Need tips on how to train a puppy? Here’s your ultra-mega dog training tips collection for your puppy training needs! And, if you need breed specific tips click here for the ultimate guide!
Like many new owners soon find out, Dog Training 101 with your new puppy is as important as giving it love and attention. If you neglect training and caring for your puppy correctly, that newfound joy in your relationship can sour quickly.
Once your new puppy is home, a lot in your life will change as you adjust life at home to the newest addition to your family. It’s just like with kids: giving them all the love and freedom is essential. But without rules and a good education on your dog psychology, they ultimately end up being more hurt than cared for.
Learning how to care for your puppy’s health and well-being properly and train them for behaving suitably in different situations will help your pup live a happy and fulfilling life.
Puppy training tips also help live well with other people and pets, understand others, know their boundaries while growing in confidence.
And equally importantly, training is something you both can fall back on in times of need – emergencies and troubling situations, when conditioned responses kick in to help tide things over.
What is the first thing you should train your puppy?
Before getting into our ultra-mega list of dog training tips from top dog trainers, let’s keep in mind the three things all owners need to understand how to train a dog:
- Patience – training takes time and needs a lot of patience on your part
- Repetition – it can only be conditioned into your dog through repetition, no matter how quick a learner your pup is
- Positive Feedback – it is crucial to training. Punishment is necessary, of course, but if you rely on it too much, it always undoes the progress you’ve already made.
This comprehensive list of dog care and training tips is naturally too large to absorb in one go.
1. Your Puppy Loves You No Matter What
This is one of the first things you should understand about your dog. However, it all depends on the dog, most notably the history- whether they come from a traumatic experience where you have to gain their trust or are merely comfortable around you.
Furthermore, extra precautionary measures are still advised.
It is challenging to raise a problematic dog than a loving one purposely. Dogs innately love those who care for them.
Why is that important?
Training your dog to become aggressive or caring starts when your dog is just a puppy, and if you’re not careful, it could lead to issues of obedience, anxiety, and even aggression as they grow up.
How to train a puppy in such a situation can be a real uphill task. Simple things like making sure your puppy is by your side or behind you and not in front of you, help.
2. Keep Your Commands Short So Your Puppy Grasps Them
Dogs are smart – everyone knows that.
3. Don’t Just Rely on Your Voice Alone
Your puppy takes in a lot more than you think – visual cues such as gestures, body language, and scent.
So just using verbal commands in training is a bit inefficient.
Think about it.
How much faster will your puppy understand what you want her to do when you, say mix in gestures, facial expressions, and even tasty smelling treats while giving commands?
For instance, teaching her to “Follow” by leading her nose-first by your treat-holding hand is more effective than struggling with a leash without the treats.
4. Projecting a Calm, Assertive Manner
As mentioned earlier, words aren’t key to getting through to your puppy. When talking to her or issuing commands, it’s not so much what you say but how you say it.
When they say a dog can “smell fear,” they’re not altogether wrong. A dog can read your mood and intent from what you’re projecting through your “energy.”
Tone and body language count for much more with dogs, and the best way to approach training is to exude a calm assertiveness.
It encourages trust and obedience. Extremes, such as yelling in anger, or going overboard with affection and baby-talk, can be counter-productive.
5. Patience is Crucial While Teaching Correct Behavior
It’s important to understand that puppies are clueless about many things we take for granted in everyday behavior.
Many new owners tend to forget that their puppy is not a human kid who might know or pick up on good behavior better.
Not chewing up random objects, not peeing on the carpet, not barking away at night – these are things they indulge in instinctively, unaware of consequences.
Without knowing the rules they must follow living in your home, they can’t be expected to understand.
And teaching these rules requires patience—plenty of it.
6. Try to Go for Classical Conditioning over Operant Conditioning
Classical Conditioning training techniques uses a dog’s natural responses to shape its behavior.
In contrast, Operant Conditioning techniques teach dog-specific associations and consequences to things to shape a behavior. These can be obtained through different rewards or punishments.
The first technique, Operant Conditioning, is more comfortable to adapt and learn for your puppy, given its instincts come into play.
However, some situations and behavioral acts are achieved with the latter. In both situations, multiple factors must be considered, such as reinforcements, intervals, and more. But sticking to Classical Conditioning isn’t the only key alone.
There are other techniques you can integrate that you think fits best for your puppy
But that doesn’t mean your puppy can process whole sentences as commands, or discern between them if all of them are wordy. That’s asking too much.
Your puppy will usually process only the first word or two of what you’re saying, and focus on your tone to gauge your mood.
So keep them short and simple – Sit, Stay, Fetch, Go Potty, Good Boy – and try to keep an appropriate tone for each.
7. Each Dog is Different, and Thus May Respond Differently to Different Training Methods
Like us people, each dog is unique in its way. They also have different personalities.
There can be dominant personalities, and there are those that are anxious for protection.
Observe your puppy and try to understand its personality and needs to tailor the best mix of training techniques that suit her.
8. Balance Training Exercises with Plenty of Play Too
While training is an excellent simulation for your puppy, it’s also a lot of work in her eyes.
Imagine having long stretches of classes without breaks to relax and unwind in between.
If you don’t allow your puppy to play, run, and exercise in breaks between training, she won’t absorb much.
The balance between short training sessions and short breaks is vital to get the best out of it all.
9. Using Names Properly
Dog’s don’t care for names. Call your puppy by their name enough times, and they’ll associate themselves with that sound, and if you need help here’s a quick guide to how to teach a puppy its name.
But they won’t understand or care about other names or words unless they are taught a specific association for them.
It would be best if you never used their name when punishing or disciplining them, as they will come to associate the name with fear and pain.
10. Be Mindful of Your Own Energy and Body Language When You’re with Your Dog
Your body language and general demeanor, or “energy,” significantly influence your puppy’s behavior.
If you find your puppy’s mood to be off, check your general disposition first and correct any negative “energy” you might have.
It may be the answer.
11. Try to Look at Things from Your Puppy’s Perspective
Often, owners are puzzled by their dog’s stubbornness, mood, or behavior without trying to understand things from his or her point of view.
Your puppy maybe a little sad or upset if you’ve missed his walk a few times in the last few days.
He may be restless because he hasn’t got to play due to all the hours of training.
Shift your point of view from time to time to understand your puppy better.
12. Give Agility Training a Shot
Those who don’t quite know what agility training exactly is, picture one of those doggy circuses/obstacle courses.
This doggy-Olympics-like sport in which all those smart, bundles of energy compete to see who gets everything right – and quickest – through the course is known as Agility.
It’s a brilliant way to teach your puppy exceptional obedience, get him plenty of exercises, and have fun.
But as you probably expect, it’s not easy. You have to invest a lot of time and energy into agility training. And you’ll definitely need some guidance if you’re starting from scratch, such as that provided by Susan Garrett.
Her website has tons of tips, videos, tutorials, and products on how to go about training your dog for agility courses.
If you seriously plan to get your puppy into it, you really should check it out.
13. Keep in Mind that A Dog Experiences the World Much Differently from Us Humans
We all know how powerful a dog’s nose is.
Yet we tend to forget about it a lot of times when dealing with them day-to-day.
Given how different a dog’s senses are from ours, it experiences the world in a vastly different manner.
It’s why dogs sniff around new places, sniff each others’ behinds before making eye contact, and sense something coming from a mile off. Even the way they hear and see things is understandably different from us.
Keeping that in mind can help you understand many things that flew under the radar earlier, such as why your puppy starts barking or whining in individual sections of your walking route.
Please pay attention to how your puppy is sensing things and reacting to them to understand her little world better.
