Category Archives for "Puppies"

Raising a Puppy – Tips and Advice

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

Do you have a new puppy in your home, or are you thinking of taking on a young dog to live with you?

How you introduce a puppy to new experiences is an important job that needs some thought and research if you want it to grow into a well socialized and friendly adult dog.

A puppy can be easier to socialize than an adult dog that has already learned a fear based reaction. In this article you will learn some of the experiences that your puppy will need to go through in order to prevent a nervous and fear based reaction later on.

A dog will be happier to accept new and sometimes unnerving situations if they are introduced in a positive manner. By using treats, play and your own confident unfazed reaction you can teach your puppy that new experiences are fun and nothing to worry about. Read on for some useful tips about the importance of socialization to a new puppy.

Early Days

Before your puppy is vaccinated and ready to go out walking it is worth speaking to your veterinarian on whether it’s wise to carry your dog into populated areas. Some areas have high levels of infectious disease and others are lower risk, your vet will be able to let you know how dangerous it would be to socialize your puppy by carrying him outside of the home.

It is beneficial to a puppy to broaden his social experience from as young an age young as possible. By doing this you will be decreasing his sensitivity to new experiences, unusual sounds and other things that could be deemed frightening if not experienced early on. Good and ethical dog breeders will introduce puppies to household sounds, children and as many new situations as possible from the day that they are born. It is also possible to buy desensitization soundtrack to play in the background at home which will gently acclimatize your puppy to the sounds of traffic, fireworks, thunderstorms and many other sounds.

Meet the Masses

When your puppy is protected from disease by being fully vaccinated take him to as many places as possible. Open days, barbeques and busy parks will all provide a puppy with social experiences. Make each of these experiences positive for your puppy by offering treats and ensuring that you don’t put him into a position where he feels fearful or threatened. Many veterinarians offer puppy classes that get a group of young dogs together for games and crucial canine interaction, under careful supervision. If possible it is certainly worth attending a class such as this.

By meeting and spending time with a broad range of people your puppy will learn that such an experience is pleasurable. Contact with people of all ages that offer physical attention and small but tasty treats will create a confident and happy dog. Canine interaction with other dogs is paramount to ensure that your puppy learns to interact and respect others of his species. Many dogs that have fear based or aggressive reactions to other dogs were simply not socialized from a young age.

Teeth, Feet and Ears

Preparing your new puppy for his lifestyle includes introducing him to grooming and possible vet treatments. This preparation involves handling him all over his body including looking in his eyes, ears, mouth and touching him all over including his paws. Do this every day and make it a fun and rewarding experience. You can do this by offering a reward of either physical and verbal praise or a small food reward to reinforce regular relaxed handling.

Regular handling and grooming of your puppy will prepare him to be a relaxed dog when he is being treated by the veterinarian or yourself. By checking his ears, eyes and teeth regularly you will teach him that this action is nothing to worry about. Later on if you do have to put in ear drops or similar your dog will welcome the action far more than if you had not regularly carried out the action of looking in his ears as part of his daily routine. Regular handling prevents an issue when treatment is necessary by showing your dog that there is nothing to worry about.

So by realizing your puppy’s social needs and meeting them as he develops into an older dog you will be helping him to become a confident, friendly and secure adult dog. Register to the forum and begin to talk to thousands of other dog owners, you are sure to find a lot of good and positive advice on raising your puppy.

The Best Way to Train a Puppy – Positive Reinforcement

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

Training a puppy can feel like the most difficult thing in the world to do. Advice from dog training professionals can sometimes seem conflicting and a new puppy owner can easily feel that they have no idea which is the right way to train their young dog. Are you a new puppy owner that would like to know the best and most effective way to train your new family member to behave nicely?

Positive reinforcement is the only effective, kind and long term dog training technique that your puppy will truly enjoy. The theory behind this type of training is that you always reinforce a behavior that you would like your puppy to repeat and ignore each action that you would prefer your puppy to leave behind. Many professional dog trainers use positive reinforcement to train older dogs that are going to carry out a role of employment such as assist a disabled person or search for an item.

