Puppy Training Basics

Training Basics

Just like vaccinating and walking your dog, training is also an essential aspect of overall puppy behavior; Training ensures that the dog is sufficiently socialized with other dogs, people, and follows commands quickly during emergencies. Training a puppy should start early when its learning ability is the best. The more time you put in the first year of your puppy the more secure and better the owner/dog relationship will be.

The first day the puppy can be a bit whiny and scared, and it is best to try to get to know each other very early on. The puppy may feel a bit lonely when suddenly separated from her mother and siblings, and therefore it should not be left alone at all, or be separated from the family when it is so small. Dog training is a step by step process, and a puppy will have a limited focus at first, and it will tire quickly. When training a puppy, you should consider the breed, the age, and development stage of the puppy to know what the best way to go about training is, below are some basic guidelines.



As most people know or will soon find out unexpectedly, puppies are not housebroken when moving to their new home. The trick is to go out with your puppy for food, play, sleep, and lots of times in between. When the puppy pees outside congratulate the puppy with a soft with a cheerful voice!

Puppy Play

Playing with your puppy is one of the best things you can do! It strengthens the bond between you and the puppy while having fun together.

Playing with toys and tug of war a bit with your puppy is both fun and useful. Let your puppy win sometimes, and sometimes you win.

Playing tug of war

Rewarding good behavior

Lab mix Puppes
Lab mix puppies” by bullcitydogs licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rewarding increases motivation and facilitates training to be effective, but it must be meaningful for the dog. For example, the owner can praise the dog after a successful performance with a warm and inspiring tone and pet the puppy. For some dogs, the best prize is play, and to some food rewards. Bear in mind that positive reinforcement (rewarding unwanted behavior) is a much more powerful way of training than negative reinforcement (blaming unwanted behavior).

Also remember also to raise the requirements for the dog to get his reward as it learns things otherwise, you risk the reward becoming something habitual.


Puppy Training Motivation

Successful training requires that the dog gets rewards and that the owner acts consistently and decisively. The puppy naturally likes to play; this should be utilized and combine the playing and “work” in the form of exercise. In addition to the play, Consistency and the ability to “read” your dog is valuable as well as right timing is helpful for dog training.


Puppy Training Language

The terms used with the puppy, short, simple and frequent repetitions should be utilized. A dog understands better the tone than the words itself: the tone should, therefore, change depending on whether the dog is given a command, whether it is praised or disciplined. If the puppy is getting into trouble when you are not home, it is probably not getting enough exercise and is lashing out from extra energy; it should be taken out every couple hours and immediately after the meal to help get rid of excess energy when it is young.


Dog Training with Toys

chihuahua with a toy

Dogs often love toys, and this can be used to your advantage by practicing a game.  If you get toys that you can hide a treat inside you can start by throwing it a short distance away and saying “fetch” when the puppy grabs the toy in his mouth toss it a treat. Once the puppy has learned you can do the same thing but this time they say “fetch” when you throw the toy and then calls the pup up with the toy, and when it comes near you give the treat to your puppy. Eventually, the puppy learns to come with the toy in the mouth to get a treat!


Socializing your Dog

Puppies have a “window” that starts at about 3 weeks of age and extends up to 12 weeks, where they need to meet other dogs, people and see new places. This is to get them comfortable in different situations. If a puppy lacks socialization or the dog has a bad experience, it can be nervous and maybe even aggressive around other dogs and people.

Here are some of our tips on how to socialize your dog;

Try to get your puppy to meet with adults, children, and babies. Dogs develop an irrational fear of, for example, men with beards or small children just because they did not come across such situations at a young age.

Puppies Socializing
Puppies Socializing” by TheDailyPuppy is licenses under CC BY 2.0

Just like people have different personalities so do dogs. Some puppies are naturally timid and may find that environmental training is a little harder. If your puppy is nervous, introducing new situations, objects and people slowly. Ask strangers or family members, for example, do not stare, squeeze or pick up your puppy in his arms. Instead, they can give your puppy some treats or ask them to not to touch the puppy up until it builds enough courage to take the initiative to go up to them personally.