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Home / Nutrition Advice / Puppy Guide / Kitten Guide / Puppy Guide

 

New Puppy Guide - Expert Training Tips

 

Puppies love to learn. They are like little sponges absorbing information about their environment, the people around them, what feels good, and what does not. With the advent of modern 'hands-off' methods of training, where the dog is motivated by food treats or toys and is not physically forced to comply, there is no need to wait before starting to train your puppy. Puppy socialisation classes are now available in nearly every area of the country, and provide an excellent start for your puppy.

A good socialisation class should have an upper age limit of around 18 weeks and should not simply be a free-for-all, with all the puppies constantly playing together. It is vital that the play is controlled, and that the basics of training, using reward-based methods only, are used. A good class should be able to show you how to build on the relationship you have with your puppy, and develop his or her natural instincts to your advantage.

To find a good class, visit www.apdt.co.uk or ask your veterinary surgeon.

 

TOP TIPS THAT GOOD TRAINERS KNOW


1 GET YOUR PUPPY OUT AND ABOUT!

Time is short and you can never replace those early weeks of puppy development. Puppies need to meet other dogs, people and experience all kinds of sights, sounds and smells as early as possible in order to learn good communication skills. This is even more critical if you have another dog at home as puppies often over-bond with one playmate and never learn to have confidence in their own right.


2 START TRAINING NOW!

Just think how much easier it is to learn French when you are ive than 55! Puppies can learn all the basics of good manners and training from the age of eight weeks, so don't delay! Tricks may seem like frivolous fun, but anything you can teach your dog helps to build bonds between you and increases your overall control.


3 DON'T ALLOW YOUR PUPPY TO PRACTISE BAD HABITS

It's oh so easy to let your tiny puppy sit on the sofa, steal food from your plate and jump all over you when you come home from work, but will you be so forgiving when your dog is large, muddy and hairy? It's unfair on puppies to get used to one set of rules, only to have them change without warning later on. Decide on your household 'rules' when your puppy first arrives and then get everyone to stick to them. It will save a great deal of stress later on!


4 TEACH YOUR PUPPY THAT IT'S OK TO BE LEFT ALONE

Many dogs love being with their owners so much that they cannot cope when they are left on their own. Dogs with separation anxiety can get so distressed that they can destroy furniture, bark or howl or mess in the house when their owners are out… and it's all preventable. Leaving your puppy in a safe area such as a crate or bed in the kitchen for a short time every day teaches him or her to accept that these times are just a normal part of life - and that you'll soon be back together again.


5 HANDLE YOUR PUPPY EVERY DAY

All dogs need to learn to enjoy being handled and examined. This prevents the puppy from experiencing stress at the vets and the groomers and is also a vital part of your daily care for your dog - enabling you to check his coat, skin, eyes, ears, mouth and feet and to keep him in tip-top condition. Using force is always counterproductive in handling your dog. Instead, make handling pleasurable for your puppy by giving lots of rewards for calm behaviour, and practise little and often.

 

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