Here I will explain how simple it is to use reinforcement by providing a positive result to a behavior offered by your puppy. This training ethic is a way of molding your puppy into a dog who behaves in a way that is useful to you and healthy for him. It is also great fun to carry out. Read on to discover how easy and enjoyable it is to train your puppy using positive reinforcement.

Toilet Training

Never punish your puppy if he has an accident in the home. He has simply not learned yet where he should go to “perform”. Offer him plenty of opportunity to toilet outside, observe throughout and then when he does toilet outdoors reward the action with plenty of praise and a game or treat.

A young dog wants to please you. They like the result that your pleasure provides, which is praise and a reward. Therefore by showing your dog that you are over the moon with his action of toileting outdoors you will trigger something in him that makes him want to repeat the action. It won’t happen overnight but by repeating this over a few days you will be using positive reinforcement to toilet train your puppy.

Come when called

A young puppy is not designed to run away. Dogs prefer to be near other creatures and this includes human beings. Recall problems occur when the environment is more interesting that the person doing the calling. Positive reinforcement when used as a technique for training recall is easy. Always reward the puppy when he returns to you. Be an interesting and worthwhile prospect. You can also vary your tone of voice to grab the attention of your puppy; anyone that has worked with puppies will confirm the effectiveness of “puppy, puppy, puppy” delivered in a high pitch to get a litter of puppies racing towards them.

By offering a bonus for a prompt and keen return to you then you are reinforcing a good recall. Think of it this way, the dog will choose the most gratifying option to himself. So make yourself and the treats/toys that you carry reward enough to overcome any distraction then ensure that the reward is sufficient to bring him running back next time you call.

Ignore the unhelpful behavior

One of the most important rules when training your puppy with positive reinforcement is that you do not inadvertently reinforce unhelpful behavior. If your puppy is offering a behavior that is, or could develop into a problem you can make this behavior extinct by simply ignoring it. For example if a dog that is jumping up for attention, is then picked up into the arms of his target, he has just been taught to jump up. Which is cute behavior from a 2kg puppy but not so welcome from a 40kg Labrador.

Ignoring the unhelpful act and offering a favorable reward for the behavior that you would like repeated is a useful way to mold a nicely behaved puppy. As an intelligent creature, your young dog will soon learn that he gets the best result from certain actions then strive to achieve the result again and again.

Check out Jean Cote’s new obedience training program which utilizes positive reinforcement as a way to train your dog in everyday good behavior and to teach him fun actions along the way.

How to Crate Train a Puppy

By Jean Cote | Posts , Puppies

Have you ever wondered how professional trainers are able to crate train a puppy and get him or her to be quiet while inside?

In this article, not only will you learn exactly how to crate train a puppy, but you will also learn a very effective way of conditioning your puppy to absolutely love his crate. This type of training is used throughout the world by professional dog trainers as a way of building a positive association to things, dogs, situations or in this case: to his crate.

The very first thing that you must do is find out what your puppy finds highly valuable. Let your puppy tell you what he or she finds valuable. If your puppy loves treats, experiment and try to find the one special type of treat that your puppy goes crazy for. Is it chicken, pork, sausage or cheese? Observe your puppy’s behavior and see which one your puppy is most enthusiastic about.

If your puppy is not food motivated, no worries! You can use his favorite toy instead. And of course, there is always your voice and physical touch which you can use to praise and reward your puppy. By knowing what your dog values the most, it will allow you to transfer that value into something else.

Are you ready to start conditioning your puppy? Don’t worry, this part is easy! Place your crate in the middle of a room with the door open, and let your puppy wander about. Don’t say anything; just wait quietly for your puppy to enter the crate on his own. As soon as your puppy enters the crate, immediately throw your reinforcement inside the crate, whether it is a treat, a toy or by verbally praising and cheering him or her for entering the crate.

