15 Puppy Training Tips and Tricks to Make Fido's Life Easier
by Bethel Farms on Mar 02, 2023
They say that a dog is a man's best friend for good reason. Having a pet can help reduce blood pressure, decrease levels of cortisol in the blood, and relieve stress.
The only stressful part of dog ownership is training them properly. It requires patience and consistency that can be hard to maintain among life's other obligations.
To learn about effective puppy training tips, check out the list below.
1. Start Training Early
Puppies are most receptive to training when they are between 8 and 12 weeks old. Puppies have a natural curiosity and are more open to learning new things. They are also less set in their ways and more willing to adapt to new training and behaviors.
The longer a dog goes without proper training, the more likely they are to develop bad habits, such as excessive barking, digging, or jumping. Training a puppy early can prevent these bad habits from forming in the first place.
Training a new puppy can help strengthen the bond between the pet and its owner. It can also help ensure the dog's safety by teaching them basic commands such as "come" or "stay" that can be used in emergency situations.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a type of training that rewards a dog for performing a desired behavior. There are several reasons why positive reinforcement is an effective and recommended method for training dogs. Positive reinforcement encourages desired behavior, builds trust, reduces fear and aggression, can be used to teach a variety of behaviors, is more humane, and provides a sense of accomplishment for the dog.
Positive reinforcement training builds trust between the dog and the trainer. Dogs that feel safe and comfortable are more likely to be open to learning new things. That's also why it is considered a more humane approach than traditional punishment-based methods, as it does not involve physical or emotional pain for the dog.
Dogs enjoy learning new things and being rewarded for it, and positive reinforcement training can provide a sense of accomplishment for the dog and increase their confidence.
3. Keep Training Sessions Short
Puppy training sessions should be short because dogs have shorter attention spans than humans and they can get easily overwhelmed or tired. Dogs often become disinterested or distracted after a few minutes of training. Keeping training sessions short and frequent will help to keep the dog engaged and motivated to learn.
Short, frequent training sessions allow dogs to learn and retain information more easily. Instead of trying to cram a lot of information into one long training session, breaking it up into shorter sessions will allow the dog to better process the information and retain it for longer periods of time.
Dogs can become frustrated if they are unable to perform a task or command correctly. Short training sessions help to prevent this frustration by allowing the dog to learn at their own pace and avoiding overwhelming them with too much information at once.
4. Be Consistent
Consistency in training helps dogs understand and retain commands. When the same commands and training methods are used consistently, the dog is more likely to understand and remember them. It also helps establish a routine for the dog, which can make them feel more secure and comfortable.
Consistency builds trust between the dog and the trainer. Dogs that feel safe and comfortable are more likely to be open to learning new things. Dogs will also know what is expected of them and what the consequences of misbehavior are.
5. Potty Train
Potty training a puppy is one of the first steps in training a new puppy because it is a basic and essential life skill that they will need to learn in order to live comfortably in a human household.
Potty training is important for sanitation reasons. If a puppy is not potty trained, it will relieve itself in the house, which can create unpleasant odors and unsanitary living conditions.
Once a puppy is potty trained, it can be given more freedom in the house and will be less likely to have accidents indoors.
6. Use a Crate
A crate can be a useful tool for potty training and for keeping your puppy safe when you can't supervise them. Puppies are naturally clean animals and will avoid going potty in the area where they sleep. Therefore, by confining the puppy to a small space, such as a crate, the puppy will learn to hold their bladder until they are let out to go potty.
Additionally, puppies are curious and can get into things they shouldn't, such as chewing on electrical cords or ingesting toxic substances. A crate can help prevent these hazards by keeping the puppy confined to a safe area.
A crate can also be used to help reduce separation anxiety in puppies. By providing a safe and secure space for a puppy, it can help them to feel more comfortable when they are left alone.
Finally, a crate can be used to establish a routine for a puppy. By having set times for meals, play, and rest, a puppy will learn to anticipate and look forward to these times, making it easier to train them.
7. Socialize Your Puppy
Socializing a puppy is an important part of its development and training. Socialization refers to the process of exposing a puppy to different people, animals, places, sounds, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner.
Socialization helps them to become more confident and well-adjusted in different environments and situations. This is partly because it helps reduce fear and aggression by exposing them to different people, animals, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner.
By exposing them to different people, animals, and experiences, they learn to be more aware of their surroundings and to respond appropriately to different situations. This can make them better companions because they will be less likely to have behavior problems, such as fearfulness or aggression.
8. Teach Basic Commands
Starting dog training with basic commands is an effective way to establish a foundation for further training and behavior modification. Start with commands like "sit," "stay," and "come" and build from there.
