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Voila! An Ultra-Mega dog training tips compendium for your puppy training needs!
Like many new owners soon find out, training your new puppy is as important is giving it love and attention.
If you neglect training and caring for your puppy properly, that new found 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 in the world is important, yes. But without rules and a good education, they ultimately end up being more hurt than cared for.
Learning how to properly care for your puppy’s health and well-being, and training him or her for behaving suitably in different situations will help your pup to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Training your puppy also helps live well with other people and pets, understand others, know their own 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.
Before getting into our ultra-mega list of training tips, let’s keep in mind the 3 things all owners need to understand to achieve effective and proper training:
- 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 progress you’ve already made.
This comprehensive list of dog care and training tips is naturally too large to absorb in one go.
So to help you pin-point the things you need to look up in a hurry later, we’ve sorted these tips into broad categories that you can jump to at any point.
Understanding Your Dog and Your Own Role in Training
1.You Puppy Loves You No Matter What
This is one of the first things you should understand about your Dog.
No matter what you do or say, your puppy will love you.
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 with obedience, anxiety and even aggression as they grow up.
Needless to say, training your puppy in such a situation can be a real uphill task.
Simple things like making sure your puppy’s by your side or behind you, and not in front helps.
2. Keep Your Commands Short So Your Puppy Grasps Them
Dogs are smart – everyone knows that.
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 really 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 ‘em short and simple – Sit, Stay, Fetch, Go Potty, Good Boy – and try to keep an appropriate tone for each.2. Keep Your Commands Short So Your Puppy Grasps Them Click To Tweet
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 of course, scent.
So just using verbal commands in training is a bit inefficient, really.
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 definitely more effective than struggling with a leash without the treats.
4. Projecting a Calm, Assertive Manner
Like we said 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 the manner in which 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 really counter-productive.
it’s not so much what you say, but the manner in which you say it. Click To Tweet
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 terms of everyday behavior.
A surprising number of 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 techniques of training use a dog’s natural responses to shape his or her behavior.
Operant conditioning techniques teach a dog specific associations and consequences to things to shape behavior. These can be through different rewards or punishments.
As you can see, the first is easier to adapt and learn for your puppy, given that its natural instincts come into play.
7. Each Dog is Different, and Thus May Respond Differently to Different Training Methods
Like us people, each dog is unique in its own 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 to get the best out of it all.
9. Using Names Properly
Dog’s really don’t care for names.
Call your puppy by his name enough times, and he’ll associate himself with that sound.
But he won’t understand or care about other names or words unless he’s taught a specific association for them.
It’s a reason you should never use his name when punishing or disciplining him, as he 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 own body language and general demeanor, or “energy”, has a great influence on your puppy’s behavior.
If you find your puppy’s mood to be off, check your own general disposition first and correct any negative “energy” you might have. It may be the answer itself.Your own body language and general demeanor, or “energy”, has a great influence on your puppy’s behavior. Click To Tweet
11. Try to Look at Things from Your Puppy’s Perspective
A lot of times, 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 may be a little sad or upset if you’ve been missing 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
For 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 while doing it.
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 the reason 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 certain sections of your walking route.
14. Try to Keep Things Interesting for Your Puppy Ever Day
Dog training tips shouldn’t be all about tasks, commands, and lessons in behavior.
There’s other fun, stimulating ways to teach your puppy useful things and harness his natural instincts for his own 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 every day.
15. Make Sure Everyone in the Family is Involved in Training
This is something really crucial but neglected by a surprising number of owners.
Not having everyone at home in on your puppy’s training can be really 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 a lot of work in training.
So make sure everyone is in on the plans and steps in training so there are no mistakes or misunderstandings.
16. Routine is Everything
Without a regular and consistent routine for your puppy’s mealtimes and potty-breaks, training is relatively very 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 helps you 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.
19. Be Regular and Consistent with Potty-Break Walks to Quickly Reduce Accidents at Home
Just scheduling walks according to your puppy’s routine isn’t enough unless you’re regular with them.
Being regular and consistent, at least in the initial weeks of training until the routine sinks in for your puppy is important.
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
This may sound excessive, but recording your puppy’s habits and patterns in some sort of journal is a great help in training.
