Tips on Training Your New Puppy

So you have a new puppy; now what? Getting your puppy off to a great start is imperative to raising a well-adjusted dog. Sure all those cute dog toys and beds are important to, but making sure your puppy is healthy, happy and well trained is the first step.

Below are a few tips on important things to remember and get you and your new fur baby started.

Crate Training

Crate training your puppy will go a long way to helping your puppy learn a routine and adapt to living with his human companions. Used properly, a crate can be a safe place of retreat, a cozy napping den, and will help you puppy learn potty etiquette much faster. The first thing you need to do is find a suitable crate. Wire crates are strong and durable and come in a variety of sizes. Plastic crates can make a safe den that is easily transportable. Avoid soft-sided crates, as these can easily be destroyed by a teething puppy and can cause a choking hazard.

Steps to Crate Training

  1. Place the crate in a room that your puppy has become accustomed to.
  2. Put a dog toy inside the crate and leave the door open.
  3. Allow your puppy to explore the crate and go in and out unimpeded.
  4. Play with your puppy in and around the crate.
  5. Toss a small treat into the crate and let your puppy retrieve it; leaving the door open the whole time.
  6. After your puppy has retrieved the treats a few times, begin throwing a treat in and closing the door for a few seconds once puppy is in.
  7. Repeat the treat process several times; leaving the door closed for longer intervals, up to five minutes.
  8. Once your puppy has stayed comfortable in the crate for five minute intervals, begin leaving the room for short periods. If your puppy cries or whines, wait until he/she quiets before opening the door.

When your puppy is young, be sure to only leave him in the crate for a couple of hours at a time to ensure no accidents. Soiling his crate will set back his house training. The crate should be left open during the day to allow your puppy to get used to it, play around and in it and eventually see it as a safe resting place. Set a schedule and be consistent. Never leave your puppy in the crate for more than 8 hours.

House Training

As mentioned above, crate training is an excellent way to speed up the learning process for house training your puppy. Paper training is another option. Paper training is done by creating a space indoors with paper laid down and training your puppy to eliminate only there. This can be confusing once your puppy grows and is required to only eliminate outside. Often this can lead to continued accidents inside when your puppy is older. However, paper training is a good option if you know your puppy won’t have outside access as often as her/she will need it.

Steps to House Training

  1. The first step in successfully house training your puppy is to commit to a regular routine for taking your puppy outside. Your puppy will learn much faster if he is a aware that chances to eliminate occur on a schedule.
  2. Trips outside should include first thing in the morning, at least once every hour during the day, and right before bedtime.
  3. After you’ve taken him outside, play with him before placing him back in the crate.
  4. During the times between trips outside, keep a close eye on your puppy and carry him outside if you see any indications that he is about to eliminate.
  5. If your puppy is having a lot of accidents, try attaching a leash to him indoors, so you are always aware of where he is.

Remember, there will be accidents and setbacks. It is important to realize that this process can take up to six months. Be consistent and your efforts will pay of

Leash Training

An important thing to remember is that all dogs, no matter the size or breed need proper exercise. For most dogs this will be a daily walk. Teaching your puppy proper leash skills is crucial for both you and your puppy.

Your dog needs an appropriate collar that fits properly and a suitable leash. You may want to bring treats when you first begin, or a clicker if you use one to mark good behavior.

Steps to Leash Training

  1. Choose a suitable well-fitting collar for your puppy and allow him to get used to wearing it before beginning.
  2. Next, introduce your puppy to the leash and allow him to get comfortable with it on. Don’t hold the leash; just let him drag it around the house.
  3. Pick up the leash for short periods and have your puppy walk along with you in the house.
  4. Next, move your walks outside and keep them brief at first. Make sure the leash is always slack and reward your puppy for proper behavior.
  5. If the puppy pulls on the leash, stop immediately and call your puppy back to you. Praise him for returning.

It is important to be consistent and praise your puppy for good behavior. Leash pulling can be dangerous and annoying for both you and your puppy, so it is important to consistently correct your puppy for this behavior. Use of a pinch collar can make the walking painful for your puppy and a negative experience. Yanking the leash to correct your puppy, will also result in a negative experience. Consistent, gentle training will offer the best result for many happy walks in the future.


One of the most valuable lessons you can teach your puppy is good social skills. Exposing your puppy to the world around them and letting them know they are safe, will go a long way to creating a strong, confident and well-adjusted dog.   It is also very important to know how to go about socializing your puppy correctly. If you do it right, you’ll help your puppy grow up to be confident and outgoing. If it’s done wrong, you can inadvertently create a timid, aggressive puppy.

Steps to Socializing

  1. Be sure your puppy’s vaccinations are up to date. It is important to wait until your puppy’s vaccinations are complete (around 16 weeks old) before beginning the socialization process.
  2. Invite friends and family to your house. Friends and family are a great way to get your puppy used to new people and doing this in your home will allow the puppy to feel safer.
  3. Invite safe, friendly dogs to your home. If you have friends or family with suitable dogs for your puppy to meet, invite them for a play date at your home.
  4. Only take your puppy to safe environments. If you have friends who have a suitable dog who plays well with your puppy, visit their homes. Off leash parks can be dangerous for a puppy just learning social skills. It is best to avoid them until your puppy is well socialized.

Not all socialization is good socialization. Bad experiences at an early age in your puppy’s life can create negative imprints for years to come. Assess the situation and make sure that a situation is not too much for your puppy to handle. If his ears are up, eyes are bright, and tail is wagging, he is most likely enjoying the interaction. If your puppy is not enjoying himself, learn to recognize the signs of stress to avoid causing emotional harm.

Signs that your Puppy is Stressed

  • Turning away from approaching people or dogs
  • Ears are down and back
  • Frequent yawning
  • Licking lips
  • Cowering from the situation
  • Clinging to you
  • Excess shedding
  • Drooling
  • Genital licking
  • Growling or snapping
  • Excessive urine marking
  • Sleeping – Frequently sleeping when you are out with your puppy may indicate that your puppy is stressed and shutting down
  • Tucking tail between legs

Take is slow and always make sure your puppy is safe and responding positively to social situations.

 Candid FX Pet Photography

Enjoy your new fur baby and be sure to book your portrait session to capture those first precious moments!


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