If you’re looking for the most important puppy training tips to get you started, we’ve got you covered!
Below, we’ll talk about some of the basic things every dog should know.
We’ll also discuss the needs of different breeds when it comes to training.
Consider this a crash course on teaching your new pup to behave!
Puppy Training for Different Breeds & Needs
Puppies certainly bring loads of joy into your home but it’s not all fun and games.
Training is serious business! Make no mistake about it, you will have to work hard at first.
I think the best place to start our journey is at the beginning, with your dog’s breed.
See, different breeds really do have different training needs! Let’s take a quick peek and you’ll see what I mean.
Working breeds like the Mastiff, Boxer, and Doberman need to feel like they’re accomplishing a task to feel truly fulfilled.
Your training methods should reflect that. Along with basic obedience lessons, make sure you include some enrichment activities that give them a sense of accomplishment.
Herding breeds like border collies, German Shepherds, and such are very similar to working dogs with one exception- their job is to herd cattle and sheep.
In the absence of those animals, they’ll attempt to herd your other pets and children.
While my Shepherd was a perfectly gentle herder of my son, if you don’t want this behavior, you’ll have to train it out of them.
Just remember, it’s instinct, so a herder will never NOT be a herder at heart.
Spaniels, retrievers, and setters are all part of the sporting group (they’re also often called “gun dogs” because hunters use them).
These guys love to goof off and have fun, but they get down to business when it’s time to work. Incorporate their love of the hunt into training by setting up treasure hunts for them!
Pretty much any dog with the word “terrier” in his name belongs to this group.
While they vary in terms of stubbornness, for the most part they’re very head-strong dogs.
Reward training works best because a task needs to be worth their effort before they’ll even consider it.
Along with all breeds with the word “hound” in their names, other members of this ground include the Beagle, Borzoi, and Saluki.
They may be sighthounds, scenthounds, or just plain houndhounds (oddly, there is no soundhound, but wouldn’t that be neat?) but they all have one thing in common- willpower and tenacity.
Bred to think independently, these dogs are NOT people pleasers, so reward training is literally the ONLY thing that truly works.
Of course, these are generalizations. Every dog is unique.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PUPPY TRAINING
Below are some frequently asked questions along with their answers about training a puppy.
DO I REALLY NEED TO TRAIN MY DOG?
Yes, at least to some degree! Unless, of course, you want your whole house to become a toilet and your expensive furniture torn to shreds.
.Puppies are like babies and need to be taught the difference between right and wrong, to do this you need some training!
DO I HAVE TO BUY ANY FANCY TOOLS?
While there are tons of great products and training tools out there to make the job easier, you don’t actually need any of them.
The only thing I’d say you really need is a good training treat, as most dogs are food-motivated.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO TRAIN A PUPPY?
As we said above, a puppy may take several months to train. It really depends on your dog’s personality.
Just remember to keep at it and reinforce their training once they master a command.
Basic Puppy Training Tricks & Tips
Since we’ve covered and will continue to cover specific training methods, we’re not going to get super detailed here.
Instead, let’s go over a few things to keep in mind regardless of your dog’s breed.
1. Patience is key
Puppy training obedience strategies don’t work overnight. In fact, don’t expect to see results even within the first couple of weeks.
Be patient and keep at it. One day, it’ll all just click in your dog’s mind.
2. Keep sessions short and sweet
You don’t need to train for hours and hours a day, a few minutes several times a day is all it takes.
In fact, most experts recommend that you keep sessions to under half an hour at a time. Otherwise, your dog will lose interest.
3. Start with the very very basics
The first thing you need to train your new puppy in is obedience, commands like sit, come, heel, stay and fetch are basic enough for them to learn.
As they get older you can incorporate commands like paw, roll over and play dead!
4. Reinforce training regularly
Once your dog masters a command, don’t eliminate it from your training schedule. Like people, dogs need to reinforce their skills regularly.
Try working commands into other types of training. For example, if you’re working on agility training, you can reinforce the “wait,” “sit,” and “stay” commands.
5. Socialize Your Pup Early
Socialization is vital, so make sure your new puppy meets as many different people as possible while it is still young.
Take him out in the car, to the vet, to dog parks. Take him to willing friends’ houses. Heck, take him to work with you if allowed!
Let your puppy play with other dogs and people as much as you can.
6. Don’t Skip Enrichment Activities
Playing with toys will provide the puppy with mental and physical stimulation.
Puppies that are actively stimulated between the age of three and twelve weeks grow into adults that are good at both learning and problem solving.
Figure out which toys your pup likes most and use them in your training. A toy makes a great reward for a dog that isn’t food-motivated.
7. Give Immediate Rewards
When your puppy obeys a command, reward him on the spot. If you make him wait, he won’t know which action made you happy enough to give him a tasty treat.
These basic puppy training tips should get you started on your journey.
If you need more specific tips, check out some of our other training articles. I recommend starting with the most common types of training and going from there.