Written by Stacey from Papamoa Village Vets.

Taking on a new puppy can be in equal parts exciting and daunting. A badly behaved puppy will soon turn into a not-so-well behaved dog, which can have serious consequences. We’ve compiled a list of Top Tips, to help steer you in the right direction when training your puppy.

Keep training periods short and consistent

Remember puppies don’t have very long attention spans so keep training periods short (5-10 minutes at a time). Stop before puppy starts getting too tired and always end on a positive note so your puppy is excited for next time. Be consistent and train every day.

Start simple

Use simple one word commands e.g. “Down” rather than “lie down”. Make sure everyone in the household is using the same command so puppy doesn’t get confused. Start out practising one command at a time and move on to something else once they have mastered it.

Rewards

Puppies learn best through positive reinforcement. When teaching a new command reward your puppy every time it gets it right by giving them a treat and lots of praise. This helps make training more fun for your puppy and motivates them. Treat every time initially, later when your puppy has mastered a command you can start treating intermittently.

Start off in a quiet environment

Start off in a quiet environment without too many distractions. You want to set your puppy up to succeed and have a positive experience. Once they have mastered something then start training in different environments with more distractions e.g. backyard, beach, park etc. This is really important as you need your puppy to listen and respond to you in any environment or situation.

Recall

Don’t take your puppy off lead until it has mastered recall. For its own safety you need to be able to get your puppy to come back to you every time. Use a long lead/line so it has freedom but you can pull it back to you if necessary and always give a reward once puppy comes back. As above start out in quieter environments with fewer distractions before moving to more distracting environments.

Get professional help

If you are struggling or would like more guidance seek advice from a dog trainer or enrol in an obedience class. Our team can point you in the direction of a professional trainer or suitable obedience classes. We also offer puppy preschools to help with early puppy socialisation and give you more tips and tricks on training your puppy.

Puppy Pre-school

At our Puppy Pre-school classes, we aim to offer you the skills to create a kind, loving, obedient and trustworthy bond with your new puppy that means your relationship can flourish. Our puppy classes, held over four evening sessions, will give you the tools to ensure he or she becomes a polite, well-behaved canine citizen that you will enjoy.

Our group sessions are small and the topics we cover include toilet training your puppy, basic training, simple dog commands, nutrition, parasite control, vaccinations, oral care, desexing information and problem solving. It’s also a great way to let your puppy interact with other puppies of various size and shape.

All you need to bring with you is your puppy on a lead and a smile. Classes cost $85.00. Please call us on 0800 838 7267 for more information or to book in.