A dalmation making quick work of a shoe

Bringing a new puppy into your home means lots of exciting playtime, plenty of cuddles and many, many cute pictures. While you’re enjoying the new dog in your life, it is important to train it during the first few months. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to train it. Check out these puppy education tips to help you start.

Get Into a Routine

Just like human babies, puppies need structure. As soon as you bring your ball of fur home, start a routine to help it become accustomed to the new environment. Wake your puppy up, feed it and take it for walks at the same time each day. If you plane to train your dog to sleep in a crate, put it to bed at the same time each night. Remember, puppies have smaller bladders and need to be walked more often than adult dogs. If you work a full-time job, consider taking your pup to a doggie daycare that can help it stick to a potty-training routine.

Use a Reward System

Everybody loves rewards, and your puppy is no different! When your new addition to the family does something good, reward it with a small treat. Soon, you’ll see that it routinely lets you know when it needs to go outside or no longer chews on shoes. This is because the pup’s brain is being trained to know that good behavior brings rewards. Although food treats are yummy, keep in mind that they also add calories to your dog’s diet. Talk to your vet about the best way to reward your puppy with food. You can also use other forms of rewards, such as extra pets, more playtime or a new toy.

Avoid Reprimanding Your Puppy

When children do something they shouldn’t, you can reprimand them and explain why they cannot do it anymore. This won’t work with a puppy since they don’t understand cause and effect. For example, if your dog uses the bathroom indoors, yelling or brandishing a rolled-up newspaper will just confuse it since it probably won’t even remember what it did. In fact, reprimanding a puppy may even scare it and cause it to become fearful of people. Teach alternate behavior instead. If your dog is chewing on your favorite shoe, take it away and give it a toy instead. Over time, it will learn to go to the toy first.

With a steady routine and lots of rewards, your pup will be well on its way to becoming a well-trained dog in no time. Remember, puppies are babies. They likely won’t learn something the first time, so patience is key. Check out Aunt B’s Pet Resort & Spa to learn more about puppy education.