Puppy Training 101: 10 Top Training Tips for Your New Dog | Pupford
May 9th, 2023
Filed under Training
Bringing home a new dog is undoubtedly exciting, but it can be a little overwhelming too. There’s a lot of “what now?” and “where do we start?” type of questions when it comes to training.
We put together this Puppy Training 101 Guide to help answer those questions and give you as many tips for training your new dog as possible. We’ll cover as many topics as possible – but of course if there’s anything else you want to know, feel free to ask in the comments!
Now let’s get into those training tips!
10 TOP TRAINING TIPS FOR YOUR NEW DOG
1. MAKE SURE YOUR HOUSE IS PROPERLY PREPPED FOR A NEW DOG
If you haven’t done it ahead of time, it’s super important to make sure you take the time and properly prepare your home and yard for your new dog.
At a glance, this looks like:
- Making sure your home is free of dangerous items and within puppy’s reach
- Checking that your yard has a fully enclosed space and is free of hazards that your puppy can get to
- Preparing your new dog’s area
- Having food, bowls, and feeding areas ready
- Making an appointment with your veterinarian for a health check
- Making sure you have all the essential tools for success
For a more detailed overview of how to prepare your home for a new dog, check out our free .
2. CREATE A SCHEDULE ASAP - AND STICK TO IT FOR THE BEST POTTY TRAINING RESULTS
Having a schedule is a crucial part of successfully training your new dog. Sticking to the same wakeup, feeding, potty, and play times will get your dog comfortable and confident in their routine.
The consistency of a routine will also make potty training easier, which every new dog parent can appreciate. Potty training may be the most frustrating part of dog training, but it’s also one of the most important.
We have a dedicated course with videos, PDFs, cheat sheets, and checklists to help you learn the most effective way to potty train your dog. Led by Traci Madson CPDT-KA & CBCC-KA, the course examines why dogs have potty issues, how to handle it, and how to get your dog to go potty where you want them to.
3. INTRODUCE CRATE TRAINING EARLY
The crate has a wrongful reputation of being a place of punishment. But if you introduce the crate early and use it correctly, it can serve as a place of comfort and relaxation for your dog.
Over time, proper crate training can lead to decreased separation anxiety and destructive behaviors, and increase your dog’s ability to self-regulate. However, and we cannot stress this enough, these benefits come from proper crate training, not using the crate as punishment or leaving them in the crate for extended periods of time.
So how do you successfully crate train? Take a look at our guide .
4. GET THE BASICS DOWN BEFORE MOVING ON
One common dog training mistake is trying to tackle too much too quickly. Sure, it’s a lot of fun to see your dog doing tricks and learning advanced behaviors like , but those rely on the basics for success.
Take your time training your dog, and be consistent with the basics. This builds confidence, strengthens the relationship between you and your dog, and lays the foundation for those more advanced (and let’s be honest, show-off worthy) behaviors.
Our article dives into detail about the importance of consistency and how to get reliable responses to basic behaviors.
5. SOCIALIZE YOUR PUPPY PROPERLY
While socialization does help dogs be more comfortable around other dogs and people, it goes far beyond that. It helps them learn new places, sights, sounds, etc. and build the confidence to navigate new environments without being afraid.
The most important window for puppy socialization is about 16-24 weeks old, so socialize early. Not sure how to socialize your new dog safely and effectively? Our video with CPDT-KA Trevor Smith gives a great overview on
6. HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS
You wouldn’t raise a human baby without diapers or a car seat, so why would you raise a puppy without the right tools?
For proper training, you need at least:
To help you get started with the basics, we put together a that has a lot of the training basics, plus a few extras like poop bags and a collapsible water bowl.
7. DON’T RELY ON THE WORD “NO”
Let’s be real - puppies are going to do things we don’t want them to do. The word “no!” is bound to slip out of your mouth at some point or another.
While it certainly has its time and place, saying “no” is not an effective training method because it doesn’t really hold meaning as a behavior. Dogs respond better when we teach them what to do rather than just “don’t do that.”
So how can you stop relying on “no” and what should you do instead? We have an entire podcast episode on that exact topic. You can listen to the recording, watch the video, or read the overview .
8. LEARN DOG BODY LANGUAGE
While our dogs can’t speak our language, they are constantly communicating with us. They just do it through expressions, posture, and certain body parts.
Learning your dog’s body language helps you understand their needs and communicate with them – which makes you a better dog parent. You’ll be able to pick up on when your dog is scared, uncomfortable, anxious, or about to react, which also helps keep them safe.
Learn all about your dog’s body language and what they may be trying to tell you in the article .
9. NIP PUPPY BITING
While puppy biting can be challenging and frustrating (and not to mention painful!), it’s a normal part of your dog’s development. What’s important is understanding how to handle puppy biting, what not to do, and techniques for channeling the biting instinct productively.
We have a podcast episode that breaks down puppy biting and answers three main questions:
- What should your expectations be for puppy biting?
- Things you should NOT do when your puppy bites
- Three effective methods to help stop puppy biting
Check out the recording, video, and overview .
10. HAVE RESOURCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
The most important thing to remember about puppy training is that you’re never in it alone. We’ve built a community led by industry experts to help give pup parents like you access to all the resources they could possibly need to raise a happy and healthy pup.
For example, we’ve partnered with YouTube’s #1 dog trainer
We also have an entire online library of dog training courses in the , covering everything from crate training to separation anxiety, to impulse control, to barking solutions – and so much more. It’s also available as an app, so you can have the best dog training resources (literally) at your fingertips, available any time.
As you can see, there’s a lot involved in training a new dog. But that just means more and more opportunities to bond with your new dog and get off to a great start.
Also, know that you don’t have to go it alone. You have the Pupford family at your side every step of your dog training journey. Whether you use the Pupford Academy, our Facebook community, our blogs, our videos or other resources, we’re here for you!
If there’s any other dog training questions you have, please ask them in the comments below!