For one, you can have ready information when you’re drawing up your puppy’s schedule and routine.
And, you can 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 a good 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 on end.
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.
So make sure to set your alarm for every few hours even at night, at least until your puppy grows up.Given how small puppies’ bladders are, they can’t be expected to hold it for hours on end. Click To Tweet
23. Never Punish Your Puppy Unless You’ve Caught Him in the Act
This is an important one among dog training techniques for housebreaking.
Like we mentioned earlier, dogs, especially puppies, live in the moment.
So punishing your puppy for making a mess AFTER he already has, like many owners do, is pointless, and often harmful instead.
If you merely show him his mess while shouting and punishing him, he’ll probably just come to fear his own waste – and you – nothing more.
He won’t understand why you’re scolding him unless you do so while he’s in the act.
24. Repetition is Key: Same Spot, Same Command, Consistent Positive Feedback
Repetition and consistency are the keys to forming a habit.
So to help speed along 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 as he eliminates, and give him affection and/or a treat every time he does it right.
25. The Scent from a Designated Spot at Home or Outside Helps Set the Routine
The reason why you should have a designated, fixed spot is that the lingering scent from the earlier eliminations help your puppy come to own the spot.
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.
26. If You’re Away a Lot Use Crate Training 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.
So 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 so as to restrict messes to one spot and reduce cleaning.
Training your puppy later to not mess up the crate is easier than re-training her for random places in the house, isn’t it?
Also, in the interest of maintaining your puppy’s training, you should consider hiring a sitter to see to her needs while you’re gone.
27. 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 her can be extremely useful during this phase.
Good puppy pads, such as Bulldogology’s premium puppy training pads can be a life-saver if your puppy keeps creating a mess at home, or is learning to use a crate, or is alone at home.
Their high absorbency, odor-fighting ability, and easy disposal make a lot of difference.
So keep a stack at home, especially for emergencies.
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, by a nice quality, roomy crate that will be comfortable for her even as a fully grown adult.
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 Dog Training Tips Alert: A den-like feel to a crate can be really effective to calm a nervy dog.
The darkness and absence of distractions dampen their nervousness or excitability and makes them feel secure too.
30. Try Not to Move the Crate Around Just as You Don’t Move Your Bed
Select a good 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 good company with other people in the room, as well as peace and quiet for relaxing and sleeping for your puppy when choosing locations.
31. Don’t Force Your Puppy into the Crate
Forcing your puppy in will only cause trouble in training as your puppy will think of it as a prison.
Never use the crate to punish your puppy to avoid 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”. She 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 her 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.
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 play, exercise, and walks as a relaxing session with treats.Wearing out your puppy from exercise or play makes it MUCH easier to keep her in. Click To Tweet
36. Mealtimes in the Crate Quicken Acceptance
Feeding your puppy his meals inside the crate is another great 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 in. If he’s hesitant, move there 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 really 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.
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.
Making a fuss will only make crating out to be an unusual or abnormal event. Click To Tweet
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 Dog Training 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 Dog Training Tips 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.For young pups, crating should be accompanied by frequent bathroom breaks. Click To Tweet
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.
Tricks and Commands
46. Teaching New Tricks and Commands Needs Plenty of Rewards
Since tricks and commands are something that don’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 – has 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
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.It’s best to begin training them when they’re still puppies, especially if it’s stuff like tricks and commands. Click To Tweet
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 flipside 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 pat, 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. Use 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.
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 a 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 a correct response.
But if you start using the clicker along with visual cues such as specific gestures, and also commands, your puppy will learn to do them on cue as well.
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 extremely handy 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 is showing good behavior.
For example, using the clicker when your puppy is sitting quietly or lying down in the presence of a guest, or at dinner time.55. The Clicker Technique Can Also Be Used to Reinforce Good Behavior Click To Tweet
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 trick or step, followed by plenty of praise and reward.
Ending positively helps reinforce whatever your puppy learned in the session, and also 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 toys are really becoming popular with dog owners these days.
And apart from helping engage a bored dog, some are also useful in training.
Proper Behavior – 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 really tend to get into biting while they’re teething like we explain in this article on dog training tips to curb biting.