Basic commands provide a way for the dog and owner to communicate with each other effectively. They also help to establish trust between the dog and the owner. When a dog understands and follows basic commands, they learn to trust that the owner is in control and knows what they are doing.
Basic commands provide a foundation for more advanced training. Once the dog has mastered basic commands, it can then be taught more complex behaviors and skills.
9. Leash Train
Leash training a puppy helps to ensure their safety when outside. A leash provides a way for the owner to control the puppy and keep them from running into dangerous situations or getting lost.
Leash training a puppy is an important part of socializing them. By exposing the puppy to different people, animals, and environments while on a leash, they learn to be more comfortable and relaxed in new and unfamiliar settings.
Leash training is also a foundation for other training, such as obedience and manners. Dogs that are leash trained are usually more willing to learn and obey other commands.
10. Be Patient
Dogs learn at their own pace and it's important to understand that some dogs may take longer than others to learn a new command or behavior. Being patient allows the dog the time they need to understand and learn.
It also helps to avoid frustration for both the dog and the owner. A dog that is frustrated is less likely to learn and respond positively to training.
Patience can prevent negative associations between the dog and training. A dog that is rushed or pressured to learn may develop a negative association with training and be less likely to respond positively.
Each dog is unique and has their own personality, energy level, and learning style. Being patient allows the trainer to understand the dog's individual characteristics and adapt the training accordingly.
11. Use a Clicker
A clicker is a small hand-held device that emits a clicking sound when pressed. It is used in dog training as a marker signal to indicate to the dog that they have performed the desired behavior and that a reward will follow.
The clicker provides a clear and consistent sound that the dog can easily associate with a reward, which helps the dog understand what behavior is being reinforced. This can be especially helpful in cases where the reward is not immediately delivered, such as when teaching a dog to perform a behavior from a distance.
12. Don't Use Physical Punishment
Physical punishment can cause fear and aggression in dogs, which can lead to more serious behavior problems. Dogs that are punished physically may become anxious, fearful, and may even begin to associate their owner with those negative experiences, which can be damaging to the relationship
Physical punishment is often ineffective in changing a dog's behavior. It may suppress the behavior in the short term, but it doesn't address the underlying cause of the behavior and doesn't teach the dog what you want them to do instead. Additionally, dogs may not understand why they are being punished and may not be able to connect the punishment to the behavior.
This kind of punishment can also lead to physical harm to the dog. Hitting, kicking, or using physical force on a dog can cause injury, pain, and can lead to long-term physical and emotional damage. This is why it is considered to be an inhumane and unethical method of training dogs.
13. Train in Different Environments
Training a puppy in different environments is important because it helps the puppy learn to focus and respond to commands in any situation. Puppies that are only trained in one environment, such as a living room or a backyard, may have difficulty responding to commands when they are in a new or unfamiliar environment.
By exposing a puppy to different environments, such as parks, busy streets, or other people's homes, the puppy learns to adapt and respond to different stimuli. This can help to reduce the chances of the puppy becoming overwhelmed or distracted in unfamiliar situations.
14. Enroll in a Puppy Training Class
Signing up for a training class can be a great way for first-time pet owners to learn new training techniques and get support from other puppy owners.
A professional dog trainer can provide guidance on how to train your puppy in a positive and effective way. They can also help you identify and address any behavior issues that may arise.
Training classes provide a consistent and structured environment for your puppy to learn in. This can help to ensure that your puppy is getting the same message from everyone involved in their training.
Training classes also provide an opportunity for your puppy to interact and socialize with other puppies and dogs. This can help to prevent behavior problems related to fear and aggression, and can also help your puppy learn to focus and respond to commands in a distracting environment.
These classes offer a variety of activities and training methods to keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated.
15. Have Fun
Training should be a positive experience for both you and your puppy. By making it fun, you are more likely to use positive reinforcement techniques, such as puppy treats and praise, which can help to increase your puppy's motivation and engagement in the training process.
Additionally, puppy training is a bonding experience between you and your pet. By making it fun, you are building trust and a positive relationship with your puppy.
Training can be stressful for puppies, especially if they are in an unfamiliar or overwhelming environment. By making it fun, you can help to ease your puppy's stress and make the experience more enjoyable for them.
Puppies are also more likely to participate in training if it is fun. By making it an enjoyable experience, you are more likely to get your puppy's full attention and engagement in the training process.
Professional Puppy Training Tips
It's worth noting that despite these puppy training tips, puppies are individuals. What works for one dog may not work for another, so it's important to be patient and adaptable in the training process. Remember that consistent, positive reinforcement, patience and a good sense of humor will take you a long way.
For more training tips and products, take a look at our training page.