By doing this, your puppy will learn that good things happen when he goes inside the crate. After just a few repetitions, your puppy will want to go inside the crate on his own because it is a source of goodies.

Note: In the beginning, it is important not to close the door behind him while he is in the crate. Many dog owners make the mistake of putting their puppy inside the crate, closing the door and leaving. Doing this creates a negative association to the crate, because the puppy loses his freedom and is not in any way reinforced for going inside the crate.

To summarize, learning how to crate train a puppy isn’t complicated, you simply have to make the crate a fun thing to be around. In the first few weeks that you bring your puppy home, I highly recommend that you play this game with your puppy and continue to build a positive association. Eventually, you can wait a second or two before giving your reinforcement. This will build duration to the behavior of being inside the crate.

To learn more about effective and positive ways of training your puppy, register to our dog forum and talk to hundreds of other dog owners who have dealt with the very same struggles you are facing today.

Crate Training Puppies

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

The internet is filled with advice on dog training. Everything from teaching a dog many complicated tricks to crate training puppies is covered somewhere online.

When following generic advice, always ensure that it is kind to your dog. Be careful not to believe advice simply because it is written or provided by a dog trainer. Dog training is unregulated in many parts of the world and like any other profession there are good and bad trainers and behaviorists.

Crate Types

There are three main types of crate available. None more suitable than the other for crate training puppies.

  • The metal crate is quite sturdy and escape proof, this type of crate however is not overly suitable for travel as it can be cumbersome and awkward. The metal crate also resembles a cage which can be a reason that some people avoid it.
  • A canvas crate is lighter and more aesthetically pleasing. These crates come in a variety of colors and close with a zip; the canvas crate is easily portable and lightweight. A determined dog can however chew its way out of a canvas crate. In my experience during everyday use the zip will eventually give way to wear and tear.
  • Solid plastic with a metal door is also a common crate type. Darker inside due to its solid design, this crate is a great hidey hole for a dog, this type of crate is often used for transporting a dog on aircraft travel.

A friend informed me recently that he was having trouble getting his puppy used to her crate. She became distressed and panicky when he closed the door, and this was causing problems when she had to be left for short periods. When I gave advice on how to rectify this he told me that advice on crate training puppies that he had read on the internet created in him a sense of urgency. As a result of reading internet advice my friend had created a crate training problem with his puppy.

The best advice that I can give on crate training puppies is to relax. It is much better to take a couple of extra weeks than to stress your dog out when he goes into the crate. Right from the beginning your puppy should only see the crate as his safe and comfortable bed. During the crate training process there should never be confinement or a rush to shut the puppy in.

Tips on crate training puppies

  • When you bring your new puppy home already have the crate ready for him.
  • Place a comfy bed, some toys, a drink and maybe some food treats into the crate.
  • Ensure that initially the crate is somewhere that your puppy would automatically want to lie. A place that is close to your relaxing area.
  • Always leave the crate door open initially. It is better to have a relaxed dog that chooses to go into the crate before you close the door.
  • Feed your puppy in the crate with the door open. He can associate it with pleasurable experiences.
  • You can throw tasty treats through the open door for your puppy to retrieve from the crate.

When your puppy is happily getting into the crate and settling on his own you can begin to close the door. If he shows any distress by the door closing then simply close it and open it again very quickly. You can utilize a stuffed Kong or similar for this. By giving your puppy something to do in the crate that will distract him from the door you are setting him up to pay little attention to the door at all.

If, like my friend you have got into the situation where your dog is worried or anxious about the crate just simply take the pressure off. Move the crate slightly and make it a comfy as possible then forget about it. Relax and don’t worry about getting your puppy into the crate at all. If you pay a lot of attention to the crate then your dog will think that the item is vitally important. This attention will add to the worry of a dog that is already anxious about the crate.