14. Try to Keep Things Interesting for Your Puppy Ever Day
How to train a puppy shouldn’t be all about tasks, commands, and lessons in behavior.
There is other fun, stimulating ways to teach your puppy useful things and harness his instincts for his good.
Playing hunting and seeking games, meeting others at the park, and even seemingly menial things like taking him along with you as you run errands outside help keep his life interesting.
15. Make Sure Everyone in the Family is Involved in Training
This is something crucial but neglected by a surprising number of owners.
Not having everyone at home in on your puppy’s training can be counterproductive.
For instance, if your kids and guests feed your dog off the table, or give him treats and meals at odd times, it can undo much work in training.
Make sure everyone is in on the plans and steps in training, so there are no mistakes or misunderstandings.
How to Train a Puppy with Potty Training Tips
16. Routine is Everything
Without a regular and consistent routine for your puppy’s mealtimes and potty-breaks, training is relatively inefficient.
A routine helps shape your puppy’s internal clock and her habits in sync with each other.
Having a fixed routine helps cut down on accidents and anticipate your puppy’s needs much better.
Additionally, it also helps both you and your puppy learn more about each other quickly.
17. Schedule Potty Breaks Soon After Mealtimes
Considering how small your puppy’s bladder is, having potty breaks 10-15 minutes after meals is usually spot on.
Scheduling when they eat will thus help you control their potty-breaks automatically too, over time.
That’s the power of a routine, again.
18. Meals, Exercise, and Waking Up are Normal Triggers for Puppies to Eliminate
Puppies and dogs in general usually feel the need to eliminate right after eating, drinking, playing/exercising, and waking up from naps.
So make sure you take them for a trip accordingly.
Just scheduling walks according to your puppy’s routine isn’t enough unless you’re regular with them.
19. Being regular and consistent, at least in the initial weeks of training until the routine sinks in for your puppy is essential.
If you miss walks, your puppy is bound to make a mess at home. And every “accident” is a setback in training.
20. Keep a Journal of How to Train a Puppy
This may sound excessive, but recording your puppy’s habits and patterns in some journal is a great help in training.
You can have ready information when you’re drawing up your puppy’s schedule and routine.
You can also see how his habits are evolving as he grows up – so you can adapt training and schedules accordingly.
Lastly, it can be an invaluable reference for your vet in case he ever needs it.
21. Embrace the Den Instinct so Your Puppy is Reluctant to Soil at Home
The “den instinct” refers to a dog’s ingrained reluctance to soil its own home, or “den.”
This is something puppies learn once they’re grown enough that their mother doesn’t need to clean them up. And all dogs generally have it.
So, use it!
Once your puppy realizes your home is her home, too, she would typically not want to eliminate inside.
So making her feel at home gradually, in each area of your house, is an excellent way to curb accidents at home.
22. Be Prepared for Night-time Potty Breaks
Given how small puppies’ bladders are, they can’t be expected to hold it for hours.
That’s why no matter how you schedule things, a bathroom break at night is unavoidable unless you’re prepared to put up with a mess to clean up in the morning.
Make sure to set your alarm every few hours even at night, at least until your puppy grows up.
23. Never Punish Your Puppy Unless You’ve Caught Him in the Act
This is an important one among dog training techniques for housebreaking. As mentioned in this article earlier, dogs, especially puppies, live in the moment.
Therefore, punishing your puppy AFTER making a mess, as many owners do, is pointless, and often harmful instead.
If you merely show them the mess while shouting and punishing them, they’ll probably just come to fear their waste – and you – nothing more.
They won’t understand why you’re scolding them unless you do so while they’re in the act, but then again, they may create the fear of doing the act altogether.
The correct approach is to respond while they’re in the act with an appropriate amount of scolding in terms of volume and tone. Inducing too much fear may be harmful. Many believe a simple “no” is enough to warn a dog that what they’re doing is not appropriate.
24. Repetition is Key: Same Spot, Same Command, Consistent Positive Feedback
Repetition and consistency are the keys to forming a habit. To help speed along with your puppy’s housebreaking, do your best to stick to this mantra.
Go to the same spot for elimination, give the same command every time he eliminates, and provide them with affection and a treat every time he does it right.
25. The Scent from a Designated Spot at Home or Outside Helps Set the Routine
It would help if you had a designated, fixed spot because the lingering scent from the earlier eliminations helps your puppy come to own the place.
Plus, repetition of your command and the whole routine itself forms a concrete habit for your puppy – that he eliminates outside at that spot.
It’s something he will tend to keep doing as he grows up.
If for some reason you’re not comfortable having your dog running around outside, there also electric fences for dogs that prevent them from running too far. Electric dog fences are safe and only give them a nudge while keeping them close and out of the streets from potential dangers.
26. Use Puppy Training Pads at Home While Potty Training as Well as for Emergencies
Not many dog training tips acknowledge this, but having puppy pads at home while you’re housebreaking them can be extremely useful.
Here’s our quick basic step-by-step on puppy pad training. and in case you have cats that use pee pads, here’s our pee pads for cats. Yes, even cats use puppy pads for their emergences.
Good puppy pads can be a life-saver if your puppy keeps creating a mess at home, learning to use a crate, or is alone at home.
Their high absorbency, odor-fighting ability, and secure disposal make a lot of difference.
So keep a stack at home, especially for emergencies. If you’re still having trouble potty training and housebreaking, here’s our best guide on how to housebreak a puppy and how to potty train a puppy.
27. If You’re Away a Lot, Use These Dog Crate Training Tips to Aid Housebreaking
Remember that every accident or mess is a setback in training.
You can’t punish your puppy unless you catch her in the act, and if you’re away, you clearly can’t.
Your puppy won’t realize the error of making messes when no one’s around to punish her.
If you have a full-time job, can’t be around to maintain training, you can choose to crate your puppy to restrict messes to one spot and reduce cleaning.
Training your puppy later, not to mess up the crate, is easier than re-training her for random places.
Also, in maintaining your puppy’s training, you should consider hiring a sitter to see to her needs while you’re gone.
28. Pick the Crate Size with Room Enough for the Particular Breed as an Adult
Unless you want to keep changing crates as your puppy grows up, a roomy crate will be comfortable for them even as a fully grown adult by excellent quality.
You should also consider what KIND of crate to buy – whether wired, soft-sided, or another – depending on how your puppy might like it.
This post by dog.com has a handy guide to determine what size by breed is appropriate if you’re unsure.
Also, if you have a grown dog with your puppy, getting them separate crates is better than having them share.
29. Covering Up a Crate Helps Calm Anxious and Excitable Puppies
Cool How to Train a Puppy Dog Training Tips Alert: A den-like feel to a crate can be really effective to calm a nervy dog.
Should you cover a dog crate with a blanket?
Yes! The darkness and absence of distractions dampen their nervousness or excitability and make them feel secure too.
30. Try Not to Move the Crate Around Just as You Don’t Move Your Bed
Select the right place for the crate and then stick with it as far as possible.
Moving the crate around too much will delay your puppy’s acclimatization to it as the environment keeps changing. You don’t keep changing your bedroom, now, do you?
Try to find a balance between a good company with other people in the room and peace for relaxing and sleeping for your puppy when choosing locations.
31. Don’t Force Your Puppy into the Crate
Forcing your puppy will only cause trouble in training as your puppy will think of it as a prison.
Never use the crate to punish your puppy for avoiding her associating it with negativity. It will only make her miserable each time she uses the crate.
A crate is to be a place of safety and security. Keep that in mind, while you train your puppy.
