet habits. Appearing anxious, sniffing the ground and circling are all ways your puppy could be telling you it’s time to pee. Take your puppy outside to the bathroom every 2 hours during the first few weeks.

Crate training – Creating a den for your puppy will allow them to feel safe and comforted both at home and when you travel with their crate. To start with, allow your puppy to explore the inside of the crate with you sat close by. Move on to feeding them in the crate, opening the door as soon as they have finished and gradually increase their time inside as the weeks go by.

10-12 weeks

Good Manners – Nobody wants a puppy that bites or jumps and now is the time to start putting a stop to any bad habits they are developing.  Nipping should immediately halt any games or attention. By drawing the puppy’s attention away from you and towards a chew toy they will quickly learn where they can and can’t gnaw.

Lead Walking – Walking to heel is the end goal but initially introducing your puppy to the collar is the best first step. With treats and encouragement the puppy will gradually warm to both the collar and leash, enjoying the association between the pleasure of walks and their lead.

First ‘Trick’ – 10-12 weeks old is a great time to teach the “sit” command. This simple instruction teaches manners and control. All tricks require patience and persistence but can be great fun for dog and owners.

How to: “Sit” 

With a treat in-between your fingers, slowly raise your hand from the top of your puppy’s nose above their head whilst commanding, “Sit.” Naturally, dogs will follow the direction of the treat, lower their bottoms and sit down. Reward your pet straight away.

How to: “STAY”

Ask your dog to “Sit.” Rather than immediately treating your puppy, follow up with a second command. Raising your hand, with the palm facing towards your pets face say, “Stay.” Reward your pet. Repeat the process whilst leaving longer in between the new “Stay” command and the reward.

Training is most successful before a puppy reaches 12 weeks old. At this age they develop a fear response so any training you can offer your puppy during the first few weeks will be beneficial.

Early socialisation and puppy training doesn’t just improve their manners; it’s a fun and rewarding way for you to spend quality time together and really helps strengthen your bond.  Most dogs love training – it’s a chance for them to challenge their brains, earn rewards and get lots of praise and attention!