Do you have a sofa that has been chewed? Lifeless pillows with their cotton stuffing lying on the floor? Found a stinky surprise right in the middle of your hall? Worry not, we’re here to help.
Cuteness does come in furry bundles when you bring a puppy home, along with a few responsibilities. And that’s where we can help you out. Training your puppy can be overwhelming, exhausting and tiresome but also fun, exciting and a great way to bond with them. So without further ado, let’s get into the details of training your puppy!
Why is training your puppy important?
They say you should start them young and we agree! Training your puppy from a young age can help avoid future behavioral problems and acclimatize your puppy with people, your house rules, basic commands and obedience.
Here are some reasons why it is important to train your puppy:
Good for their physical and mental health
Training your puppy helps utilize their energy and teaches them new skills to keep them physically and mentally active.
Helps you understand them better
Dogs are social animals by nature and love the company of humans. Training your puppy will help you understand their temperament, their responses and build a bond with them
Trained puppies become happy dogs
Training makes puppies confident and comfortable to face unfamiliar experiences, meeting new people or children and being calm in social situations. Learning these skills from a young age can avoid future behavioral problems.
What is the ideal time to start training your puppy?
Believe it or not, your puppy’s training starts from the moment you bring them home. They are constantly learning in their socialization periods (primary socialization period and human socialization period.) They learn how to act, play, communicate with other pups, get comfortable with their environment’s sound, touch and smells in these two periods.
The primary socialization period starts when they’re born and learn from their mother and siblings (3 to 7 weeks of age.) The human socialization period starts when the mother starts weaning from the puppies (8 to 12 weeks of age.) Bringing a puppy home before their primary socialization period is completed can lead to behavioral issues in the future. Our vets recommend bringing a puppy home at least after 8 weeks of age.
Basic commands such as “sit”, “down” and “stay” can be taught after they are 8 weeks old. Formal training is recommended once your puppy turns 3 months old.
Just like children, puppies learn a lot when they’re young. What you teach them now will build the foundation for their adult life and shape their future personality.
Few things to keep in mind before starting training
- Always reward good behavior with high-value items like treats, praise, attention or their favorite toy.
- Keep your training sessions short but frequent. Puppies have a short attention span and training that lasts for hours may not be fruitful.
- Being consistent is important. For example- you shouldn’t allow one thing today and forbid it tomorrow or use different words for the same command. This may leave the puppy feeling confused.
- Don’t delay using the word “No” to restrict them from doing something. Puppies can’t make the connection between the forbidden activity and the word “No” if you say it much later. The time window for which a puppy or a dog remembers is a mere 1.3 seconds, that is why it is important to catch them in the act and reward them for good behavior and correct the wrong one.
- Puppies have low immunity and hence the chances of them catching an infection are high. Start adding immunity-building supplements and foods to their diet before training as training requires extra strength and immunity.
- Get your puppy checked by a vet before you start professional training. This will ensure your puppy is fit to train.
Once your puppy starts socializing with other puppies and stepping out of the house, the chances of getting exposed to infections increases. Hence, you need to make sure your puppy is dewormed and vaccinated before you start training.
How to teach your puppy basic commands at home
You don’t expect a 2-year-old kid to immediately know how to tie their shoelaces. Similarly, if your puppy is being aggressive, biting or not cooperating, do not lose hope. The key lies in being consistent, patient and understanding. There is more to puppy training than just potty training, so before you move ahead with that, you should first teach your puppy some basic commands.
Here’s some basic training you can practice with your pup:
The following method is called luring.
- Get down in front of your puppy holding a treat.
- Put the treat in front of your pup’s nose and slowly lift the treat above their head. Your puppy will most likely lift their head and sit to nibble on the treat.
- Let them eat the treat when they sit on the ground.
- Repeat this a few times and then remove the treat and just use your hand for the signal. But do give the treat when they sit.
- Once the puppy starts understanding the signal you can start saying “sit” before the hand signal.
Note- Do not put your puppy in a sitting position physically. This can be confusing or even upsetting for some dogs.
Practice this training in quiet rooms or areas without disturbance.
- Sit with your pup and say the word “come” or their name.
- Every time you say “come/name,” give them a treat. They don’t have to do anything yet.