32. The Best Introduction is to Allow Your Puppy to “Discover and Explore” the Crate
The ideal way to introduce the crate is gradual.
Let your puppy “discover it.” They will slowly explore around inside, sniffing around everywhere, and getting to know it.
To help the process along, place the crate in an area she usually hangs around in. You can also place a few treats and favorite toys inside to lure her.
33. Leave the Door Open for the First Few Times
Don’t shut your puppy in for the initial few days of training lest she feels imprisoned inside.
Leave the door open for them to move in and out freely and give it a safe, accessible feel.
You can start closing the door once she starts using the crate on her own regularly.
34. Remember to Use Praise and other Positive Feedback as Your Puppy Starts Using the Crate
Treat her every time she uses the crate for the initial few days, and every now and then later to reinforce the habit.
If you want to know more, we have 3 benefits of crate training a puppy article here.
35. Get Rid of Excess Energy Beforehand with Exercise or Play
Useful Dog Training Tips Alert: Wearing out your puppy from exercise or play makes it MUCH easier to keep her in.
Try to schedule crate times for right after the play, exercise, and walks as a relaxing session with calming treats.
36. Mealtimes in the Crate Quicken Acceptance
Feeding your puppy their meals inside the crate is another excellent way to make the crate feel like home.
Try to place the food near the end of the crate to have him go all the way. If they’re hesitant, move the bowl gradually from the opening of the crate.
37. Start Closing the Door Only Once Your Puppy Feels Secure Inside
Don’t start closing the door unless your puppy is beginning to feel secure inside the crate.
If she feels imprisoned, all the work you’ve accomplished can be undone in a moment.
In this too, proceed cautiously – closing the door halfway initially in your presence and then completely. Please don’t leave her with the door closed unless she’s comfortable with it in your presence first.
38. Keep it Low-Key
Keep calm and composed both when you’re placing your puppy in the crate, and letting him out.
Making a fuss will only make crating out to be an unusual or abnormal event.
Whenever you praise your puppy for being in the crate do it without fanfare, and briefly.
And if you’re coming home to let him out of the crate, don’t do so immediately. Leave him be for a few moments, and let him out calmly, ignoring any excitement he expresses.
39. Extend Time Inside Only Gradually
Don’t crate your puppy for extended durations from the get-go.
Again, it’ll feel like imprisonment to him.
Keep the door open, and let him move in and out freely for the first few days until you know he’s comfortable.
Once you begin closing the door, hang around for a bit near the crate, and leave the room for a few minutes.
Useful How to Train a Puppy Tips Alert: Don’t open the crate immediately on returning, and wait to indicate that his being inside is normal.
Extend the duration you leave him crated alone in the room little by little as he gets used to it.
You should also let him have his toys and some treats and water in the crate as he stays in longer.
40. Start Using Your Command for Retiring to the Crate Early
Useful How to Train a Puppy Alert: Having a command to have your dog retire into the crate for a while, or until called upon is handy.
It can be really useful when you need your dog out of the way and safe for whatever reasons. It can be visitors, other animals or you leaving the house for a bit.
If you intend to train your dog in it, having it learned right from the start is the best way to go about things.
Say the chosen command – one or two words at the most – every time your puppy enters the crate. And don’t forget to give positive feedback too.
41. Try to Stay Home with Your Puppy for the First Few Days
Until your puppy is properly crate trained, try your best not to leave her alone at home.
This will avoid her associating the crate with abandonment.
If you cannot take time off, consider using a sitter, family member, or friend.
42. If You Don’t Have Your Puppy Use the Crate Consistently, Training is Interrupted
Unless you’re crating your puppy a few times every day, or at least once daily, crate training is difficult.
Crating should be consistent and regular for your puppy to acclimatize quickly.
If it’s only occasional, then any progress made would be interrupted or even lost.
43. Don’t Forget About Your Puppy’s Bladder!
For young pups, crating should be accompanied by frequent bathroom breaks.
Remember their small bladder? Unless you have an easy-to-clean model, messes inside can be a pain to clear up.
And given her den instinct, your puppy would definitely not want to eliminate in or near her resting spot.
Make sure you schedule potty breaks, especially at night.
44. Pick a Quiet Spot if Your Puppy Sleeps in the Crate
If you intend to have your puppy sleep in the crate at night, pick a spot with peace and quiet.
You don’t want your excitable little puppy constantly woken up by sights and sounds and barking away into the night.
45. Start Leaving the House Only After Your Puppy is Fine Being Crated for an Hour
Don’t leave the house with your puppy inside the crate unless he’s okay being in for at least 30-60 minutes.
In any case, you shouldn’t leave your puppy alone beyond his next potty break.
Increase the time you leave him in by about an hour after every 1-2 weeks of training if he’s fine.
Never leave your puppy crated alone for more than 4 hours at a time. Use a sitter or an acquaintance if you have to
Free bonus: Download this entire list as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it for your dog training. Includes 20 bonus tips not included in this post plus free access to The Pack Facebook Group!
Commands and Tricks to Teach Your Dog
46. Teaching New Tricks and Commands Needs Plenty of Rewards
Since tricks and commands are something that doesn’t really come to a dog naturally, you’re going to have to provide plenty of motivation for your puppy to learn them.
That’s why training in tricks and commands is very rewards-oriented.
On the other hand, negative reinforcements – like the excessive punishment-based training in the past – have been found to do much more harm than good.
So make sure you reward your puppy with treats and affection with every bit of progress to help reinforce what your pup learned.
47. Different Dogs are Motivated by Different Things – Find the Best For Yours
Like each dog has a different personality, they also have different motivations. And the same reward may motivate two dogs to different degrees, too.
Get to know what your puppy loves best – treats, affection, playtime, even what kind of treats or games – and use it to best motivate him in training.
48. Find a Peaceful Place Free From Distractions For Training
For the initial few days training your puppy in a single location that’s free from distractions that’ll steal his attention.
Remember that tricks and commands don’t come naturally to a dog, so you’ll need his full attention if you are to get anywhere at all in the training.
Once your puppy has got the gist of the trick or command and gets it right a few times, you should start varying the location.
This is so that he doesn’t get the idea that the trick or command is only to be done at that first spot.
49. Puppies are the Quickest Learners
Do you know how you learned the quickest back when you were a kid?
Well, it’s the same with dogs.
It’s best to begin training them when they’re still puppies, especially if it’s stuff like tricks and commands.
This is one of the more obvious dog training techniques. But many owners tend to neglect to be regular with training early on, and then go on to lament how their dogs aren’t listening or are slow to learn later.
50. Reward Your Puppy Immediately
Since your puppy has a short attention span, reinforcing good behavior – or in this case progress in training – means immediate feedback.
You must let your puppy know right away that he’s doing well.
So make sure you are prompt with praise and reward whenever your puppy does a trick right or responds well to a command.
51. …But Then, Rewarding Too Frequently Can be Counterproductive
This is the flip side of it – reward your puppy too often, and she will get accustomed to it enough to expect it every time.
You need to be regular and consistent with rewards, yes.
But once your puppy has learned the trick or command, you should gradually tail off on how much you’re rewarding her.
You don’t want a pampered brat on your hands, do you?
52. Go for Basic Commands First Before Progressing to Others
This is another obvious but oft-ignored one among dog training tips, but establishing the basics first is always the best way.
What do we mean by basics in case of tricks and commands? Simple commands like “Sit”, Stay”, “Come” and “Heel”.
Apart from being important generally, once your puppy has these commands, you can use them as a foundation to learn more.
Tricks, especially, can be broken down into simpler commands as you’re teaching your puppy for the first time.
