Five things you may not know about training puppies.
For National Puppy Day we are celebrating all the things we love about puppies – their cuteness, wrinkly skin, soft fur, playful spirit and puppy breath!
Puppies are adorable, but they can be a lot of work. Getting started on the right foot is important since it’s easier for puppy to learn than it is to unlearn a bad habit later. In addition to training basics like house training, teaching puppy to sit, lie down and walk on a leash, there are some things to keep in mind that you may not think about when it comes to puppies.
Five things to know about training puppies
The importance of “settle.” Help your new dog learn self-control and how to relax on their own. Perhaps after a walk or play time, practice ask them to go to their bed or crate. Find a place and a cue to use.
Crates are cool! Crate training is great for housebreaking, but it’s a great tool for many other things – a place to settle, keep puppy from chewing household items, and traveling. Make sure the crate is big enough. Puppy should be able to turn around, fully stretch out, stand without his/her ears touching the top. Crates are also for short periods of time. A good rule of thumb is one hour per month old, up to six months. Keep in mind that you don’t want your puppy to potty in their crate.
Practice separation. Teach your puppy to be confident and calm when left alone by practicing being gone for small increments at a time. This is especially important if you adopt a puppy during spring break and then have to go back to work/school. While it would be great to be able to be with puppy 24/7, it’s just not practical.
Appropriate playtime. Avoid wrestling with your puppy as this can make them think that you are the toy and may bite and nip. Use a toy and create fun games like “find it.”
“Earn” being able to say hello to new people and dogs. Socialization is important but so is impulse control. If you let your puppy greet everyone, it creates unrealistic expectations that they will always be able to do that.
The Oregon Humane Society has training classes, one-on-one training, puppy romps and free workshops that are available to the public. We also have a behavior help line and a great online library of training resources – https://www.oregonhumane.org/training/.