So you’ve gotten a new puppy. The hard part — choosing your new best pal from a legion of cute, happy puppies — is over, right? It’s nothing but snuggles and the sweet smell of puppy breath from here on out!
Well, not exactly. While nothing matches the fun and excitement of getting to know your new puppy, there’s still some work ahead — for both of you. From prepping your home for your puppy’s first week to when to start puppy training to what to feed your puppy, you’ll both have a lot of questions over the next few weeks and months. Both you and your new puppy are adapting to new situations. Your puppy even has to learn how and where to go to the bathroom, and you might have to learn how to do that potty training. Puppy training sessions can be trying, but, with a little help like the advice offered in this guide, they’re ultimately rewarding.
This is why we’ve put together this puppy training guide. You’ll find a diverse range of basic puppy training tips ranging from house training to whether you need puppy socialization classes to your puppy training timeline. It’s everything puppy owners need to know about training your puppy.
Read on, and happy puppy training.
WHAT TO EXPECT THAT FIRST WEEK
What to expect that first week. When should you start puppy training?
You’ve purchased a comfy bed and a bunch of toys, and thought of a name for your new lil’ buddy. However, if this is your first time adopting a puppy — or it has been a while — you may be wondering what to expect the first week your bouncing bundle of play is in their new home. The first week can be scary and daunting for your puppy (and you), but by understanding your puppy’s point of view and immediately starting and sticking to a routine, you will both get through it.
READ MORE ABOUT HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PUPPY’S FIRST WEEK
WHEN TO START TRAINING YOUR PUPPY
When do you start puppy training?
Training is an important part of helping your puppy to grow up to be a happy, confident dog — not to mention, a well-trained dog is much easier for pet parents to live with. Your visitors will appreciate it, too. But when is the best age to start teaching your puppy these important life skills? Well, it’s almost never too early for basic obedience training. You can start as soon as your puppy is at least eight weeks old. The younger they are, the easier it will be to curb bad habits before they start.
But you can also start with basic commands like “sit,” “stay” and “come,” as well as leash training. It sounds like a lot, but we’ll help you through it!
READ MORE ABOUT WHEN TO START TRAINING YOUR PUPPY
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POTTY TRAINING YOUR PUPPY
Puppy training begins with potty training.
Potty training a new puppy can be difficult, especially if you have no idea where to begin. In most cases, your puppy is ready to start potty training as soon as you bring them home. Potty training a puppy typically takes four to six months, which means you’ll be spending a lot of time outside with your pup as they get used to this new system. Don’t fret, however. As long as you set some guidelines for your puppy, potty training will be a breeze. Here are some tips.
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WHY IS PUPPY FOOD SO IMPORTANT?
Proper puppy nutrition can keep a puppy engaged in their training.
To get your puppy to stay focused on learning and have enough energy for his or her training, you need to make sure you’re fueling them properly. You already know that proper nutrition is one of your pup’s most basic needs and one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy. But with the dozens of dog food choices available, how do you know which one is right for your puppy? Is there really a difference between puppy food and “regular” dog food?
There sure is, and we’ll tell you about why dog food formulated specifically for puppies is so important. So if you’re wondering why you should feed a puppy food or all-life-stages food, read on.
READ MORE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PUPPY FOOD
BUT IS ALL PUPPY FOOD THE SAME?
How do I know what kind of food my puppy needs?
Puppies grow rapidly, and they need complete and balanced nutrition to properly fuel that growth and development. Not only do puppies’ nutritional needs differ from adult dogs’, but their requirements vary depending on their breed and size. That’s not surprising when you consider the tremendous variation in dog sizes. A St. Bernard might still be growing at age 2, while a Pomeranian could be full-grown in half that time.
The fact is that puppy growth rates greatly influence — and are influenced by — nutrition.
READ MORE ABOUT PUPPY GROWTH RATES
SOCIALIZING YOUR PUPPY
When should you start socializing a puppy?
Now that you’ve got your puppy’s training well underway and you know they’re happily nourished, they’re ready to meet the world! Introducing your puppy to many different people, places and experiences can help them develop into confident adult dogs. During the first three months of life, a puppy’s sociability outweighs their fear. This is important for socialization as it allows puppies to encounter new experiences without excessive fear. Inadequate socialization during these first few months could increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life, so it’s important to continue to provide new social experiences for your puppy as they age to keep them comfortable and confident.
READ MORE ABOUT SOCIALIZING YOUR PUPPY
PUPPY TRAINING IS ITS OWN REWARD
There’s so much more to training your puppy, and no guide can answer every question you might have or propose a solution to every scenario you might come across. But we’re with you from the time you bring your new pal home through his or her transition to adulthood and beyond. For more pupdates, be sure to bookmark this page, and check back regularly.