Puppy Training Tips: Part 2
Here are some more puppy training tips coming at you as per our reader request.
***Again before we get into it, I want to state that I, in no way, am a professional dog trainer. The following steps and approaches I am going to be writing about are ways that have worked for me. I do not claim that they are the best or right way, just that they worked for me. So I want to pass along the information I have learned so that it can hopefully benefit someone else.***
Also remember patience is crucial. Your puppy will mess up, DO NOT GET MAD AT THEM, use the commands to help them learn.
Also remember the 3 rules to take into every training session:
1. Exercise The Puppy Before Any Training Begins
The puppy is less likely to listen to you if they are full of piss and vinegar and just ready to tear sh*t up. So burn off that initial crazy to bring them down to a more normal state of mind. I would exercise Thor and Storm with no particular set of training attempts in mind, i.e. They would follow me everywhere I went in the house so I would walk up and down a few times or toss the ball down the hallway so they could chase it (if they didn’t bring it back that’s ok because I didn’t say a command I just threw the ball for the purpose of them to run after it). It doesn’t have to be intense, just a few minutes and then they were good to go.
2. Have A Separate Leash ONLY For Training
I bought a 15 foot leash and every time the dogs would have this leash attached to their collar they knew it was time to train. While that leash is on, there is no ‘play time’ only training time. Then once training time is done the leash comes off right away.
3. Finish On A High Note
EVERY SINGLE training session needs to end on a high note. No matter how bad a particular training session might be going, give the puppy a command they will get every time and when they succeed at it, give them lots of praise and end there. Don’t finish with you being angry or frustrated so they get hung up on that emotion and have future sessions not go as good.
Tip #4 - DO NOT Take The Puppy On Runs Until They Are 2 Years Old
Running with your puppy can be extremely harmful to them. Now when I saw running, I don’t mean the puppy doing it’s awkward puppy run in the backyard and being clumsy. I mean you taking the puppy for a jog or a run where it’s a a high pace for a long duration or distance. Even if it’s only 1 km, that is too far. Just like humans they have growth plates that need to fuse together. But that takes time and until that is done growing their bones and cartilage are soft and more prone to injury. The say it can take up to 18 months for those growth plates to finish growing but in my mind you should just wait the full 24 months before taking them on a run, just to make sure they really are done growing. As well as needing them to be done growing you also need them to develop their run so it's not clumsy but a little more sturdy and solid. The last thing you want to have happen is for your dog to have a deformity or dislocate a hip or anything that may cause permanent damage. I would even be careful of high intensity frisbee fetch as this could have the same affect. Take the clip below of Thor in the back yard for example. Look at how awkward and clumsy that run is. Now imagine that improper running form for 2, 3, or 5 km’s straight. That could do some damage.
Tip #5 - Bathroom Time
House training your puppy can be a long and tedious task. They say it can take anywhere from 4 months to 1 year for your puppy to be house trained so maintaining the rules could be a very long process but make sure you commit and stick to it. Here are some ways:
- Take the puppy outside after every feed
- Take the puppy outside as soon as they wake up in the morning or from long naps
- Make sure the puppy goes outside right before bed
- Keep the puppy in a crate just a little bigger than them because if they have too much space, they can pee in a corner and sleep in the other corner. Puppies don’t want to pee where they sleep but, you know, sometimes it happens
- Stay with them outside until they do their business
- Once they do it praise them or give them a treat
Tip #6 - Don’t Discipline If You Don’t Catch It
They say that dogs live in the moment. While they can have great memories for their owners, remember ways to the park, and routines you do in the house, sometimes little acts are quickly forgotten within minutes of doing said act. While this can be really hard to do (I know I had to work on it), don’t discipline them for something you didn’t catch them doing. Let’s say you just step out of the room to do some errands around house and 30 minutes later you come back in to where the puppy is staying and you see they have peed or chewed on something they shouldn’t have. Don’t get mad and discipline them because chances are they are not associating the discipline to the act they shouldn’t be doing. If you catch them doing it then that is a different story because they will immediately associate the two things together.
I hope you enjoyed part 2 of my puppy training tips and hopefully it helps you with your puppy training. Again please note that my dogs are not even close to the best behaved dogs and I’m not a dog trainer so maybe these methods that I’m talking about might not be the best. I’m talking about these ones because they worked for me. Let me know what you think in the comments down below. And if you want to hear about a certain topic let us know by filling out the form below, our ‘Let’s Talk’ page, or our ‘Home’ page.
- Papa Bird