Dog & Puppy Training

Behavior Training and Socialization

Puppies can begin training as soon as they can walk, so start training your new dog the moment you bring him or her home. Although young puppies have a short attention span, they can learn simple commands such as sit, down, and stay as young as 8 weeks of age.

Several different types of reinforcement can be used in training including food luring, clicker training, and rewarding with affection or a favorite toy. Try different methods to see what works best for your dog.

Many dogs are extremely motivated by food, which is a great starter tool but must be factored into your dog’s daily caloric intake. Use small soft treats that your dog can eat quickly so they can turn their attention back on you. Once your dog consistently responds to a command, start varying the reward with a positive word or rub behind the ear.

The primary objective of training a dog should always be on reinforcing good behavior. It’s your job, however, to set your puppy up for success by supervising it closely, using a leash, and housing your dog in a secure area when it is unsupervised. If you must punish your puppy or dog, a verbal “no” or a loud noise is usually sufficient, followed by redirecting the dog to the correct behavior. Keep in mind that punishment must take place while the undesired behavior is occurring, not after.

Potty Training Your Puppy

House breaking can be a long and difficult process for your puppy and require a lot of supervision and consistency on your part. Expect accidents to happen while your puppy gets the hang of using the bathroom outside. Here are some tips:

  • Establish a routine of when your puppy eats, plays, and goes outside for a potty break.
  • Supervise your puppy at all times when it is unconfined. If an accident happens, avoid scolding the puppy but interrupt the puppy and redirect it outside.
  • When you can’t supervise your puppy, confine it to a crate to help prevent accidents.
  • If you are paper training a puppy, provide separate areas for resting, eating, and pottying.