January is National Puppy Training Month, and we honor it by helping our clients understand the importance of training their pets. A well-trained dog will live a fuller, happier, and healthier life. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your new pet.

7 Puppy Training Tips

1. Use Positive Reinforcement
The best method of puppy training is positive reinforcement – reinforcing good or desirable behaviors with praise, love, and treats. This helps dogs understand the behavior that is expected of them without compromising their trust or bond with their trainer and/or their owner.

2. Get a Marker or Clicker
Clicker or marker training uses a device that clicks. This is helpful for “marking” your pet’s good behavior as soon as you see it. Follow up the click with a treat and praise.

3. Use Properly Portioned Treats
When training, you’ll go through a lot of treats. Be sure to use properly sized training treats that won’t result in your dog getting too many calories and gaining weight.

4. Be Consistent
It can be tiring at first, but consistency is key. Work with your dog every day and be consistent with which behaviors you allow and don’t allow to avoid confusion. For example, a dog might not understand the difference between jumping on the sofa and jumping on the bed.

5. Make It Fun
When dogs get to play as a reward for finishing a training session, they burn energy and also associate training time with play time which will make them more eager to work.

6. Join a Class for Socialization
Socialization (exposure to different people, animals, places, sights, sounds, smells, textures, etc.) is an essential component of training a puppy. Join a group puppy training class to work on socialization while your puppy learns.

7. Offer Outlets for Instinctive Behaviors
Puppies can’t help but chew, and if you don’t monitor yours, then you’re likely to lose some valuable items. Keep your puppy contained when you’re away and fill their area with age and size-appropriate chew toys. They’ll naturally learn to chew these items instead of your leather boots.

Behavioral Counseling With Capital Home Veterinary Care

If you’ve just adopted a new dog or have a dog with some behavioral issues, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian from Capital Home Veterinary Care. We’ll come to your home and help you get your puppy or dog set up on a training road to success.