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17th April 2020

Puppy love

Why staying at home is the ideal time to puppy train… make the most of this pause in our usually busy lives to give your four-legged friend the best start in dog life

If you have recently brought a puppy home to join the family, while you are respecting our need to #stayathomesavelives is the perfect time to start puppy training. Puppies learn fast at a very young age – between the ages of 8 to 16 weeks and beyond – so this is the perfect time to start with basic training for the newest member of your household. To help you get started, we’ve have put together some training tips and tricks in a two-part blog. Get started with the first three of six tips here now…

Training tips and tricks

1. House training

Often when you bring your puppy home, they are not yet house trained, so now is the perfect time to start their house training. This can be dog tiring, so give yourself time and space to start this well!

To begin, give your puppy access to a couple of rooms where the family spend the majority of their time, like the lounge and kitchen. By limiting the number of rooms your puppy has access to, there are fewer places to initially explore and have an accident.

Be predictable! Make a habit of feeding your puppy at scheduled times. They will most likely to want to relieve themselves after eating and drinking, so by doing this, you can be ready to let them outside. When they go outside, it is a good idea to be near them and praise them immediately, so they know they have done the right thing.

Remember, don’t wait for your pup to tell you when they need to go out. At first, they won’t know how to let you know. Encourage them to go outside regularly, after food and naps and during the day. Also, let them out as soon as you get up in the morning and before bed, so they get used to their routine.

Look for signs! If your puppy starts sniffing the floors indoors or turning round and round, this may be a sign they need to go outside. Make sure you let them out and encourage them to go outside.

2. Training time

Try teaching your puppy some basic commands, for example, the ‘sit’ command. Again, making command training predictable and regular is key. Make a habit of asking them to sit while waiting for their Butcher’s dinner or to cross the road when you can go out for a walk.

To help them do this, stand in front of your pup with a tasty treat or a tasty bit of Butcher’s, wait for your dog to sit – then praise them and give them the treat. Keep trying and gradually begin to say ‘sit’ just as they start to sit. The more they practise, the sooner they will be able to sit. You can read our blog on teaching a dog new tricks… for more commands to teach your puppy (insert link once live).

3. Ruff and tumble

Playing with your puppy is an important way for you to bond and keep them entertained. It is also the perfect time to train your pup to use their chew toys to play, rather than chewing on you!

Stop and think! Be thoughtful about how rough you will allow your puppy to play, how to stop them from biting too hard while playing and how to keep them focused and engaged. Make sure you tell your puppy if they are being too rough by saying ‘no’, so they understand that they need to be gentler.

Playing tug of war will also help them to understand their jaw strength and persuade them to chew more on their toys, than on you. When playing tug of war with a young puppy, make sure to be gentle – they are still developing and waiting for their strong teeth to come through. To be safe, you could always use a knotted towel.

Fetch! This is another great game to play with your puppy, because it is useful to help them learn to come to you when you call their name. Make sure to praise them when they bring the ball or stick back to you.

Playing games like ‘find the treat’ also helps your puppy to test their sniffing abilities, hide the treats around the house and let your puppy roam about trying to find them. This game keeps your puppy entertained and stimulated, so you can also play outside in the garden too. Have fun watching your puppy get used to their new garden and all the smells to discover!

Look out for the second part to our ‘Puppy love’ training blog coming soon…

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