- Next, drop a treat on the floor and when they finish eating that treat say their name again. When they look up, give them a treat.
- Repeat this a few times and start moving a little further away as you toss the treats until they turn around and look at you when you say their name. Avoid saying your puppy’s name too much, saying it too often can make it easier for them to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy where they can be successful in responding to their name.
- Once your puppy starts turning around to see you, you can start making the chase more fun! Throw some treats on the ground, run quickly and call their name. Puppies love a good chase!
- Once they catch you, praise them with “good boy/“good girl” or treats Running towards you should be fun for your puppy. Continue playing these games. If you’re training outside, it would be a good idea to keep your puppy on a leash.
Formally, “heel” is the word trainers use when the dog walks on your left side while you hold the leash loosely. Some trainers say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” as cues for the puppy to start walking. Whatever cue you choose, be consistent in it. Choose one direction for the puppy to walk on, left or right. Training them to walk on both sides may lead to them zig-zagging in front of you.
- First and foremost your puppy needs to be comfortable with the leash. Some puppies may scratch or bite the leash, so give your puppy treats when you’re putting the leash on.
- Then stand next to your puppy with the leash on and give them several treats for just standing next to you with a loose leash.
- Now, take one step forward and give another treat on your knee level AFTER they take the step forward with you.
- Continue giving treats as you keep walking forward.
- If the puppy runs in front of you, turn in the opposite direction, call to them, give them a treat for coming to you and repeat the above steps.
- Eventually, your pup should start walking along with you. On your walks, let them sniff and explore, once they’re done investigating, say “let’s go” or your chosen cue word and give them a treat for coming back and walking with you.
*The above methods provide just one way to train your puppy. Several methods of training can help your puppy acquire new skills.
Sometimes it can be difficult to train your pup by yourself and you may require professional help. Luckily, there are puppy training courses and professional trainers who can help you out. Professional training is especially beneficial for aggressive dogs and can even help breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pitbulls and Dobermans.
Wiggles Weekend Puppy Camp is a puppy training course that covers many parameters. The sessions cover:
- Puppy proofing your house
- Potty training
- Puppy emergencies
- Commands like No, Down and Sit
- How to avoid biting/nipping/jumping
- Crate training/puppy pen training
- Separation anxiety
- Mental stimulation games
- Games to get comfortable with new sounds, children and people
- Nutrition tips
- Food habits & house rules
- How to avoid persistent behavior
- How to avoid resource guarding
Including a lot of other activities that help puppies socialize and get comfortable with unfamiliar environments.
The course is guided and conducted by certified expert trainers who have immense knowledge and experience with training dogs. On completion of the above courses, your puppy becomes a certified trained dog!
Wiggles.in along with our team of expert trainers and vets have designed the training programs with respect to canine DNA and our aim is to make your pet disciplined. We train with the purpose to provide the best for your pet, explore their unlimited talent and help them become obedient and disciplined family members.
Here are some pictures from Wiggles Weekend Puppy Camp:
Hey, is the teacher super strict?
Trick? First gib treat!
Omg, so many new friends!
Keep petting me like this and I’ll become the best doggo ever!
Why is professional training important?
Training your puppy can be overwhelming, we get that! More often than not, when a puppy disobeys or doesn’t act the way their parent wants them to, the parents get discouraged. Even aggressive dogs or puppies who bite their parents can be helped with professional training. When incorrect behavior is left unchecked, it can stem into behavioral issues in the future. As advocates of early puppy training and dog training, Wiggles.in wants to assure you that help is right here!
Getting your puppy professionally trained will provide you with structured, planned and helpful training specifically for your puppy’s needs.
- Here’s how professional training helps:
- Builds communication and trust between you and your puppy
- Teaches your puppy new life skills
- Helps your puppy socialize with other puppies
- Helps with severe problems like separation anxiety
- Unlocks their potential
- Provides expert attention and care
If you are unable to step outside for professional training, you can get online behavioral training for your puppy at the comfort of your home.
Our vets have also curated the complete package for your puppy’s healthy development, you can get it here.
Rest assured, know that Team Wiggles will always be your partner in pethood. You can reach out to our team of experts on +91 8431620000 for any pet-related questions. Happy pet parenting!