Training a Puppy 101: 10 Best Puppy Training Tips & Advice | Pupford
November 14th, 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?” types of questions when it comes to training.
We put together this list of 10 puppy training tips to help answer those questions and give you as many tips for training your new puppy 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 tips and advice for training a puppy!
10 BEST PUPPY TRAINING TIPS
Genuinely we could write 100's of articles about puppy training tips... Which we've actually done! So, be sure to browse our full blog for a whole host of puppy resources.
But, outside of all that, let's dive into the tips. Here are 10 of the best puppy training tips:
- Properly prepare your home
- Create a schedule for potty training
- Introduce crate training early
- Get the basics down first
- Socialize your puppy properly
- Have the right tools
- Don't rely on the word "no"
- Learn dog body language
- Nip puppy biting
- Have resources at your fingertips
Let's look at all those training a puppy 101 tips below. 👇
1. MAKE SURE YOUR HOUSE IS PROPERLY PREPPED FOR A NEW PUPPY
At a glance, this looks like:
- Making sure your home is free of dangerous items and within a 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 (more on that later)
2. CREATE A SCHEDULE ASAP - AND STICK TO IT FOR THE BEST POTTY TRAINING RESULTS
The consistency of a routine will also make potty training easier, which every new dog parent can appreciate. Potty training, also known as house training, may be the most frustrating part of puppy 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 for being a place of punishment. But if you introduce the crate early and use positive reinforcement, 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 and unwanted behavior, 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.
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.
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.
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:
- A properly sized crate
- Chew toy and enrichment toys
- for accidents (they WILL happen!)
- Engagement and enrichment toys
7. DON’T RELY ON THE WORD “NO”
Let’s be real - young puppies will do things we don’t want them to do. The word “no!” is bound to slip out of your mouth at some point. But instead of focusing on the bad, it's important to hone in on good behavior.
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.” Plus, it helps you avoid bad habits!
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.
9. NIP PUPPY BITING
While 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, bite inhibition, 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
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.
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.
And it's also important to note, getting the help of professional dog trainers is recommended! They can help with important behaviors like leash walking, clicker training, and more.
BEST PUPPY TRAINING TIPS RECAP
As you can see, there’s a lot involved in training a new puppy. 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 you have any other dog training questions before your next training session, please ask them in the comments below!