Making the crate comfortable and a positive experience will ensure that your puppy will enjoy the crate as easily as any other cozy bed.

Golden Retriever Puppy Training

By Sally Gutteridge | Breeds , Posts , Puppies

The golden retriever is a nice dog to raise and train. Resembling a bear cub as a puppy the retriever will grow into a loyal and humorous companion with stunning looks. This breed of dog is rarely complicated and usually responds well to praise and food reward. Originally bred to retrieve game birds and waterfowl the retriever is often seen proudly, yet gently, carrying a toy or shoe.

If you have decided to introduce a golden retriever puppy into your home then you are in for a treat. Watching this breed of dog grow into a mature adult canine is fantastic. The retriever is honest and faithful. He is a dog of little complication and you will enjoy him.

To help your new puppy grow into a well-rounded adult you will need to provide him with everything a puppy needs. Golden retriever puppy training is just the tip of the iceberg.


Socialization is important for any puppy. The golden retriever is generally nice in nature and friendly to people and other animals. To ensure that your puppy stays this way, you should introduce regular contact with as many new experiences as possible. Any dog if not socialized from a young age can develop fear based issues such as spook barking or being scared of other dogs.  Some of the things to include in your golden retriever puppy training when socializing your dog are listed below;

  • Other dogs
  • Other animals
  • Children of all ages
  • Vehicle travel
  • Loud noises (to prepare for fireworks)
  • Household appliances

Dog training establishments often organize puppy socialization classes. Frequently these classes are catered to all breeds of puppy and not simply golden retriever puppy training. You could take your dog along and allow him to spend some time with other puppies of his own age, all shapes and sizes of dog. By attending these organized groups your dog will learn how to interact with other dogs and this is crucial to his development.

Leash walking

The main thing to remember with golden retriever puppy training is that your small and light puppy will grow into a big strong dog. You may be able to lift him at the moment and jumping up can seem cute. A large untrained retriever can be weighty and quick to use it to his advantage. Sitting on you or jumping for food with no malice can still become a nuisance. So it is a good idea to work on the behaviors that are most likely to become a problem as he grows.

The retriever really is a lovely breed of dog. He has a huge smile which he is not afraid to use and is an easy going pet even from a young age.

Leash walking is an important part of golden retriever puppy training. It is amazing how many adult dogs that have always pulled on the leash are expected just to “heel” on command. When he was a puppy the retriever pulled, as he grew the pulling became stronger but still not much of a problem. Suddenly a dog of 40kg dragging his owner along seems to come as a surprise.

Introducing the collar

Introducing your puppy to a collar can be a little traumatic, but he will soon get used to it. By using positive dog training you can associate food reward, to improve your dog’s acceptance.

The following steps are a guide, to golden retriever puppy training, when introducing the collar for the first time;

  • Have a handful of small dog treats available and your puppy’s new collar
  • Place the collar on the ground and give your dog chance to look at it, reward him when he does.
  • Now pick the collar up and show it to him and reward him
  • Place the collar very loosely around your dog’s neck and give praise and treats continuously to prevent distress over the collar.
  • When the collar is on simply ignore it and any scratching or attention that the dog pays to it.
  • Play a game with your dog and give him lots of praise and reward then take the collar off
  • Repeat this over a number of sessions until eventually you can leave his collar on for longer periods without him paying any attention to it.

Stages based on the ones above can be used to introduce your puppy to many new things. Remember to keep things positive, reward based and fun. Positivity is the only technique to use within golden retriever puppy training.

How to train a puppy to come

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

The owner of a new puppy has an almost blank canvas. A dog learns from the moment it is born and all of a puppy’s experiences determine how it will be as an older dog.

For this reason, dogs that are raised in puppy mills, or farms, and sold in pet shops can arrive at their new homes with fear or socialization issues. Often a new owner cannot understand why his puppy appears frightened or nervous. This insecure reaction from a puppy will affect everything new that it experiences. The puppy mill dog may not have seen outside of a kennel or passed a concrete wall at any point in its short life.