Once you know why exactly your puppy is engaging in unreasonable biting, you will be able to choose the right method to go about correcting it.Once you know why exactly your puppy is engaging in unreasonable biting, you will be able to choose the right method to go about correcting it. Click To Tweet
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 is not correcting her bad biting habits, you must ensure that you take care of it while she’s 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 there are other fun games that don’t involve biting.
Fetch and tug of war are some nice games that don’t require contact with your puppy’s teeth.
Simply 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.
On that note, 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.
63. Whenever Your Puppy Bites Make a High-Pitched Sound Indicating You’re Hurt
This is another good one among dog training 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.63. Whenever Your Puppy Bites Make a High-Pitched Sound Indicating You’re Hurt Click To Tweet
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.
In fact, this should be true for any dog and not just puppies who like biting.
Even soft biting as a habit can draw some bad reactions from other people or animals, as the case may be.
But more importantly, initially your puppy won’t be able to distinguish much between hard and soft bites.
So lower your tolerance for biting in general, to better reinforce the behavior.
65. Encourage Interaction with Other Dogs as Much as Possible
This isn’t very popular one among dog training tips to stop biting.
Owners tend to prevent their biting puppies from interacting with others as far as possible.
But like we 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 with 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 indestructible 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. Or you can also make it yourself like this DIY concoction from cuteness.com.
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 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!
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 a 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.
Proper Behavior – Aggression
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.
Aggression 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 extremely hard to deal with in some cases, and sometimes insecure dogs have the worst biting problems.
In such extreme cases, it’s highly recommended that you consult your vet and a dog training professional to help out.
understanding the reasons behind the aggression is also crucial for correction. Click To Tweet
74. Food Aggression – Being Consistent with the Schedule is Important
Having a regular, daily schedule for mealtimes and consistently enforcing it is a very basic step in dealing with food aggression.
It’s like we say in our previous article on dog training tips regarding food aggression:
Dogs aggressive about their food are usually very insecure about losing it.
Such a schedule where they know exactly when and how much food they’ll get will really help with such insecurity.
75. Food Aggression – Always Try to Feed After Play or Exercise
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.
So make your puppy work for his food. In any case, he’ll probably be too worn out to act out, and just be glad for the meal.
76. Food Aggression – Make Your Puppy “Stay” Before, and While You Serve Food
Make it a habit to have your puppy calmly obey the “Sit” or “Stay” command until you have finished serving.
Having your puppy hover around, jumping and barking as you fill her bowl only encourages indiscipline and aggression.
Make her sit or stay out of sight initially. And don’t move from beside the bowl until you’ve released her and she starts eating.
77. Food Aggression – Assert Your Position by Eating First
Always ensure that you eat first.
Feeding your puppy before or while you’re eating only indulges him.
And it could also embolden him to try and assert himself through aggression is he doesn’t get his way.
78. Food Aggression – Stay With the Bowl As Your Puppy Feeds
Make it a point to 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 should have other members of your family stand in turn to develop a general tolerance.
79. Food Aggression – 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.
make it a point to pet your dog a little while she’s eating. Click To Tweet
80. Food Aggression – 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. Food Aggression – 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.
encourage him into thinking that people touching his bowl not necessarily a bad thing. Click To Tweet
82. Food Aggression – 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. First Rule in Face of 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 a 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 bigger and a more intimidating target for the dog.
85. Follow Protocols with Introductions
You should always keep in mind there are rules are of utmost importance to a dog.
It’s, therefore, use dog training tips for avoiding aggression always suggest that when bringing a new dog home, an owner must respect due order.
If there’s already a dog at home, he or she must not feel insecure in the presence of the new dog.
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.
86. Introducing a New Member Takes Time
Also, 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 good, long walks together.
Forcing one or the other to dominate through preferential treatment, or some vague understanding about their relationship can really 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.
88. Don’t Isolate Fighting Dogs for Long
The key thing to take away from dog training tips for avoiding conflicts.
You must remember that you are in charge, dealing with conflicts isn’t too complicated.
Isolating fighting dogs from each other isn’t more than a temporary solution, however.
The crucial thing is to get them used to each other, and at least tolerate each other’s presence.
