This is Hollie. She is our new puppy and is 13 weeks old. Other than being an absolute heartbreaker, there are a few things that have cropped up during the training process that has made our puppy experience a whole lot easier. Here are my top 5 tips to ensure you have a happy time with your new baby.
Buy some high quality puppy food.
This is my ultimate rule for a few reasons. Firstly. A high protein puppy food will reduce the amount of waste (poop!) your puppy does because there is no rubbish loaded in the food. Reduced poo's = easier time toilet training!
Some super market brands are also loaded with additives and all the crap that makes an already excitable puppy even more hyper, so if you want your puppy to be calm from day one, opt for a higher grade of food.
Get on top of their toilet habits
There is only so much poo and wee stains a carpet can take and trust me, toilet training your puppy can come with a lot of stress. I allow my puppy to be contained in her own safe haven while I am not in the house, and a dog will very rarely go the toilet in their own space. But when we are in the house we ensure - and it may seem drastic - that we put Hollie outside every 30-45 mins. Go armed with treats and ready to talk to your puppy in the highest of tones upon performance and they will soon get the hang of it!!
Socialise, socialise, socialise!!!
This could be the absolute key to your dog becoming a happy, polite dog or an unfriendly withdrawn pup. Socialise your puppy with other dogs, adults, kids, babies, traffic, other animals, sounds (you'll thank me on bonfire night!) anything you can think of! The more your puppy is exposed to things that could possibly upset them later on will make them so tolerant to anything. I always make sure I play with Hollie's paws as my other two dogs hate having their nails clipped. But exposing her to having her paws tickled, stroked and held has made her a pleasure on the nail clipping front. Heaven.
Encourage play time
Your puppy will start to teeth at about 12 weeks and it can last for months. This means that anything in your house will become chew bait. Including your expensive TV stand. Not ideal.
There are many chew toys you can buy for teething pups but in my experience I find the rope toys work best. If you dampen them with cold water and then freeze them they act as a numbing agent for their gums whilst being hard to chew on. Also have plenty of toys to encourage them to play with as this will distract your pup from chewing on anything they shouldn't be.
If you increase the value of your pups toys by asking them to sit and paw before giving it to them (working for a reward) this will help the training process and keep the weight off them by not having to give food based treats everytime. This has worked well with our pup.
Master walking on the lead
This takes time and may possibly be the hardest part of the training but it will bring the best rewards as your dog gets older. If you master walking your pup to heel and without them pulling you half way down the street, then you, as the owner will enjoy taking your doggie for a walk and not resent it. If you are training your dog off lead just remember to check the policy of your local park as some public places have up to £1000 fine if your dog is off lead.
And there you have it! My top 5 tips to ensure your new pup training is as happy as possible. If you have any other tips please comment them below!
- Vikki Lea x