Here at WestFetch, we’ve seen a lot of puppies lately. While this is certainly a ton of fun and an overload of cuteness, it has it’s challenges too. If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know what I mean! House training, chewing, biting, feeding habits, leash training, and so on.
If you have a pet sitter/dog walker, you can utilize their knowledge to help you train your puppy. Now remember, we are pet sitters, NOT official trainers, so please don’t expect full training techniques. However, that said, here at WestFetch we do have extensive experience with puppies/dogs and we are more than happy to lend our expertise and tips. There’s nothing like being a part of a puppy growing up into a wonderful dog!
Here are some simple tips to help along with your puppy’s training. If you have any questions or need some help, please always feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!
House Training – We have found crate training the most effective when house-breaking your puppy. By their nature, dogs do not like to soil the area where they rest and sleep. Don’t feel like you are “punishing” them by putting them in a crate. Dogs naturally like dens so as long as it is treated as a positive area and they will naturally go in and stay in a crate. NEVER punish them by locking them in the crate for a bad deed. Use treats and positive re-enforcement to keep their “home” as a fun and safe place for them to go.
When puppies are young, they need to be let out often. Each one is different but a good rule of thumb is their age in months equals how long they can hold it (2 months old = 2 hours between potty breaks). Yes, this means getting up in the middle of the night! 🙂 Take them to the same area so they get used to going in a certain spot, then it becomes routine and training has begun. Watch them closely when they are playing and after eating/drinking too, these are prime times for accidents.
- Chewing/Biting – It’s natural for puppies to bite and chew on things. Give them toys to chew on and watch them closely. Stay away from toys that shred easily as well as rawhides. Both can cause digestive issues if too much is ingested. You can find real bones and other more appropriate toys in pet supply stores which will keep them happy and away from your nice furniture 🙂 KONGS with food inserts are great distracters and mentally stimulate them as well.
Never encourage lots of biting during play or as they get older they will think it is normal. Of course, when they are young, they won’t know any better, but as they get older discourage it by stopping play when they do it or by gently grabbing their mouths shut to keep them from biting.
- Leash Training – Establishing good leash behavior when puppies are young can pay big dividends when they get older, especially for larger breeds (your dog walker will thank you too!). When they are young, they will be all over the place. A lot of that is puppy energy so the first job is to try to burn some of that energy off with a long walk or even jogging. After that, you can work with the basics by stopping when they pull a lot and trying to keep them on one side of you where you lead the walk instead of them. It will take LOTS of practice and patience but it will be well worth it. It will get better as they get older, trust me!
These are just a few little tips. There’s lots more info out there but hopefully you’ve found some good starting tips. Each puppy’s and breed’s personality is different, so catering the training to their natural instincts and personalities will be a big help.
And finally, above all things, please ADOPT! There are so many puppies out there looking for a wonderful home to be a part of. They will thank you for life!