So try to progress in order of difficulty to make training simpler and more effective for both you and your puppy.
53. How to Train a Puppy Using the Clicker Technique to Speed Up Learning
Using a clicker to teach your puppy is a highly effective way to go about training her if she takes to it.
A clicker is a small device with metal tongues that make a clicking sound when you press the button on it.
You can get a clicker made for training dogs in almost any well-stocked pet store.
However, be aware that not all dogs like the sound it makes.
So if you find your puppy doesn’t like it even after a few tries, it would be best to try another method least this is counterproductive.
Then again, you need not use sound alone as the basis for clicker techniques.
Check out these wonderful innovations the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund suggests alternatives for training hearing-impaired pooches that you can nonetheless apply to your own.
How to train a puppy with the clicker technique?
The clicker technique uses the clicking as a sort of reward. Since your puppy doesn’t understand what you’re saying, you can train her to understand the click as positive feedback.
Once you establish this, it can really speed up training and also be used generally to indicate good behavior, like you’ll find out later.
54. Transition From the Clicker to Commands and even Mere Gestures
The clicker technique uses a clear sound cue for your dog to indicate good behavior or correct response.
But if you start using the clicker along with visual cues such as specific gestures and commands, your puppy will learn to do them on cue.
To graduate eventually to merely the gesture or command, you have to use them consistently with the clicker initially.
Also, make sure you use the same gesture or command each time, or you won’t make much progress.
55. The Clicker Technique Can Also Be Used to Reinforce Good Behavior
Here’s one more from our bag of handy dog training tips: apart from its use in training new tricks and commands, the clicker technique is convenient in general too.
For example, it can be used to reinforce good behavior in your puppy.
Once your puppy understands the clicking as a sign of approval from you, you can use the clicker for other instances when your puppy shows good behavior.
For example, you are using the clicker when your puppy is sitting quietly or lying down in a guest’s presence, or at dinner time.
56. Always Try to End on a Good Note to Reinforce Whatever was Learnt
This comes as an extension of the advice on relying more on positive feedback.
Ending a training session on a high, with a repeat of an already mastered track or step, followed by plenty of praise and reward.
Ending positively helps reinforce whatever your puppy learned in the session and makes him look forward to more later.
57. Consider Using Some of the Tools Specially Made for Teaching Tricks
The variety of stuff available nowadays for dog owners to help raise and train their dogs boggles the mind.
Interactive indestructible dog toys are really becoming popular with dog owners these days.
And apart from helping engage a bored dog, some are also useful in training.
How to Stop Puppy Biting
58. Understand Your Puppy’s Urge to Bite Before Trying to Correct It
Many people don’t fully understand why a dog might bite.
Owners tend to dismiss it as playfulness or being territorial.
But it could well be another reason, understanding which can help you both correct the behavior and help your puppy.
Usually, dogs bite for one of five reasons:
- The dog is being territorial or possessive – a common reason
- A dog’s instinct to hunt or chase prey – like when they chase at vehicles or joggers
- The dog is in pain due to a wound or sickness and doesn’t want contact
- The dog is afraid and is trying to protect itself
- A female dog trying to protect her litter, which may be hidden from sight
Also, puppies tend to get into biting while teething, as we explain in this article how to stop puppy from biting.
Once you know why exactly your puppy is engaging in unreasonable biting, you will choose the right method to go about correcting it.
59. Starting Early is Important if Your Puppy is a Habitual Biter
Usually, puppies learn quickly that biting too much and too hard is unacceptable from other dogs in their group.
Puppies’ mouth, snap and nip each other in play, and whenever they bite too hard or too much, the other let them know immediately.
So if your puppy has not corrected her bad biting habits, you must ensure that you take care of it while still a pup. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, grown dogs take more time to learn and also correct behavior.
Especially when it comes to biting out of possessive or territorial behavior, it’s crucial to correct it early before it develops into really dangerous aggression.
And once your puppy grows up, the biting could get nastier, and even land you both in trouble.
60. Focus on Teaching Commands for Letting Go and Leaving
Obvious dog training tips alert:
If your puppy is a bitter, make sure you say the “Leave” or “Let Go” command is one of the first you teach.
Additionally, you want to have most of the basics drilled perfectly, especially “Stay” and “Heel” for dealing with hairy situations on walks, etc.
61. Play a Lot More Games that Don’t Involve Contact
Let your puppy know that other fun games don’t involve biting.
Fetch and tug of war are some friendly games that don’t require contact with your puppy’s teeth.
Merely going on a run is also a fun exercise that you can invest in for a biting puppy.
However, when playing tug of war or other such games, take care that the aggression doesn’t get out of hand.
While running, keep your puppy alongside you and not behind, so there’s no “chasing” happening.
62. Punish Your Puppy through Timeouts When He Bites While Playing
Dog training tips to curb biting mostly make your puppy aware that the behavior is unacceptable.
You have to teach your puppy that biting is unacceptable, the realization won’t come on its own.
When it comes to biting during play, take a timeout whenever your puppy starts biting during play. Or even otherwise getting rough with you.
Dogs and especially puppies have a strong need for good social bonds. Things like ignoring and isolating them make an impact.
So you can show your displeasure by ignoring your puppy or pausing the game for a minute or so. If you need a more in-depth guide see tips here on how to stop a puppy from biting.
63. Whenever Your Puppy Bites Make a High-Pitched Sound Indicating You’re Hurt
This is another good one among how to train puppy tips for curbing biting.
Making a high-pitched sound mimics the yelping sound puppies and dogs make on getting hurt.
The sound usually surprises them and makes them let go.
If the yelping alone doesn’t work, combine it with timeouts to make your puppy understand better.
64. Make it Clear That Even Soft Bites Are Unacceptable
For serial biters, especially, any form of biting – even soft nipping – must be discouraged and stopped before adulthood.
This should be true for any dog and not just puppies who like biting.
Even soft biting as a habit can draw some adverse reactions from other people or animals, as the case may be. But more importantly, initially, your puppy won’t distinguish much between hard and soft bites.
It would be better to lower your tolerance for biting, in general, to reinforce the behavior better.
65. Encourage Interaction with Other Dogs as Much as Possible
Interaction isn’t a trendy one among dog training tips to stop biting.
Owners tend to prevent their biting puppies from interacting with others as far as possible. But as mentioned earlier, puppies normally learn proper biting manners from their mother, siblings, or others in the group.
Younger playmates may yelp or ignore them, while older ones may go beyond a sharp nip of their own or a whack across the snout.
Either way, socializing is a powerful way to learn and reinforce good behavior.
So monitored playtime with others in a dog park, with known friendly dogs, is a constructive way to fix biting.
But make sure your puppy isn’t overwhelmed in social situations, and monitor interactions closely.
66. Use a Bone or Chew Toy to Distract and Redirect Biting
You can use bones and chew toys to both correct biting behavior, and discourage it.
Substituting your hands for a bone or toy during play should let your puppy know that she’s not allowed to bite hands.
And also, many puppies tend to engage in biting or chewing out of pure boredom, especially when they’re teething.
So handing them a tasty bone, or an interesting toy instead is a good way to wear them out.
67. Apply Taste Deterrents on Your Skin Before Play
This is becoming a popular method for dog training tips to stop puppy biting.
Apply a taste deterrent to your hands or other parts your puppy likes nipping at before you play with her.
Apply them on your clothes, too, where she likes to bite, else she’ll just start going for the clothed areas.
These can be simple stuff available at home like vinegar or tea tree oil.
Make sure to pause play whenever she nips at you so she can get a nice taste. And then praise/reward her when she releases you.
