If there's one word we'd use to describe puppies, it'd be "rambunctious," and that's being positively diplomatic toward our furry friends and when it comes to tackling puppy training. Training your dog at this stage seems like it'd be challenging with how much energy they have. How could you possibly handle such a little ball of zoomies? However, if you're here looking for puppy training tips, and puppy insurance plans, you likely care very deeply about your dog's wellness.
Puppy training tips aren't just for your sanity — they help keep your growing dog safe and healthy throughout their life. You don't need to spring for professional puppy training classes either. The key to starting puppy training is to engrain good habits in your new dog, starting at home. We go over the basics of helping an energetic puppy grow into a well-behaved dog in this blog!
Why good puppy habits matter
Some pet owners find the playful recklessness of puppies cute and humorous. Small dogs are pretty easy to handle when necessary. So why is training important? Remember that no puppy is a puppy forever. Eventually, they'll grow up, and in some cases, they can get quite large. Trying to convince a puppy to sit still for a leash, not to beg for food, or get into a crate is one thing. Doing the same for a gigantic dog is quite another! Training from an early stage can help with things like this to not develop into bad patterns.
It's also a matter of dog wellness. If you don't teach your puppy to stay or to not eat strange things, you're setting them up for an adulthood filled with potential risks and dangers. You love your dog enough to invest in puppy insurance plans and dog wellness programs. Building good habits is simply another expression of that love.
Puppy training tips for good habits
Set bathroom rules
Dealing with messes is something every pet owner must come to terms with at some point in their life. However, bathroom breaks don't need to be a source of stress if you turn them into a routine for your puppy. And that's the magic word here — routine. Take your puppy out for a hygiene break at the same time each day and in the same spot.
Dogs rely heavily on smell, so you want them to "smell" the right place to relieve themselves. After they go in the right space at the same time, reward your puppy with treats and attention. This starts building up a foundational habit of good "bathroom" behavior.
Get comfy with crates
If your puppy learns to be okay with its crate, this makes transportation much easier once it's all grown up. It's key when they're young to make crate transport into something non-threatening. This way, you can get the most from your puppy insurance plans, efficiently transporting them to routine care. Feeding your dog in their crate or giving them treats for staying in it are all great ways to encourage them to feel safe within the crate.
Learning to stay
This is one of the most valuable habits you can ingrain in a puppy. It's super cute to watch your new dogs scamper everywhere, full of energy. However, that cuteness is going to wear off when they get larger. A large dog could do a lot more accidental damage when it gets excited.
Teaching a dog to stay is also vital for safety. This is how you prevent your dog from running out into dangerous places, getting lost, or eating things it shouldn't. Teaching how to stay is one of the most important puppy training tips.
Thankfully, this doesn't have to be complicated. Be firm when telling your dog to stay, and reward with treats and attention often. Don't get angry or yell — your puppy might not even be able to tell negative attention from positive attention. Ensure you associate the treat given with the "release" cue. This keeps your puppy patiently waiting for the right time to start moving again.
Don't reward bad behavior
There are many different ways your puppy can make you want to tear your hair out. We could make a whole separate blog about each potential puppy disaster. Tearing up shoes. Biting guests. Chewing the furniture.
None of these are your puppy's fault. They don't know any better. But you need to get into your own habit of addressing these destructive behaviors before your dog grows up. A puppy nipping at new people could be seen as cute. A fully grown dog biting at strangers could mean a potential lawsuit.
Whenever your puppy does something bad, it's essential to not get angry. This will just end up scaring your puppy, and ruin the potential lesson. A firm "no" will suffice. Physical punishment is similarly never a good idea. A better punishment is the time out, putting your puppy outside or in its crate. Often, destructive behaviors are about trying to get attention. Your puppy needs to learn that these behaviors will only earn them the opposite result. If you're still uncertain about discipline, puppy training classes can be of good help.
Some dogs love grooming and baths more than others. But any puppy can learn to be a good groomer if you start them early. Let your puppy play around in your bath a bit and get used to it. Reward standing still for grooming with treats. Trimming your dog's nails will be important as they grow. Get your puppy used to the appearance and sound of a nail clipper even if you aren't using it. This helps them adjust to having it around them.
Walks and leashes
It's important you get your puppy used to leashes early on. Walks and exercise are part of puppy wellness. However, puppies may not like the idea of being leashed. It's vital they get used to having the leash on. Feel free to let them wear it even if you aren't going for a walk just to get them acclimated to it. Soon, it'll be second nature to them.
Stay on track with Wagmo
We could go on forever about developing healthy habits for puppies. You need to teach them to take their supplements and how to behave well when going to the vet. There are a lot of puppy training tips to master!
There's also a lot of puppy care to pay for. Thankfully, with puppy insurance plans from Wagmo, this doesn't need to be a concern. You can worry about teaching your puppy good habits, and let your Wagmo Insurance plan cover the rest!