So when researching the best place to get a puppy from, it is advisable to find a reputable breeder or good rescue center. Both will have worked hard to ensure the puppy and its litter-mates are as socialized as possible. They will also be able to give you valuable information such as how to train a puppy to come and suitable feeding schedules.

A puppy with few fear issues is generally much easier to train on recall than an untrained adult dog. When learning how to train a puppy to come, you are not dealing with the unhelpful behaviors already learned by an older dog. To train a puppy to come when you call it is imperative to use positive reinforcement and reward.

If you offer tiny slivers of meat to a young puppy he will follow you. Firstly, you are his security and secondly you taste nice. By learning how to train a puppy to come when your dog is very young you will avoid the awkward unleashing of an older dog.

I have heard owners in the past say that their puppy is too young to go off the leash. I don’t actually believe that a puppy is ever too young to be off leash. By keeping their dog restrained until adolescence any owner can easily set himself up for a failed recall. This is because they are adding the new excitement of free running to the dogs already challenging teenage behavior stage. The sooner the better is my opinion when practicing how to train a puppy to come back when called.

Here are some tips based in positive learning for letting your puppy off the leash for the first time.

  • Take treats, small and delicious food reward will motivate your puppy to stay near you.
  • Walk quickly away from the puppy yet still offer plenty of reward, this will keep you interesting.
  • Change direction regularly, this will encourage your puppy to focus on you.
  • Use a toy if your puppy likes them, something squeaky that you can use to keep his attention.
  • Utilize your voice, a higher pitched voice than usual will keep the attention of your puppy.
  • Have a helper hold your puppy and go a few steps away then call him, give him a treat when he gets to you.
  • Call your puppy between two people both rewarding his return with a treat and plenty of praise.

Walking in new and unfamiliar areas will increase your puppy’s need to feel secure and as you are his security he will stick close to you. This need will assist greatly in learning how to train your puppy to come.

Keep in mind that it is important to speak to your veterinarian about vaccinations and associated risks before introducing your dog to the outside world. Areas of high canine population and high disease risk the vet may encourage full vaccination before outdoor walking. In this case it is important to do what you can in the house and garden.

When researching how to train a puppy to come when called it is important to be very careful. There is a lot of uneducated dog training advice on both the internet and in some actual dog training establishments. Look for advice that only promotes positive dog training and reward based reinforcement techniques. Be careful of any advice mentioning dominance, punishment or aversion. None of these methods are fair to dogs or proven to work long term. Remember if it makes you uncomfortable and your puppy unhappy do not do it. Puppy and all dog training should be positive, fun, reward based and progressive.

German Shepherd Puppy Training

By Sally Gutteridge | Breeds , Posts , Puppies

The German shepherd is a charming puppy. Loyal and humorous the shepherd is cute as a youngster and dignified as an adult. All puppies need socialization and basic positive learning experiences in order to grow into well rounded dogs. The German shepherd is no exception.

If you have a new German shepherd puppy or are thinking of getting one then you will not be disappointed. A loyal and brave dog with intelligence and attentiveness the Shepherd is a great canine companion. There are guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your new dog grows into a happy and well trained friend.

Socialize your puppy

German shepherd puppy training should be complemented with suitable socialization. The shepherd by nature can be reactive and protective when scared therefore he must be introduced to as many new things as possible, from a very young age.

With socialization of a puppy you are teaching him that there is very little to fear in the world around him. A puppy is generally friends with everyone and everything when he is born. If he learns to fear particular things as he grows into an adult dog then those fears will stay with him forever. This fear can be just as intense for the dog if he has few social experiences as a puppy. A natural reaction from an under socialized dog is fear. This reaction can be very difficult to modify in an older dog.

A puppy that has many different experiences that are all pleasant and stress free will grow into a confident and happy dog. The German shepherd puppy that is allowed to play at the park, with other young dogs (and under supervision) will benefit greatly. Also, playing with adult dogs will teach your puppy manners and etiquette.