68. Make Sure Your Puppy Gets Enough Play and Exercise
Since biting can often stem from boredom or a lack of exercise, ensure that it isn’t so!
Getting your puppy plenty of exercise and playtime will also wear him out.
A relatively tired puppy will engage in lesser rough play and bite than one brimming with energy.
69. Using a Dog Muzzle
If your puppy has a true penchant for biting and making slow progress in training, using a muzzle is also a good idea.
But you should absolutely never consider it as a complete safety measure. They don’t always work.
Petexpertise.com has some great dog training tips related to muzzle use that you should read before using a muzzle.
70. A Handy Spray Bottle is a Great Way to Correct Biting Immediately
Handy dog training tips alert!
In some cases, carrying around a spray bottle full of water to deter persistent biters can be an effective method too.
For instance – if your puppy likes to nip at your ankles as you walk by, or while following you around.
A surprising spray of water to the face can be a real jolt of corrective punishment, without being harmful.
However, this can only work if your puppy is the type who dislikes the experience. Believe it or not, some dogs enjoy it.
Also, if you’re not consistent with the punishment, or prompt – there is no point to it.
71. Consider Using a Trainer if You Have Children at Home or Don’t Have Much Time
Biting can be a really dangerous habit for a dog.
Unless you see good progress with your puppy in training, you should really consider using professional help.
This is especially true for owners living with family, especially little kids.
A certified dog trainer might be your best bet in such a situation.
Also, do make sure your puppy is properly vaccinated by your vet.
How To Train A Puppy To Be Less Aggressive
72. Recognizing the Signs of Aggression Early
An aggressive dog can be fearsome to deal with.
Understanding and recognizing signs of aggression early on is key to dealing with it in a safe, effective manner.
Growling and bared teeth are obvious ones. But there are subtleties to it.
Signs of aggression will vary with the cause, whether fear, pain, being territorial, or otherwise. For instance, in case of fear signs like the ears held flat against the head, a lowered tail and avoiding eye contact are good indicators.
In contrast, territorial aggression signs include a high tail, intense eye contact, and pointed ears.
Also, things like freezing upon your touch can be an indicator too. Sit Means Sit has a great article here that talks exclusively about signs of aggression in dogs that you should read.
73. Understand the Reason Behind Your Dog’s Aggression
Just as you should recognize early the signs of aggression in your dog, understanding the reasons behind the aggression is also crucial for correction, and it has roots, which are pretty much identical to the ones we spoke of while dealing with biting.
Dog aggression could stem from:
- The dog being territorial or possessive
- A dog’s instinct to hunt or chase prey
- Pain due to a wound or sickness
- A female dog trying to protect her litter, which may be hidden from sight. Depending on the root cause of the aggression, your approach will naturally differ in fixing it. On the contrary with a fearful dog, you will work on making him feel secure about food and protection around others.
Another thing to bear in mind is to judge how bad the problem is. For example, territorial dogs can be tough to deal with in some cases, and sometimes insecure dogs have the worst biting issues.
It’s highly recommended that you consult your vet and a dog training professional to help out in such extreme cases.
74. Being Consistent with the Schedule is Important
Having a regular, daily schedule for mealtimes and consistently enforcing it is a fundamental step in dealing with food aggression.
As mentioned in our previous article on dog training tips regarding food aggression in dogs:
Dogs that are aggressive about their food are usually very insecure about losing it. Such a schedule where they know precisely when and how much food they’ll get will help with such insecurity.
Feeding your puppy after a session of fun and games, or a nice brisk walk is ideal. It’s akin to their need or instinct to “hunt” for their food and helps release their pent-up energy. If you have a dog that has too much resource guarding here’s how to stop resource guarding for dogs.
75. Always Try to Feed After Play or Exercise
Feeding your puppy after play or exercise is ideal.
However, giving treats is better than feeding them to avoid stomach bloating. It is advisable to wait at least 30 minutes before giving them their food.
So, if you have set the schedule for their meal, you should plan ahead of time to let them run or go for a walk.
76. How to Train a Puppy to “Stay” Before, and While You Serve Food
Make it a habit to command “sit” or “stay” and have your puppy obey calmly until the food is served.
If they try to walk towards you as you lay the bowl, raise the bowl and command sit until they have remained seated after the food is laid. It would also be helpful to say “eat,” “okay,” or “go” to let them know they can eat.
Having your puppy hover around – jumping and dog barking for no reason only encourages indiscipline and aggression as you fill her bowl.
77. Assert Your Position by Eating First
Always ensure that you eat first. One of the rules of a troop, a group of lions, the male lions will eat first to signify its strength and pride.
Feeding your puppy before or while you’re eating indulges him.
And it could also encourage him to try and assert himself through aggression if he doesn’t get his way.
78. Stay With the Bowl As Your Puppy Feeds
As much as possible, stand right near your puppy’s feeding bowl as she feeds.
This will get her used to your presence and eventually remove her insecurity. Over time, you can have other family members stand in turn to develop a general tolerance.
Although through classical conditioning, your presence may be associated with a negative response. It’s crucial to ensure that your presence is safe and secure, and occasionally, you talk to your dog while you stay helps.
79. Hand Feed as Much as Possible in Early Days
The hands-on approach is a great method among dog training tips for dealing with food aggression.
It’s also, in fact, a good method among dog training tips to deal with biting, too.
Handle your puppy’s food early on in her life, and feed her directly from your hands.
Also, make it a point to pet your dog a little while she’s eating.
Having the scent of your hands around her face and in her feeding bowl from early on is a great way to make her feel secure with people around her food.
80. How to Train a Puppy with Bribe with Treats
Use your puppy’s weakness for tasty treats to bribe your way near his food bowl.
In fact, toss a treat to him every time he exhibits good behavior related to his food.
It can be sitting calmly while you serve, or it can just be letting random people be near the bowl.
Treating him for letting go of his bone, or allowing you to remove his bowl – food or no food – are other things you can try.
81. Switch to Tastier Food During Meals
Try switching your puppy’s regular dog food for a few tasty treats mid-meal.
This will encourage him into thinking that people touching his bowl not necessarily a bad thing. And, if you have a bulldog breed we’ve got insights on the best puppy food you’ll want to read before buying dog food.
82. Holding Back Food
Another great one to try among dog training tips for fixing food aggression is to try feeding bit by bit.
Don’t serve him all his food at once, but split it into morsels and give them one at a time.
Once he’s done with some, wait for him to ask for more.
And don’t serve the food unless he sits calmly and lets you handle the bowl.
83. The First Rule in Face of Dog Aggression is to Project and Act Calm
Showing your fear or tension is one of the worst ways to react in the face of dog aggression.
Screaming, yelling, rapid movement, or acting aggressive, in turn, will only put you in more danger.
Even if you don’t feel it, do your utmost to act in a calm, cool manner.
Stand your ground, and try to appear non-confrontational and unconcerned.
Try to reduce your exposure by slowly standing more sideways than facing it directly.
Try to hide any intensity you feel towards the dog and instead try to convert it into calm alertness.
When the dog understands that you’re neither a threat nor a pushover, he will eventually back off.
84. Have Something On Hand to Distract the Dog With
Of course, you can’t always be prepared for a random encounter with an aggressive dog.
Nevertheless, it’s a useful one among dog training tips to deal with aggression to keep in mind.
If you’re carrying anything like a stick or an umbrella, don’t wave it around threateningly.
That will worsen things. Instead, slowly hold it out, not directly in front of the dog, appear more significant, and a more intimidating target.