Going on walks, and calmly hanging out with each other helps a lot, with reward and praise for good behavior.
89. Don’t Hesitate to Get Help from a Professional Trainer
If you are unable to resolve conflicts between your dogs on your own, do not hesitate in getting professional help.
This is especially true for when you have kids and elderly family members at home.
Proper Behavior – Chewing
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. Have 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.
So smart dog training tips to deal with chewy pups 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.
You can check out our indestructible dog toys for aggressive chewers article to get some tips on choosing the best dog toys.
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 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 (use some training pads).
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 dog training tips that unfortunately elude many people.
Chewing can 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 attention to chew toys.
99. Use Taste Deterrents When Your Puppy is Persistent
Dog training tips 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.
Proper Behavior – Walking
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 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 among 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 dog training tips to prevent pulling on the leash…
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.
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 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.
Diet and 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.
You can find out how much water a puppy should drink and more tips on puppy thirst here.
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 completely to a diet with different kinds of food, or even brand with the same kind of food can upset your puppy’s digestion.
If you know your puppy to have a sensitive stomach, or if he’s a picky eater, you really must take it nice and slow when changing the diet.
It’s something we’ve talked about in our dog training tips on dealing with picky eaters here.
You should generally feed your puppy a mix of the old and new food. Start with a mix that has three parts of the old food, and one part of the new.
Work your way up to a 50:50 ratio, and then a 1:3 ratio in favor of the new as and when your puppy adjusts to each mix.
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 fine.
If it’s loose, then you probably need a few more days with the mix or the previous version of it.
Let your puppy feed on the mix he’s adjusted to for at least a day or so before progressing further.
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 begging at the table to fix the problem.
115. Get 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 daily basis, even if she’s always generally skinny.
Their muscle and bone mass must increase to keep healthy.
This article 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.
Health and Grooming
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 also make you check for any skin problems your puppy might have that you couldn’t see earlier, such as unexplained lumps, lesions or the like.
It also improves circulation and keeps their skin healthy by “letting it breathe”.
Read up more on brushing techniques and advice in this article on dog training tips for everyday grooming.
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.
This article on grooming and getting rid of fleas has more information that you should know about dealing with infestations.
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.
This article on dog training tips for general grooming and health has some useful pointers to develop good dental habits.
Do it regularly enough and it’ll become a habit – something tough to achieve with older 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.
Take a look at point five of this article on common doggy health issues.
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.
Keep it clean of dirt, grime or other gunk, and check that the insides have a healthy, normal color.
If you see your puppy is experiencing some pain or discomfort in her ear(s), don’t hesitate to consult your vet.
A thorough cleaning and treatment of an infected ear is a delicate task that needs good 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.
They 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.
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.
And for some of the wrinkly breeds, bathing doesn’t simply end with a simple towel down.
But it is essential to keep your puppy healthy and clean. And it’s important you are regular with it every month.
But if you really get inventive, bathing doesn’t have to be very tedious. In fact, it could even be fun!
In this article on dog training tips for bathing and grooming, we run through 7 neat and easy tips to make puppy bathing quicker and simpler. Read and absorb!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The vet you choose for your new puppy obviously has a major bearing on his health for years to come.
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 that you keep for your puppy can have a major bearing on her health and well-being later.
Things like records from the puppy’s first medical check-up, records of the puppy’s parents, certifications pertaining to the breed are all important documentation that you should maintain properly 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 include any advice or tips he gives you for raising the puppy.
The first appointment with the vet is particularly important. 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.
And also, keeping a journal, as we suggested earlier, for recording your puppy’s schedule, habits, and general health – even if you can update it just occasionally – can be a real help for both you and your vet later. Both in diagnosing any conditions, or just 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 and so forth, also does a bunch of general checks.
For instance, he’ll see whether your puppy’s grooming, dental care, ear health, general mental health etc. are up to the mark. And he’ll also provide tips and suggestions to improve on things and fix any niggles.
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, 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? If your suspicions turn out to be false, praise be! If not, well praise be indeed, since you caught it early!
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 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 for dog training tips.
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 Dogology Blueprint at our store. It’ll walk you through all your puppy training needs.
Have anything to add to this huge dog training list? If we’ve missed any let us know in the comments below.