Tips for Training Your Puppy

Sitting dog on leash

Why is puppy training a good idea? In addition to practicing cool and fun tricks with your four-legged friend, it's also a great way to socialize your dog - right from the start, and it pays off in the end. You can train your puppy both at home and with a professional dog trainer. Train your puppy so that it becomes a capable dog that you can take with you on fun adventures. Read this guide and find out what you should remember when you start training your new puppy.

When to start puppy training?

The sooner you start training your puppy, the better it is for you and your puppy. There are places where puppy training doesn't start until puppies are three months old, but if you can start training at home with your puppy from eight weeks old, that's best. In the beginning, you should keep the training short and manageable for your puppy, as puppies get tired quickly. In this way, you avoid  having a bad experience with puppy training.

What is the difference between puppy training and dog training?

When training your puppy, there is extra focus on contact exercises and socialization with other puppies. In this way, you build a good understanding and contact with your puppy, and it learns and acquires a good "dog language", which is important for your puppy when it becomes an adult dog. Puppy training is less strict than dog training of adult dogs. Play and puppy behavior are part of training, and if your puppy gets tired in the middle of training, that's okay too. Positive forms of training are used for both puppy training and dog training.

Puppy training exercises you can do at home

Your puppy can learn a lot of tricks that are entertaining and fun. When you teach your puppy tricks, it helps to keep him healthy – both physically and mentally. In addition, the training helps to give you and your four-legged friend a close bond. When you practice at home, be praiseworthy and repetitive. Things take time, even for puppies. It is important that you stick with it and not give up after a few days of trying. Below are some examples of basic commands such as "sit" and "in place" - and gimmicks such as "high five".

The commands "sit" and "gipote"

Your puppy learns the command "sit" when you hold a closed hand with a training treat over the puppy's head. Most often, this causes the puppy to sit down and follow the treat with its head. Once your puppy has settled, you can praise him and give him the treat. The first many times you don't have to say "sit". But as soon as your puppy has understood that when you extend a closed hand with a treat over its head, it means it has to sit, you can put the command on the exercise.

The command "gipote" is based on your puppy having learned "his". When it settles, after you have asked it to, you can start practicing "gipote". You squat down and hold out a flat hand. Then, with your other hand, take one of the puppy's paws forward to touch your outstretched palm. As soon as the paw touches your hand, you say "gipote". Repeat a few times, and remember to take breaks with your puppy, where you can play on the puppy's terms. This trick is smart to teach your puppy as it helps when you need to clip claws or trim the fur on the paws.

The "high five" command

As soon as you have the above commands down, you can start expanding with high fives. You start by squatting in front of your puppy, and you then hold your hand at a height where your puppy can reach with its paw without having to lift its rear. You now take the puppy's paw up to your hand and say "high five", after which you give praise and a treat. This exercise is most suitable for older puppies who have learned the most basic obedience commands and had other puppy training.

Different puppy training by dog breed

There is a difference in how you should train your puppy, depending on whether it is retriever puppy training or hunting dog puppy training. Most often, the above commands are effective for dog breeds that are suitable as family dogs or companion dogs. When it comes to hunting dogs, you should train your puppy in different stages before taking it hunting. Basic puppy training will be an introduction to tracking exercises on the lawn and then on different types of terrain.

How to start training your puppy to stay home alone 

The puppy must be safe when you leave the room. Here you can use a puppy screen so that your puppy can still see you in the other room. Never leave the room without your puppy noticing. As with toddlers, you are the puppy's security, and it's never nice to find that security suddenly gone. In addition, you should make the room fun and safe to be in. You can do that with the puppy's dog basket and puppy toys. You may also have put out some dog treats on the floor for the dog to sniff.

While you are in the other room, you can do something that the puppy finds boring - for example, you can sit and read a book, load the dishwasher or something else uninteresting. After a while, your puppy will calm down and you can now go up to him and give him some treats. It's important that you don't make the reunion a big scene. Hang in there and practice it a few times a day for a period of time. Once the separation is okay for the puppy, you can expand to going out the door and coming back after 10-15 minutes. Practise this about twice daily, then expand to longer intervals.

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