85. Follow Protocols with Introductions
It would help if you always kept in mind that rules are of utmost importance to a dog.
Therefore, using dog training tips for avoiding aggression, still suggest that when bringing a new dog home, an owner must respect due order.
If there’s already a dog at home, they must not feel insecure in the new dog’s presence.
So lead the older dog first, and the new dog last in everything, including feeding and walks.
This is at least until both are comfortable with each other.
Understand their natures – whether dominant or submissive – and tailor their treatment relative to each other accordingly to avoid conflict.
86. Introducing a New Member Takes Time
One of the best dog training tips to avoid conflict is to let the dogs take their time getting to know each other.
Give them ample time to hang out and get used to each other through sound, long walks together.
Forcing one or the other to dominate through preferential treatment, or some vague understanding about their relationship can mess things up.
Dogs are socially intelligent. Leave them to it, and only step in to avoid or break up any conflicts.
87. Break-Up Dog Fights in a Calm, Authoritative Manner
Like with dog training tips to deal with aggressive dogs, breaking up a dog fight requires composure.
You must project yourself as the calm, collected owner before inserting yourself in their midst.
The key is not to create a ruckus and step in confidently pull the more intense dog up and back by the collar from the neck’s back.
88. Don’t Isolate Fighting Dogs for Long
One of the critical things to take away from dog training tips for avoiding conflicts is that you must remember that you are in charge and that dealing with disputes is delicate.
Isolating fighting dogs from each other isn’t more than a temporary solution. One dog fight doesn’t make for a disaster, but your reaction to it can. When encountering a dog fight, the first step is to break it up quickly and calmly.
The crucial thing is to get them used to each other and tolerate each other’s presence. However, it’s vital to remove any potential triggers, such as toys and food.
Putting limitations, boundaries, and establishing rules are essential.
89. Don’t Hesitate to Get Help from a Professional Trainer
If you cannot resolve conflicts between your dogs on your own, do not hesitate to get professional help especially when you have kids and elderly family members at home.
How to Train a Puppy to Stop Chewing Everything
90. Don’t Discourage Chewing When Your Puppy is Teething
A teething puppy can’t really help itself, and banning her from chewing entirely during this phase is frankly harsh.
Chewing on stuff helps relieve a puppy during this phase, and can’t really be stopped altogether.
Instead, owners should focus on redirecting their puppies’ attention away from household objects and onto chew toys and the like.
91. How do I get my dog to stop chewing and eating everything?
Have chew toys in reach wherever your puppy hangs out.
A chewy puppy can be a real force of nature and will determinedly seek out anything he can sink his brand new teeth into.
To learn how to train a puppy with smart dog training tips and deal with chewy pups, you would call for something like keeping chew toys on hand.
Just make sure they’re not flimsy enough to break apart and be ingested by your scrappy little charge.
Beef or rawhide bones are things that people think nothing of when giving to dogs.
But they can easily disintegrate and lodge in your puppy’s throat and create a disastrous situation.
92. Keep Anything Precious and Not Chew-Proof Out of Reach
The second key step in the smart dog training tips against chewy pups dictates that owners keep anything and everything precious to them that is not an expendable chew toy completely out of reach of their puppies.
Keep them at a height he can’t possibly reach, and place chews toy baits all around to occupy his attention instead.
Make sure you put away everything small, toxic, or otherwise harmful to your puppy.
Also, take good measures to prevent your puppy’s contact with electrical wiring and fixtures he may be able to chew on.
Better safe than sorry.
93. Choose Toys that Can Hold Treats to Hold Her Interest
Chew toys that can hold stuff like tasty dog biscuits and peanut butter on the inside.
These should hold your chewy pal’s attention better as he tries to chew his way to the treat inside.
94. Redirect That Energy into Play and Exercise – Wear Your Puppy Out
Plenty of exercise and play during this phase is also an effective method recommended among dog training tips against excessive chewing.
A puppy tired out from play and exercise will have less energy to burn on mindless chewing.
95. Provide Enough Attention and Love
Chewing as a habit sometimes develops as a side-effect of anxiety, insecurity, fear, or simply boredom.
Check on your puppy regularly, and see that he has everything he needs so he feels safe and secure.
Lots of games, love, and attention from you and your family members will also keep his mind off things, chewing included.
96. Crating When You’re Not Around
Puppies can be really cunning little brats when it comes to good behavior.
They might behave well in their owners’ presence knowing that they’ll probably be rewarded with treats. Or at the very least – love and praise.
But the moment you step out of the house, they leave a trail of chewy destruction.
If that sounds much like your own puppy, try crating her when you’re stepping out.
Crating is a good option as it’ll confine her in a limited area to stop her from making a mess of the whole house.
You can’t even punish her on our return since punishing dogs after the fact does no good whatsoever.
She probably won’t like it very much, and maybe even make a mess inside the crate.
But at least things will stay intact upon your return.
97. Have Your Vet Do a Check-Up
This one’s one of those common-sense tips that unfortunately elude many people.
Chewing can also be caused by a number of underlying medical conditions, including nutritional deficiencies, parasites, and stomach illnesses.
If you have a chewy puppy, have your vet examine him to make sure such possibilities are crossed off the list.
98. Correct Inappropriate Chewing by Scolding Firmly and Redirecting
We’ve mentioned the harmful, often long-lasting effects of negative correction a number of times here.
Hitting, yelling, and other harsh measures work the same way in case of excessive chewing too.
Instead of punishments that frighten your puppy and confuse her, try being calm but firm with your scolding, and redirecting your pup’s attention to chew toys.
99. Use Taste Deterrents When Your Puppy is Persistent
To counter excessive chewing also increasingly suggest using harmless taste deterrents.
Taste deterrents like the ones mentioned in tip #12 in the section for dog training tips to prevent biting can be applied to certain objects that your puppy compulsively chews on any chance he gets.
For instance, applying a layer of vinegar or citronella oil (if it doesn’t stain) on your favorite shoe.
Your puppy will drop it like a hot cake.
BONUS TIPS: How to Train a Puppy to Walk on a Leash
100. Get Your New Puppy Used to the Collar and Leash as Soon as Possible
Anyone would take a bit of time to get used to a collar around their neck.
For a puppy, too, it will probably take up to a few days for him to be accustomed to wearing a collar.
Use rewards aplenty to help along with his familiarization with the collar and leash.
Make your puppy wear the collar for a little while collar every day.
Initially, he will not like it, but after struggling to remove it he will eventually resign and accept it.
Increase the duration of time as he tries fiddling around with it for shorter durations.
It’s the same on a leash. Once your puppy gets used to the collar, start latching on the leash as well.
Let your puppy play around with the leash initially and wear out his curiosity. It’s bound to become an everyday mundane object to him eventually.
101. Use a Harness to Prevent Pulling
This is an important one to keep in mind how to train a puppy and dog training tips for walking.
Using the right collar to start with that best helps communicate corrections is important.
Correct your puppy to behave right during walks from the get-go, so learns everything by the time he’s grown up.
It’s like we’ve said in this article on how to leash train a dog.
The best collars to use are the kinds that keep the leash attachment or slip, at the top of the neck.
Keeping it in that position best communicates any corrections you need to make through the leash.
102. Start with Walking Around at Home
Initially, it’s a good idea to practice leash walking at home, in your backyard or garden.
Like a safety net.
Get your puppy used to your holding onto him through the leash first. Play a sort of “follow game” in turns with you holding the leash, or hold onto the leash while he plays around.
Use rewards liberally to indicate good behavior right from the start.