Socialization should begin as soon as possible. The first few weeks of a dog’s life are crucial for learning. There are mixed opinions around taking an unvaccinated dog out of the home, but a puppy tucked under your jacket is still getting social experience. If you are happy to carry your dog into social situations before vaccination then it is well worth the effort.

Good puppy socialization will include regular contact with

  • Other dogs
  • Children
  • Other animals
  • Travel in moving vehicles – this is especially important because a German shepherd can be prone to barking during travel.
  • Walking alongside moving vehicles
  • Crowds
  • Noisy areas
  • Household appliances
  • Visitors to the home

You can obtain a socialization CD to play in the background at home. Fireworks, storms and other noises that may cause stress will then be introduced to your dog slowly until they are simply not noticed at all.

Your German shepherd puppy training requirements

Training your dog must always be a positive experience for him. German shepherd puppy training must be based on reinforcement and reward of good behavior and non-acknowledgement of unhelpful behavior.

Good, kind and affective German shepherd puppy training is based on:

  • Motivation- Prepare a suitable reward and always have it to hand
  • Reinforce – Pinpoint the behavior that you would like your puppy to repeat then instantly reward.
  • Ignore – Any unhelpful behavior must not be acknowledged at all. By ignoring any behavior you are showing the puppy that there is no point displaying that particular behavior. The dog will soon look for something more rewarding to do.

The above technique can be employed within dog training in most circumstances. For instance toilet training, by taking your puppy outside and ignoring him until he toilets, then instantly rewarding him, you are encouraging the behavior that you want. You can then add a cue word as he begins to toilet which you can use each time he goes out.

A highly intelligent dog, the German shepherd puppy will learn quickly and thoroughly if taught properly. Remember that your puppy is a responsive and loyal blank canvas. He will be biddable and eager to learn, so it is up to you to shape him into a happy well trained dog.

There will be times when you must intervene in an unwanted behavior from your puppy. If this occurs then it will be most useful to offer him something different to do. Take his mind off the unhelpful behavior by capturing his interest with a toy or something similarly distracting. Be careful though, that you don’t allow him to confuse the distraction with reward, and therefore reinforce the unhelpful behavior.

German shepherd puppy training is essential if you are offering a home to this breed of dog. A well trained shepherd is easy to live with, but untrained or under socialized the shepherd can develop fear based and reactive behaviors.

Training Your Puppy Using Food & Praise

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

There are a number of different ways to approach training your puppy. If you have already tried harsher methods to manage behavior, like choke chains or shock collars, you may have seen a small degree of success. But you may have also noticed that your dog became frightened, anxious, and even angry during the training sessions.

The truth is that cruel and harsh training methods that employ punishment will only cause further behavioral problems in the long run when training your puppy.

If a dog is not trained with positive reinforcement and positive association using rewards, he will not understand that he has done anything wrong. A dog trained using punishment, like a shock collar, will live in constant fear that he will be punished – but he won’t know why.

In order to successfully approach training your puppy, use positive reinforcement to open the lines of communication. Positive reinforcement will utilize toys, treats, and praise to teach your dog when he has done something good. Every time that your dog does something good, like uses the toilet outdoors or sits on command, he will be rewarded with a treat, toy, or praise.

Remember, dogs are eager to please. Once your dog has a firm grasp of this positive association, he will quickly put the pieces together to understand that his good behavior is rewarded. And when he misbehaves, this negative behavior can be gently corrected and directed into good behavior that is then reinforced with a reward.

Positive Reinforcement versus Punishment Training

Professional dog trainers that use positive reinforcement believe that it is not only the most effective training method, but it is much more pleasant for both the owner and the dog when training your puppy.

According to the Humane Society, dogs are driven by two things:

1.    Praise
2.    Food

It really is that simple. And the reason that positive reinforcement training is so effective in training your puppy as opposed to using punishment is because you will attract your puppy to good behavior because he wants more praise and food.

