Dogs make fantastic pets! After all, they are man’s best friends. However, there’s a lot of things that go into keeping a dog in your home. Raising a pup requires you to do more than feed and bathe it; you also have to train them to behave. There are so many layers to training your dog that you need to know.
It’s essential to train your pup to behave at home and in public. Whether it’s helping your dog learn how to walk on a leash or socialize with other dogs, it is a crucial part of owning a pet. Training your pup can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time owning a dog. Fortunately, we can help you out through the process.
This guide will help you learn the essentials of training your pup to behave both in the home and in public. So, if you’re reading for some tips to help you on this journey, keep reading.
Training Your Pup at Home
The first place you need to begin the training process for your pup is at home. You should start training your dog immediately after you bring them home. As mentioned earlier, it’s a process that requires patience, especially if your pup is younger than 12 weeks. During this time, puppies are mostly restless and cannot control their bowels and bladders. Hence, there’s every chance they might soil certain areas of your home.
The good news is that they learn faster when they are young and will only get better with practice. Below are a few tips to help you train your puppy at home.
1. Stick To A Routine
One of the best tips for training your pup and teaching them new tricks is to create a routine that they can get familiar with. Housetraining your pup requires consistency for it to be effective. For example, try to take your pup for a walk at the same time daily. Set a feeding schedule throughout the day and always stick with it. Also, be sure to take your pup outside after feeding it, as this will help you learn when it needs to go.
As time progresses, you will be able to tell the signs and anticipate when your pup needs to urinate or defecate. This will help prevent any accidents from happening in your home.
2. Pay Attention To Different Signals
Dogs always let you know when they need to go with multiple signals that you need to note. If you notice your dog pacing, circling, or sniffing, then it’s telling you it’s time to go, so you need to let it out. But remember, it takes a while for puppies to start showcasing these signals because they are not in control of their bowels below 12 weeks. Hence, if you find your pup in the middle of an accident, say a firm “no” and take it out to finish.
Refrain from scolding your pup by hitting it with objects or pressing its nose in its mess. This will cause your puppy to fear you and not learn to do better. It’ll likely hide its mess out of fear than go appropriately.
3. Use a Keyword
Dogs recognize and respond to specific keywords once they’re familiar with them. So using a word like “no” when they’ve made a mess tells them to stop. And using a word like “outside” once you notice they need to go communicates what they need to do. As we mentioned before about consistency, sticking to one keyword for a specific message helps them learn faster.
It’s also crucial for you to allow your pup to pee or defecate in a specific area every time. This is because they can recognize the scent and understand that it’s the right place to do it. This also means you need to use a good cleaner that eliminates the odor after it finishes. That way, they don’t go back to the same area to make another mess.
4. Introduce a Crate
Crate training your dog is never an easy process, but it’s a fantastic way to help them control their bowels and prevent accidents in your home. Usually, dogs will never urinate or defecate where they sleep, so a crate will help them learn. Also, pups love a space they can have as their sanctuary, so your pup will love this. To introduce a crate to your dog, you need to allow it to explore and get used to it at its own pace.
Never force your pup into the crate and shut it. Instead, throw in some treats and doggy toys and let your pup wander in and out freely. Once your dog is comfortable, slowly close the crate for a minute and watch its reaction. If it is quiet, then open the crate. Continue this process and extend the time to an hour and note its behavior. After a while, leave the room entirely and step back in. Do this for some time until your pup becomes accustomed to it.
Never leave your pup in the crate for longer than it can hold its bowels or bladders. Puppies can usually last for 3-4 hours. Also, never use your puppy’s crate for punishment or as a means to neglect it.
5. Reward your Pup’s Behavior
Positive reinforcement is a brilliant way to train your pup. Everyone loves to be rewarded when they do good, and pups are not left out. This dog obedience training method allows you to communicate clearly with your dog because they know there will be a reward for positive action. There are several ways you can reward your pup for doing the desired action. You can either:
- Use praises
- Offer treats
- Go for a walk
- Go for a car ride
- Give a toy
Another form of positive reinforcement you can try is clicker training. The clicker is a metal strip inside a small plastic box that gives off a clicking sound as a way to say “good dog.” Clickers communicate positive reinforcement faster than any other method but are mostly used alongside treats.
Positive reinforcement is better than punishing your pup when it doesn’t act the way you want it to. For instance, an aggressive dog will likely become more aggressive after a punishment. However, when it is rewarded, it gets motivated to do more positive things to get another reward.
6. Teach Basic Commands
Aside from educating your pup not to urinate or defecate in the home or the wrong place, it’s also great to teach your furry friend some tricks. There are different basic commands and tricks you can teach your pup, such as ‘come, drop it, speak, and stay.’ Teaching your pup these common tricks helps with giving your dog structure and promoting safety.
Training Your Pup In Public
Training your pup in public is great for socialization and helps with preventing behavioral problems. Your dog will already be familiar with running freely in your home, so it needs to learn to walk with a leash outside. Although it may seem difficult at first, it gets easy after a while;
1. Start Inside Your Home
It’s easier to train your pup to start using a leash in a familiar environment. Put the leash and collar on your dog and offer treats and words of encouragement. Make your furry friend walk toward you, give him a treat, then back up, and repeat the session. Once your pup gets the hang of it, you can go outside.
2. Be Patient
Once you’re ready to go outside, you need to understand that your pup is being introduced to what it’s not used to. The sounds, smells, and other dogs will be new and exciting, and they will love to explore. So, it’s perfectly normal for your pup to be distracted, and this is where you need to incorporate a keyword. Once your dog comes to you, offer it a reward to show that it has done a good job.
If your pup begins to pull in another direction, don’t pull them back towards you. Instead, stand still and don’t move until your doggy walks over to you. Also, if your dog lunges over and tries to go after another dog or a car, it’s best to attract its attention with a treat. Never pull your dog by the leash because this can cause an accident that will be detrimental to you, your pup, and probably others.
Advantages of Training Your Pup
There are so many benefits of training your pup, and some of them are:
- Safety: If you can train your pup to respond to voice commands, then you can keep them safe. If your dog bolts off, it’s likely to run in front of a car, but you can easily call it back with a cue word.
- Better Social Skills: Your pup will be able to play and relate with other dogs and humans easily.
- Better Communication: You can better communicate with your pup through training. That way, you can easily tell if they need medical attention or not.
Training your pup is a great way to give them adequate exercise, better social skills, and a well-rounded happy life. Use the tips mentioned above, and they’ll help you along the process.