103. Focus on the Follow and Heel Commands
When teaching your puppy basic commands, make sure you also teach the all-important “Follow” and “Heel” commands as well.
These two commands in particular, as well as “Sit”, “Stay” and “Leave It” can be vital in situations that come up during walks.
PetWave has a nice tutorial here on teaching your puppy the “Heel” command.
Also, take a look at this useful article on teaching your puppy to follow you by dog time.
You should try hard to get your puppy to master these basic commands before he’s all grown up and harder to control on walks. If you want more essential commands see our 5 top dog commands to use.
104. Begin Practicing Other Obedience Commands While on Walks
Have your puppy also practice other commands such as “Sit”, “Leave” or “Down” during breaks while walking.
Do this after your puppy has at least learned and practiced the command enough during home training.
Once you’ve learned how to train a puppy, your puppy understands the command, using the leash for corrections, and treats and extra stops during walks are great ways to reinforce what she has learned at home.
Besides, teaching your puppy to respond well to commands includes having them obey in all kinds of circumstances and locations.
105. Exhibit a Calm and Assertive Manner Throughout the Walk
This is probably the most crucial rule to follow among dog training tips for walking.
It’s probably more important to project calmness and assertiveness on walks than most other situations since you’re in public.
Always be mindful of your own state and mannerisms during the walk since they’re virtually infectious as far as your dog is concerned.
Appearing flustered, giving in to your puppy’s to stop and explore as much as she wants, allowing her to lead, shouting, etc – these are all major don’ts.
And always walk either completely in front, or better, slightly ahead of your puppy on walks.
As the trainer, you have to lead her first and not the other way round.
And keep this mentality for a little while even after the walk as you come home, unleash and wind-down. Have your puppy sit or lie down calmly throughout.
And if you keep having trouble leading your puppy, or she keeps misbehaving despite your best efforts, have someone – preferably a professional trainer – monitor your walk to point out what you’re doing possibly getting wrong.
106. Be Aware of Stray Dogs on the Route
A good recon of the route you’re trying to decide on for your walks is a good way to avoid possible trouble.
Stray dogs are a common flashpoint during walks. So do our best to find a route that doesn’t have any.
In some cases, you can’t possibly avoid encountering stray dogs. All you can do is keep a good eye out for them and be prepared for possible encounters.
107. Use Short, Firm Corrections to Maintain the Pace
Leash corrections are important, part of training your puppy to walk properly.
But it’s also important you get them right otherwise, you can end up seriously harming both the training and your puppy’s health too.
Corrections should be quick and short. Never pull or drag on the leash to punish your puppy – imagine the experience.
Your pull should be more of a slight tug, but not using a lot of strength so as to injure your pup’s throat. You’re just refocusing her energy and attention back into the walk.
108. Try to Read Other Dogs and Their Walkers Ahead of Time
You often tend to meet other dog walkers with their charges on your route.
And sometimes, these can lead to confrontation when either your pup or the other dog isn’t trained completely.
So do your best to read both the dog walker’s body language as well as that of the dog’s ahead of meeting up.
If for instance there are signs like the dog lunging and pulling often without the walker able to exert much control, it’s best you take a detour or step away to avoid them altogether.
109. Have Provisions Like Water and Treats on Hand
Always try to keep a bottle of water and a few treats in hand before you set off.
A well-paced walk is exhilarating for both of you, but can also be strenuous.
Dogs can become “overheated” during a long walk, so to have some water on hand for cooling down is a good idea.
Treats, of course, are meant as a reward for good behavior. So keep them with you, at least during the initial weeks of training.
How to Take Care of a Dog Diet & Wellness
110. Make Sure You’re Getting a Good, Healthy Brand of Food
Pay attention to the quality of puppy food brands you’re buying – that they have the required certifications, are nutritionally balanced, and provide enough for your puppy’s daily nutritional needs.
A good idea is to run this by your vet, so he can advise you on the brands he considers to be good based on his professional opinion.
Find reliable sources of reviews for the brands you’re considering, and read the labels to see if there aren’t any potentially harmful ingredients like poultry by-products.
111. Your Pup Should Have Plenty of Water to Drink All Day
A lot of owners regularly fill up their puppies’ food bowl like clockwork. But then they might forget to refill the water bowl which may dry up without their noticing it.
Enough water intake is also really important to maintain one’s health, energy, and general well-being.
And the bundles of playful naughtiness that puppies are, they need to drink plenty of water too.
112. Wash the Food and Water Bowls Daily
How often do you reuse your plate or bowl without giving it a thorough wash?
It’s surprising how much this is neglected, however, when it comes to our pets’ feeding bowls.
Do give their bowls a good wash, if not every day, then at least once every couple of days.
113. When Switching Brands or the Diet, Go Slow
Switching suddenly and entirely to a diet with different kinds of food, or even a brand with the same type of food can upset your puppy’s digestion.
If you know your puppy to have a sensitive stomach, or if they’re a picky eater, you really must take it nice and slow when changing the diet or search for sensitive stomach dog food.
It’s something we’ve talked about in our dog training tips on dealing with a dog won’t eat.
It would help if you generally fed your puppy a mix of the old and new food. Start with a mix with three parts of the old food, and one part of the new.
Work your way up to a 50:50 ratio, then a 1:3 ratio in favor of the new and when your puppy adjusts to each mix. Here’s a more definitive guide to knowing how much to feed a puppy.
The best way to check if your puppy’s system has adjusted is to check his poop. If it’s firm (not too hard), that means his stomach is delicate.
If it’s loose, you probably need a few more days with the mix or the previous version. Let your puppy feed on the mix he’s adjusted to for at least a day or so before further progress.
114. Keep Table Scraps and Other Human Food at a Minimum
Mixing too much human food into your puppy’s diet can do real harm.
Sugar, certain cereals, and fruits, spices, etc. not things a dog usually eats. And some of them are even toxic to them.
If you plan to feed your puppy some form of human food on a regular basis, make sure you check with your vet if it’s alright.
And if your puppy has a habit of begging at the table for scraps, don’t give in!
Check out these simple dog training tips to deal with dog begging at the table to fix the problem.
115. How Much to Feed a Puppy: Getting Your Pup’s Weight Checked Regularly
Be regular about checking your puppy’s weight as he’s growing up to see that it’s at a healthy level.
Weird shifts in weight in puppies, especially, can be really dangerous.
Since she’s growing, your puppy’s weight should really increase on a dailybasis, even if she’s always generally skinny.
Their muscle and bone mass must increase to keep healthy.
Here’s our guide to how much should my dog eat will tell you how to keep tabs on your puppy’s Body Conditioning Score, as well as provide other dog training tips to help keep her at a healthy weight.
Dog Health and Dog Grooming Tips
116. Brush and Groom Your Puppy’s Coat Every 2-3 Days
Brush your puppy’s coat and pick out any gunk or mud-caked in there to keep both his fur and skin nice and healthy.
Brushing and grooming even their nails with a dog nail grinder can also help you check for any nail and skin problems your puppy might have that you couldn’t see earlier, such as unexplained lumps, lesions, or the like.
If you have a bulldog breed, we have the ultimate best brush for dogs guide.
It also improves circulation and keeps their skin healthy by “letting it breathe”.
117. Check for Ticks and Fleas Regularly
You may come across these pests in the process of brushing and general grooming anyway or see signs of them as trails of black “flea dirt” in the fur.
But merely picking them off your puppy isn’t nearly enough.
If your puppy is a victim of a flea infestation, there are several steps you must take, including a nice long flea bath, cleaning up her bedding, crate, and other areas, and taking steps to kill or expel fleas in the house in general.
