The Daily Dog
Puppies 101 - Getting Started

Three Important training tips to raise a well-mannered dog.

By Mawoo Pets · 19 Jun · 5 - 6 mins read
Three Important training tips to raise a well-mannered dog.

Puppies are adorable, and their cuteness sometimes gets them out of the trouble that little puppies can get into. As they age, those antics will get more and more difficult to manage without having the proper tools in place to guide your puppy in making the best decisions possible in your home. Hand feeding, Crate training, and Recall training are the cornerstones for raising a well-mannered puppy and ensuring a safe experience for you and your dog. These practices allow you to create a strong bond, provide them with a safe place and emotional state when you can't be with them, and ensure you have control over your dog in emergencies.

Hand Feeding

Hand feeding is a great way for you to bond with your new pet. This not only allows your dog to understand you are the food provider but also allows you to make your dog work for his food. Simply begin by saying your puppy's name and giving him a piece of kibble. This is creating high value to his name, which will lay the groundwork for recall training. Repeat this for every meal for the first week your puppy is home. After the first week, you can begin to feed kibble as a reward for training, not at mealtimes. This will ensure your puppy is attentive to you and understands they must work for their food. 

This is beneficial to all dog breeds as it keeps them mentally alert and ready to learn everything you would like to teach them. This also helps prolong their attention span and engagement. 

Crate Training

Crate training is a great way to provide your puppy with a safe place to call his own. Think of it like a doggy bedroom. Dogs instinctively like spaces that are like a den, however they naturally will want to be by your side. You must train a dog that it is okay for there to be some separation between you and your pet. To do this, you can leave the kennel built with the doors wide open and toss some kibble in the kennel. When your puppy is comfortable going in and out of the kennel without the door closing, you can begin advancing in their kennel training.

The next step, is having the puppy walk inside the kennel and closing the door behind him. Sit by the kennel and when your puppy begins to calm down, reward them with kibble through the kennel. Do this for short increments of 5-10 minutes. Your puppy must be as calm as possible for this task so ensure to take your puppy for a run in the garden/yard before beginning 
confined crate training. When your puppy can be put in the kennel for 5 minutes with you outside the kennel, you are ready for the next step. 

The next step is hiding out of sight from your puppy while they are inside the kennel. When they calm down (which could take a while) come out from the other room, reward them with a piece of kibble, and leave again. Repetition is key for this.

It is very important to have a safe place to keep your dog in emergencies. Once your puppy can handle the above, it is time to leave them alone. No matter how fast your dog works through those steps try to avoid leaving them alone until they are 10 weeks of age. Always set up a camera so you can see your puppy while you step out of the house. Make your trips short at first, 10 minutes maximum, and slowly prolong the visits and monitor your puppy's response. It is important to be aware that a puppy can only hold its bladder one more hour than its age in months. For example, a 2 month old puppy can hold their bladder for 3 hours. Always ensure you take your puppy potty every 3 hours even overnight to prevent health concerns like crystals and bladder infections. 

It is normal to regress in this training as your puppy goes through adolescence, but consistency, repetition, and patience are key. 

Off-leash work

Off-leash training is important to work on from a young age as the older your dog grows, the faster they can run away! Even if you never intend to walk your dog off-leash, it is the building block of recall training, which is extremely important, and may one day save your dog's life. 

It is very important to work on off-leash training in an enclosed space. This will prevent your puppy from running away. To begin take your puppy outside in your yard on a long leash. Do not hold the leash but let it drag behind the puppy so that in an emergency, you can step on the leash and control your puppy. Begin walking around your yard and reward your puppy for being near you outside. 

Once your dog reliably stays by you, work on introducing slow distractions. Some of these distractions will come naturally from the environment, like squirrels, or car horns. It is important to work on redirecting the puppy's attention to you over those distractions with a high-value reward to your dog. That may be praise, kibble, or their favorite treat.

Eventually, as you practice this over the course of a few weeks your puppy will begin looking to you for direction whenever they experience something new. This is great as it prevents a fear response and instead builds trust between you and your pet. 

Continue to increase distractions and distance. Encourage your puppy to fetch and when they have that item in their mouth, call their name with the word “come” or whichever command word your family has chosen. When they come back to you with or without the item, reward them with a high-value reward that suits your dog. Repetition is key. Eventually, you can walk away to create space between your dog, when you call them, they should come to you.

Always reward even when your dog is fully grown, as the recall is a life-saving command, and you need your dog to have 100% recall for their safety. Dogs are smart, and they do not like working for free! 

Do not ever take your dog off-leash in a public area until they are 100% reliable with their recall. If you have an intact dog, Never let them off-leash outside of your yard or a controlled space as they will have an intense urge to escape, and wander. 

If you ensure to build on these skills from the moment your new puppy sets his paws in your home, you will have a well mannered, behaved little puppy and adult dog in no time. You will be able to go to and from your house without having to worry about if your dog is okay at home. You will never have to worry about your dog running away as they will be trained to come back with the recall cue, and finally your dog will always be looking to you for guidance and learning. These building blocks of pet ownership are crucial to ensuring a stress free, positive experience with you and your dog for years to come. 


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