Adopting a puppy is a huge commitment and responsibility, but it’s a feat that is well worth the effort. As puppies grow and develop, they need guidance and structure so that they can turn into dogs you’re proud of, that are safe to bring in public, and that are an overall wonderful addition to your home and family life.
Training a young puppy requires a lot of time and energy and can certainly be stressful at times. It’s important to understand the commitment it requires to train your puppy and decide how to go about the task in such a way that sets you and your pup up for success. In this article, we’ll discuss some simple tips that might help you manage the task of puppy training a bit better.
Puppy training classes are a great jumping off point to begin the training process. It is an engaging process that requires you and your puppy to attend together, teaching the dogs as well as the humans how to interact with one another. Perhaps the best part of these classes is that they also take place in a social environment, where owners can get support from other puppy owners, and puppies can begin to become more comfortable in social settings with other dogs and people. Additionally, they’re cheap, local, and fun!
If you need a little extra help and guidance training your puppy, it might be worth it to invest in a professional trainer. While puppy training classes are usually conducted by a professional trainer, one-on-one individualized training is a little more in-depth and tailored to your specific home environment.
Not all dog breeds are alike. Some breeds need more exercise and attention than others, which will certainly influence the training process significantly. Furthermore, some dog breeds are prone to higher levels of aggression, which makes the socialization process even more important – this is why it’s better to begin the training process while your dog is still a puppy and capable of less harm.
One of the most difficult aspects of puppy training is getting everyone in the household on-board with the same rules, behaviors, and structure. Just like kids, puppies thrive in structured, consistent environments, so it’s important to have family meetings, discussions at dinner, and find other ways to involve everyone in the training process equally.
Puppies are still growing and developing, which is why food is such a critical aspect of their lives early-on. Treat reinforcement while training is essential, so it’s important to find a treat that won’t bother their digestive system. Blueberries, carrots or other dog-friendly fruits/vegetables are a healthy alternative to most treats on the market. You’ll of course want to first consult with your veterinarian.
Spending time with your puppy every day getting plenty of exercise is important for their behavior. Exercise reduces anxiety and stress in your dog (and it’s great for us too!). Devote a portion of your day to exercising your puppy and you’ll be surprised at how much easier training is.
Before your puppy can be social, they need to have all their vaccinations and be cleared by the vet. If you’re not able to take your puppy to a training class, there are plenty of other opportunities to socialize your pup. Bringing them to dog parks, pet stores, and other areas where people and dogs tend to congregate can help them get used to life outside of the home, which include other dogs and humans.
Here at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency, we’ve helped countless puppy owners find resources to better train their pets. Appropriate training at a young age is highly recommended, as it helps keeps dogs out of shelters, off the streets, and well-behaved with others. Residents of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and other areas nearby Ventura County have trusted us at Dr. Ron’s for years, and we hope you will too. To learn more about our services or for help finding resources to train your puppy, please feel free to contact us directly.