Using a flea collar can also help while your dog is being treated, here’s our best flea collar guide that will help you decide which collar is best for your puppy. Alternatively, you can try these tips to get rid of fleas naturally.
118. Weekly Dental Care
Regular dental care, unfortunately, isn’t something too many dogs have the privilege of receiving.
Apart from keeping their gums and teeth healthy, it also keeps at bay other problems like bad breath and even stomach illnesses that occur due to germs in the mouth.
The key to maintaining good oral hygiene in dogs is to start early.
Start brushing your puppy’s teeth every day, or at least 2-3 times a week as soon as you bring him home.
Do it regularly enough and it’ll become a habit – something tough to achieve with older dogs.
If you prefer not to brush your dog teeth, give them dog chew toys that help their teeth or alternatives such as dental chews for dogs.
119. Don’t Neglect the Ears
Ear infections don’t occur often, but when they do they can be really painful and disorienting for your puppy.
Treating these isn’t always easy, or painless.
So how does one go about preventing them from occurring?
Simple, regular cleaning of the ears is the answer. Please keep it clean of dirt, grime, or other gunk, and check that the insides have a healthy, standard color.
If you see your puppy is experiencing some pain or discomfort in her ear(s), don’t hesitate to consult your vet. Thorough cleaning and treatment of an infected ear is a delicate task that needs proper care and technique.
120. Get Your Puppy Checked for Worms Regularly
For dogs, often their nose and mouth are more of a window to the world than any of their other senses.
The mouth, bite, lick, chew, and sniffle at anything and everything around them.
But all this also makes them highly susceptible to host a whole array of parasites, including worms. If you don’t know which dewormer to use see our guide for the best dewormer for dogs.
Virtually all dogs play hosts to worms at some point or other in their lives, and the parasites affect their digestion and health to various degrees.
Since dogs interact with each other so much, they’re also easily passed on from one to another while they interact.
121. Give Your Puppy a Bath at Least Once a Month
Aah, doggy bathing…
Like a lot of owners, you might dread bathing day about as much as your puppies.
Forcing a squealing whirl of fur and claws into the bath while getting drenched may not be pleasant for everyone.
But it is essential to keep your puppy healthy and clean. And it’s important you are regular with it every month with the best dog shampoo.
However, depending on the dog breed like bulldogs you may need to bath them at least twice a month. If you have a wrinkle dog, cleaning your dog wrinkles thoroughly to prevent an infection.
You’ll also want to try to get dog tear stains around the eyes. The stain can build up and later worst to remove. If your dog stains are hard to remove with regular bathing dog tear stain removers are a great option.
But if you really get inventive, bathing doesn’t have to be very tedious. In fact, it could even be fun! We have more tips on puppy bathing if you want more fun and helpful ways to give your pup a bath.
122. See That Your Puppy’s Shelter is Adequate
If you plan to house your puppy outside in a kennel or crate, the warmth and security of their interiors shouldn’t lack.
Also, your puppy should have enough food and water for the time he’s to stay in the kennel or crate. Here’s your answer to know how much water should a puppy drink.
And as far as it’s possible, try not to chain or leash your puppy. If he gets into a heightened state of excitement for any reason, he may be in danger of choking himself in your absence.
123. Your Puppy Should Get Plenty of Exercise and Play
Everyone understands that their dog needs good exercise and playtime.
But it’s easy to get it wrong despite that.
The amount of exercise a dog needs could depend on many things – breed, personality, lifestyle, even the climate.
If you live in cold regions your puppy may be more mobile than other dogs in her efforts to keep warm.
Similarly, larger breeds like Mastiffs naturally need a proportionate amount of exercise, as do breeds with heightened prey drives or hunting instincts, such as Retrievers and Bloodhounds. Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercises to build stronger legs to help prevent old dog back legs collapsing later down the age.
On the other hand, a Shih Tzu or a Chihuahua might be happy with a couple of short walks a day.
So figure out your puppy’s needs and also check with your vet if she’s getting enough exercise.
When to Take Dog to Vet
124. Choose a Good Vet You Can Trust in the Long Term
This is one of the more important tips in our Ultra-Mega dog training tips compendium.
Preparing a vet visit to the vet you choose for your new puppy obviously has a major bearing on his health for years to come.
You will need your dog’s documents ready when you are traveling with dogs to the vet.
And frequently changing vets is also not a good idea, as the care and attention a good vet can give over years can be really amazing.
So be thorough and choosy when selecting the right vet for the job.
Dig into everything you can get your hands on their credentials, reviews from the internet or publications, their specializations, and their capabilities in terms of surgeries and other procedures.
It’s a good idea to check them out with a general consult, even if your puppy is in the best of health.
Whether you’re comfortable consulting the vet and how he or she handles your puppy is also really important, and a visit can establish these.
125. Have All the Important Medical Records Ready on File
The medical records you keep for your puppy can significantly impact her health and well-being later.
Things like records from the puppy’s first medical check-up, records of the puppy’s parents, and certifications about the breed are vital documentation that you should maintain appropriately throughout.
If you’ve adopted the puppy, insist on getting her and the parents’ medical records from the previous owners or shelter.
Also, maintain a detailed journal of your visits to the vet that includes any advice or tips he gives you to raise the puppy.
The first appointment with the vet is particularly essential. That’s when you learn the most about how to raise and care for your puppy. So having a record of the appointment and the things you learned can be extremely useful.
Keeping a journal, as suggested in this article, recording your puppy’s schedule, habits, and general health can be a real help for both you and your vet later. Especially diagnosing any conditions, or tracking your puppy’s health as she grows up.
126. Keep the Appointments with the Vet
Taking care of your puppy also means being regular with his appointments with the vet.
The first full health check-up when they’re about 6 weeks old, and the annual vaccinations and check-ups are particularly important for the vet to monitor your puppy’s health and medical needs.
The vet, apart from important stuff like checking for heartworm, neutering your dog, a dog cold, and so forth, also does a bunch of general checks.
For instance, he’ll see whether your puppy’s grooming, dry dog paw, dental care, dog skin tags, ear health, dog yeast infection, dog diarrhea, general mental health, etc. are up to the mark. And he’ll also provide tips and suggestions to improve on things and fix any dog problems.
Lastly, even if you don’t have an appointment, a mere social visit to the vet with your puppy every few months or so is another excellent way to go the extra mile in his caring.
127. Don’t Hesitate to Consult Professionals
Sometimes seemingly normal things could be a sign of something more sinister. And on occasions, our guts push us towards that realization.
For instance, sudden and unexplained gloominess, hind-end weakness, aggression, loss of appetite, etc. may seem a bit unusual for your puppy.
But nothing too abnormal. On the other hand, they could be the first signs or symptoms of any variety of illnesses.
If you get the feeling that there might be something wrong with your puppy beyond what is apparent, don’t even hesitate to give your vet a call.
What’s the harm in it?
An early diagnosis gives your vet a solid advantage in his treatment. And this advice also applies to consulting dog trainers and other professionals. If you feel like you need professional help, you probably do, and shouldn’t hesitate to reach for it.
And that’s it for this Ultra-Mega How to Train a Puppy the Dog Training Tips compendium! We hope you find this page useful for years to come, and that it meets most, if not all of your needs in your search.
Do let us know if you believe we’ve missed out on something, or if you have any additional tips that you’ve found to be effective yourself.
And if you’re on the lookout out for more of a bible than a compendium, check out the entire blog. It’ll walk you through all your puppy training needs and many more tips on how to train a puppy.
Have anything to add to this huge dog training list? If we’ve missed any let us know in the comments below.
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