A positive reward makes a dog more likely to repeat good behavior.

Here is a basic example of positive reinforcement for training your puppy in action:

•    The trainer patiently waits for his puppy to sit, and when he does, rewards him with a delicious treat.

This positive reinforcement method for training your puppy can be used to reinforce a basic connection between good behavior and obedience with a reward.

Here is a basic example of negative reinforcement for training your puppy:

•    To teach his puppy to sit, the trainer attaches a leash to the dog’s collar and pulls up until the dog sits down. As soon as the puppy sits down, the discomforting pull on the leash is released.

This negative reinforcement is used to teach a puppy that he can avoid pain if he completes a command successfully.

Do you see the difference? Although both techniques for training your puppy may motivate your dog to do the same thing, negative reinforcement will cause your dog to become afraid and unstable. Your dog will live in constant fear of pain or punishment if he does not behave appropriately.

Positive reinforcement can be used for training your puppy to stop bad behavior as well. As an example, if the puppy starts to pull on the leash, you can stop in your tracks and teach the dog that you will not continue walking until he stops pulling. And if he is walking nicely without pulling, he will be rewarded with a treat and praise to reinforce his action.

For both training and punishment, positive reinforcement for training your puppy is the best choice by far to improve your relationship and encourage good behavior.


1.    “Dogs: Positive Reinforcement Training: The Humane Society of the United States.” The Humane Society of the United States: The Humane Society of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2011.

Housebreaking a Puppy in Only 1 Month

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

housebreaking-your-puppyHousebreaking a puppy should be your first priority the moment you take your puppy home from the breeder or the shelter. By using all of the tips listed below, housebreaking your puppy can be pleasant experience, and the skills you acquire as a trainer will last you a lifetime.

To start housebreaking a puppy, you must first make a list of your priorities. Although it’s nice to have a puppy to play with and to teach him basic tricks, your focus should go to setting clear boundaries for your dog as to what is acceptable and what is not, so that you can keep your house clean.

The first step in housebreaking a puppy is to get a crate that is the right size. It’s important that you use a small crate that your puppy can sleep comfortably in, not a crate that is so large that he can run or move around inside. If your puppy has a large crate, he will be likely to use the toilet in one corner and sleep in another corner.

Note: If your puppy is going to significantly grow in size, purchase a crate with a blocked compartment so that he can grow into the crate as he gets older.

Don’t Leave Your Puppy Alone

When housebreaking a puppy for the first time, you can’t trust your puppy to be left alone at any time. You need to observe his every behavior to make sure that he does not wander off and use the toilet in a hidden area of the house.

If you do not constantly keep an eye on your puppy, then he may be using the toilet indoors without your knowledge. This will completely derail your housebreaking efforts since it will appear that your puppy is using the toilet outdoors at scheduled times, when he actually is not.

If you’re going to be gone for any extended period of time, keep your puppy in his crate. But before you do, you must take the time to acclimate your puppy to his crate with a positive association.

Use treats to encourage your puppy to go into his crate freely and willingly. Once your puppy becomes more comfortable with entering his crate on his own, shut him in the crate for small periods of time, starting from 5 minutes and slowly building up to an hour or two at a time.

Always reward your puppy with a treat each time that he enters the crate so that he will start to look forward to the time that he spends there.

Reward for Good Behavior

When your puppy is rewarded for good behavior, it makes housebreaking a puppy much easier because you will reinforce his good actions. Your puppy should be rewarded for the good behavior of willingly going into his crate when he is commanded.

He should also be rewarded with some treats and lots of praise whenever he uses the toilet outside in the designated area – each time that you take him outside.

When you use this consistency in housebreaking a puppy, he will soon start to look forward to using the toilet outdoors because he will expect a treat. This is the best way to reinforce good behavior with rewards.

