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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

How to Train a Puppy

Congratulations on welcoming a new furry bundle of joy into your life! As a devoted puppy parent, it's natural to have questions about how to train your little companion and ensure they grow into a well-behaved and happy dog. In this informative blog post, we'll guide you through the essentials of how to train a puppy, covering important topics such as house training, foundational behaviors, and the invaluable role of socialization. Join us on this exciting journey as we equip you with the knowledge and techniques to set your puppy up for success and build a strong and loving bond along the way.

Puppy Training

House Training: House training, or potty training, is one of the first challenges you'll face as a new puppy owner. Here are some valuable tips to help you succeed:

  1. Establish a routine: Set a consistent schedule for taking your puppy outside to eliminate, including after meals, naps, and playtime.

  2. Positive reinforcement: Reward and praise your puppy when they go potty in the designated area to reinforce the desired behavior.

  3. Patience and consistency: Accidents are part of the learning process, so avoid punishment and remain patient as your puppy learns where and when to go.

  4. Supervision and confinement: Keep a close eye on your puppy and use a crate or a puppy-proofed area when you cannot directly supervise them.

Foundational Behaviors: Building a strong foundation of behaviors is crucial for your puppy's overall training success. These core behaviors provide a framework for further learning and include the following:

  1. Attention: Teach your puppy to focus on you by using their name or a specific cue. This helps establish a strong connection and encourages engagement during training sessions.

  2. Sit: Train your puppy to sit on cue, promoting impulse control and polite greetings.

  3. Touch: Teach your puppy to touch their nose to your hand or a target object, which can be used for redirection, targeting, and other advanced training exercises.

  4. Leave It: Train your puppy to leave objects or items alone when cued. This cue ensures their safety and prevents them from grabbing or consuming harmful things.

  5. Recall: Teach your puppy to come to you when called, reinforcing the cue with positive experiences and rewards. A reliable recall is vital for their safety, especially in outdoor environments.

Socialization: Socialization plays a crucial role in your puppy's development and their ability to interact positively with the world around them. Consider these tips for effective socialization:

  1. Exposure to different environments: Gradually introduce your puppy to various places, sounds, and surfaces early on, allowing them to have positive experiences and build confidence.

  2. Meeting different people: Slowly introduce your puppy to a diverse range of individuals, including adults, children, and individuals with different appearances or wearing hats and uniforms.

  3. Controlled playdates: Arrange playdates with well-behaved, vaccinated dogs to promote positive social interactions and appropriate play behaviors.

  4. Puppy socialization classes: Enroll in puppy socialization classes or training programs to provide structured socialization opportunities and guidance from professionals.

Training your puppy is an important journey that sets the foundation for a lifelong bond and positive behaviors. By focusing on house training, establishing foundational behaviors and prioritizing socialization, you're giving your puppy the best start in life. Remember to be patient, use positive reinforcement techniques, and seek guidance from professional trainers if needed. With love, consistency, and dedication, you'll guide your puppy into becoming a well-behaved and cherished member of your family.

If you're seeking assistance with training your puppy, we're here to help. Contact us at or reach out to us via text/call at 301-231-1907. We offer a range of services, including virtual and in-home lessons, tailored to meet the specific needs of you and your furry companion.

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