Begin Training Your Puppy Early

The big day is finally here and you bring your puppy home. Now what?

Some veterinarians recommend waiting to train your new pup until he’s about 4 months old and has all his shots. But puppies have a critical socialization period of about 8 to 14 weeks of age where they’re like a sponge, soaking up new information and experiences. It’s something that can’t be replicated when they get older and if they miss socialization during this important period of their lives, they may be wary of new things as they mature.

Some breeders will do very basic training; getting them used to sounds and various objects. Ask what they’ve done to help the pup be confident in its new surroundings. And then continue that once you bring the pup home.

Before enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer, there are some things you can do on your own.

Potty training is one of the main priorities for you and your new friend.

Write down the times when you take the puppy out to potty and if he eliminates so you can come up with a schedule and be proactive abut potty training. That will help prevent accidents in the house and teach him he needs to potty outside.

Get your puppy on a feeding schedule.

Having a feeding schedule-such as 7am, noon, and 6pm-will help you know when the puppy needs to potty. Many new puppies will potty soon after they eat.

Begin crate training.

Puppies are growing and need a lot of rest, just like children. They also get over stimulated and need downtime.

Crate training will give you a rest from your puppy and you might be able to catch a quick nap-especially during the first couple of weeks when you have to take your pup outside in the middle of the night to potty.

It will also help with potty training because dogs don’t like to potty in their crate.

Confine the puppy to one area of the house.

Don’t let your puppy wander all over the house. It will be harder to watch him and easier for him to disappear out of sight andhave an accident. As the puppy grows, he can gain access to more areas of the home.

Touch the puppy all over his body.

Touch his paws, open his mouth, look in his ears, etc. This will get him used to being handled for vet and grooming visits.