Catch Him in the Act

When you create a schedule for housebreaking a puppy, keep in mind that your puppy will naturally want to urinate after playing and after taking a nap. Take him outside as often as possible so that he has the opportunity to use the toilet outdoors and get a delicious reward from you.

In the event that you catch your puppy using the toilet indoors – which is likely to happen in the early days of housebreaking a puppy – do not punish him. Come again? Yes, it is important to catch your puppy in the act and startle him. But instead of punishing, redirect his behavior and take him outside. As soon as he eliminates outside, he should be rewarded with a treat and lots of praise to show that he has done something good.

When you use the proper technique, housebreaking a puppy can be easily achieved in 30 days or less.

Mastering this fundamental training will make it easier to teach your dog good behavior and even advanced tricks in the future.

Good luck, if you have any questions please leave a comment below and I will do my best to address your concerns. Thank you for reading this article.

10 Essential Puppy Training Tips

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

If you have just brought a new puppy home for the first time, it may be tempting to cuddle, spoil, and shower your adorable puppy with affection. But just as important as love and affection, is taking the time to train your puppy from a young age so that he can learn good behaviors that will stick with him for the rest of his life.

Early puppy training is one of the best ways to prevent long-term behavioral issues, like using the toilet indoors, barking, and chewing furniture. You can use the top puppy training tips below to help prepare yourself and your home ahead of time.

10 Essential Puppy Training Tips

  1. Treats are earned, not given. It can be tempting to give a new puppy treat after treat for being so playful and loving. But a puppy will respond best to treats that are earned for good behavior, such as chewing on chew toys instead of furniture or using the toilet successfully outdoors. This will teach your puppy early on that treats are a reward that can be earned through obedience, not bad behavior.
  2. Exchange toys with a treat. Your puppy should only have access to his toys at playtime. Instead of grabbing the toy and taking something away from your dog, give him a treat to exchange it so that he doesn’t become possessive of his toys.
  3. Give treats while your puppy is eating. When your puppy is eating, place your hand into his food bowl to give him delicious treats. This will teach your dog to accept your presence when he is eating due to the positive association of receiving extra treats.
  4. Stay consistent in training not to nip. Puppies are known to nip and chew on different items as they explore their environment. Make sure that you and all family members teach your puppy that no nipping or biting is acceptable; instead, redirect the puppy to a chew toy and reward to reinforce good behavior.
  5. Train at the right time. Puppies are eager and willing to learn, especially with reward-based training. But make sure that you train your puppy in a short 5 minutes sessions before mealtime so that he has enough energy and is hungry enough to earn treats for obedience.
  6. Take training slow. A puppy is growing and developing on a day by day basis, so it may take him time to learn a number of basic commands. Start out slowly with 2 to 3 commands at a time and wait until your puppy learns the commands successfully before moving forward. It is better to build upon successes than to try training 10 different things at once.
  7. Do not provide negative attention. Use positive reinforcement to train your puppy instead of scolding or yelling to prevent negative associations. Once your puppy understands that he is rewarded for good behavior, he will be likely to repeat it over and over again.
  8. Use a crate to house train. One of the most overlooked puppy training tips is using a crate to house train. But when you teach your puppy to enjoy his crate through positive association and rewards, he will be happy to stay in his crate when you are not at home to prevent accidents. Once your puppy is taken out of his crate, he should be taken outdoors to use the toilet immediately. Once he eliminates successfully, reward him with praise and a treat to reinforce the good behavior.
  9. Socialize from a young age. You can socialize your puppy through basic leash training on a walk down the street or at a park. This can be used to train your puppy to follow you instead of pulling on the leash and will also acclimate him to new people and other dogs. The key to this is positive socialization, you want your puppy to experience pleasurable things while meeting strangers and other dogs/puppies.
  10. Enroll in an obedience class. Taking at least one obedience class will help you to understand how to better communicate with your puppy in a positive way. This will also teach your puppy how to socialize with other dogs/puppies and people at the same time!