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Once you bring your puppy home and start this amazing bond together the happiness can seem outweighed by the overwhelm of now what? This is a big relationship you have started with your puppy and you want it to go great from the start.
Sure there are going to be ups and downs being a new puppy parent and I want to give puppy training tips that will help you and hopefully save you time and stress. Therefore, building a better relationship between you two through puppy training instead of trying to figure it out on your own.
Create a Puppy Training Schedule
There are so many things to take care of in a day with your puppy, but creating a puppy training schedule is going to help you both. The thing to remember is to be realistic with your time. Often puppy parents think they need to spend a lot of time training their puppy everyday when it can be less if you are consistent.
Also, looking at your weekly vs. weekend schedule will help you figure out how to create a realistic puppy training schedule you can commit to doing everyday. Scheduling your puppy into your schedule (physical or one on your cell phone will help you to remember to do the puppy training.
Often other responsibilities like work, family, friends, and other activities need to be figured out to give you more time to actually work on puppy training. Letting everyone you know about your puppy is exciting, but giving them a heads up that your time is going to be tied up training your puppy will help them to be more understanding.
Now that you have taken care of any commitments and freed up your time comes actually help you stick to the puppy training schedule. A poster board to map out the training schedule or note book to keep track of it is can be helpful too.
It may sound silly but you can easily forget what you were working on one week, or jump ahead too fast with your puppy before he/she is ready to learn more. Stick with one behavior to master, like sit, and write it down on that physical calendar for your puppy training. You may have to add an extra week if things are not going well.
Having a puppy training schedule will keep you accountable, but remember to be flexible as every puppy is different and it is okay to change the schedule a little because that means you are sticking to the training rather then not doing it at all.
Related Post: 5 Mistakes You Are Making on Dog Walks
Teach One Training Cue at a Time
As you think of all the things you want to train your puppy can lead to a long list. Sure you want your puppy to quickly get sit, down, come, eye contact but it cannot happen all at once. In fact you will probably confuse your puppy and lead to disappointment for yourself.
Side Note: I say training cue but you may also hear or have been told it is a command. I just wanted to clarify and not confuse you as you begin the puppy training process.
Start working with your puppy doing a sit. If he/she can do that every time or without you asking then that is great start. Work at adding something new to the cue like maybe waiting for eye contact with that sit. It should be realistic and something you both can work on together.
Also, there are going to be days where your puppy forgets the cue and needs some help. Training cues need to be worked on everyday. When teaching that one cue remember you want to get the behavior (a sit) before you start saying, “Sit” to your puppy.
I know as humans we want to verbally say things but that is not how a puppy learns. When you get your puppy to sit at least five times then add the word and to the behavior and see if he/she does it. Breaking down puppy training into simple steps will help you and your puppy make progress. Then after you have mastered one training cue then decide the next one and keep going with the training everyday.
Related Post: How to Leash Train your Puppy
Use Several Types of Dog Treats
It is great when you find a puppy training treat that your puppy loves. However, having more then one treats means you can mix it up and your puppy will love them all. I like using dog treats that are easy to break up and that means you are not using as many treats when training your puppy.
I would start off at three dog treats and buy them in a small package in case your puppy does not like them. There are a variety of flavors like: chicken, beef, salmon, peanut butter, etc. I know it will be tempting, as it is for me, when ordering or buying treats to go overboard. Keep it simple and remember you can always try another treat if the ones you got did not work out.
Here are a couple dog treats I like to use when training a puppy:
I would mix a couple of each dog treats in a Amici Home Retro Treats Gray Canister (this canister is great because your puppy will not see what’s inside it), Hefty Slider Storage Bags,( for using on walks in a treat bag – I like Doggone Good Rapid Rewards Pouch), or reusable treat bag ( I like Zip Top Reusable 100% Silicone Food Storage Bags and Containers), to have easy access to them in your house or on walks.
Dog Training Tip: Make sure to have the dog treats out of your puppy’s view so that he/she never knows when a treat is coming. We want your puppy to learn how to do the behavior, like a down, without having to show a treat to make it happen.
Related Post: How to Choose and use Treats in Training Your Dog
Play with your Puppy Before you Train
You come home and cannot wait to see your puppy. That is a great and a special thing to experience as a puppy parent. When it is time to train your puppy all that energy you love will not help get your puppy’s attention.
Instead try playing with your puppy in the house or your backyard and get some of that excess energy out. This way you will have fun instead of feeling frustrated that your puppy cannot focus on you. You may be thinking how is playing with your puppy before training really going to help?
Getting that excess energy is going to help that training session go better. I would play with your puppy for 10 – 20 minutes, give them some water, and then go into training.
Training Tip: make sure you have all your tools (treats, leash, and a least distracting place in your home to do the training with your puppy).
Related Post: Three Ways to have a Better Bond with Your Dog
Short Puppy Training Sessions are better then Long Ones
I may seem like the longer you do a training session with your puppy things will go better. However, keeping things short with your puppy and doing it more often during the week will have give better results and feel easier to do. Often as puppy parents you have other obligations like work, family, friends, etc. that can eat into your schedule.
It would be great if you could tell everyone you need a break from those obligations, but the reality is you are going to be juggling your puppy training and might not have as much time to do it as you thought.Therefore, doing a five minute training session when giving your puppy dinner, or in between watching a show, can relieve some of that pressure you will put on yourself to have your puppy be trained for everything.
Finally, when you do a long training session with a puppy you are going to loose their attention (he/she does not know times) and the progress you had hoped to make is gone. Make the time to have short puppy training sessions rather then long ones on your schedule and remember this is a relationship that takes time and work for you both.
Leash Training a Puppy is Important to start from Day One
One area you may be struggling with your puppy is leash training. Luckily, I created a course called Who’s Walking Who? Leash Training Your Pup to Stop Pulling on Walks where I share the steps I take with my training clients to make walks enjoyable rather then stressful.
Often when you think things are going well in the home with your puppy, it is surprising to experience terrible walks with your puppy. My course gives you videos, checklists, tips, and tools to help understand why your puppy acts the way he/she does on walks and give you confidence to turn things around,
Here is the link to grab Who’s Walking Who? Leash Training Your Pup to Stop Pulling on Walks. I cannot wait for you and your puppy to have a great time on walks and feel like a team together.