🐶 Top Training Tips for New Puppy Owners 🐶

🐶 Top Training Tips for New Puppy Owners 🐶

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time! As veterinary professionals, we want to set you and your furry friend up for success. Proper training and socialization from a young age can prevent behavior problems down the road. We've compiled our top training tips to help new puppy owners build a strong foundation during these critical first months.

🍼 Preparing For Your Puppy's Arrival

Before your puppy comes home, take time to truly puppy-proof your house. Look at your home from a puppy's perspective - anything chewable or breakable within reach is fair game!

Supplies You'll Need

Stock up on these essentials before pickup or delivery day:

·         🥣 Food and treats: Pick an age-appropriate puppy kibble and have treats on hand for training. Consider a slow feeder to prevent overeating.

·         💧 Bowls: You'll need a bowl for food and a separate water bowl. Consider no tip bowls.

·         🛏️ Crate: A crate serves as a cozy den and helps with potty training. Be sure to buy a crate designed for your puppy's adult size.

·         🚪 Baby gates: Block off areas you don't want your puppy wandering, like the kitchen or stairs.

·         🧽 Cleaning supplies: Enzyme-based cleaners help eliminate odors that might attract your puppy to have an accident in the same spot.

Puppy-Proof Your Home

Walk through each room and survey for safety:

·         🔌 Cover electrical cords and block access behind TVs and entertainment consoles

·         🗑️ Remove trash cans or use canned lids to prevent garbage digging

·         🪟 Secure loose curtains, blinds cords, which can be choking hazards

·         🔨 Keep household chemicals, medications out of reach

·         🌿 Move house plants out of reach of curious puppy paws and mouths

·         👢 Pick up loose shoes, socks, clothing items to prevent chewing

You can't prevent every accident, but being prepared will give you peace of mind!

🐕 Bringing Puppy Home: Setting Up For Success

The early days with your new family member set the tone for your relationship. With patience and TLC, you’ll be off to a great start!

Choose a Designated Potty Area

As soon as you get home, take your pup straight to the potty spot you’ve chosen, on leash to keep their attention. This sets a routine right away.

Choose an easy to clean area with quick access to the outdoors. Trademark this as their bathroom with a command like “Go potty.” Take them out frequently to reinforce this is the right place, not the middle of the kitchen!

Be patient - accidents will happen during this adjustment period. responded calmly and consistency they’ll catch on.

Crate Training

The crate prevents house soiling when you can’t supervise directly. But it’s NOT meant as punishment - this is your pup's safe space for resting and downtime.

Place the open crate in a high traffic area, with a comfy blanket and toys inside to make it welcoming. Feed your puppy in the crate to build a positive association.

Start crate training slowly. Keep sessions brief at first so they don’t get distressed. Provide stuffed Kongs or safe chew toys to entertain them.

At night, place the crate beside your bed to reassure your puppy during this transition. Migrate it to the desired room over subsequent nights.

Socialize Early And Often

Unlike basic manners, socialization has a critical window before 16 weeks of age. Expose your puppy to a wide variety of sights, sounds, people, environments and other animals in a positive, controlled way during this period.

Introduce them to friends, neighbors, children, people of different appearances. Bring them on car rides, walk them downtown, let them experience city sounds. Building confidence to handle surprises prevents reactive, fearful behavior down the road.

We recommend structured puppy socialization classes. Check our puppy preschool programs to enroll your pup and set them up for success!

🎓 Fundamentals To Teach Your Puppy

Don’t expect too much too soon - puppies have very short attention spans! Keep lessons short, engaging and reward-based. End on a positive note before they lose interest.

With 5-10 minute sessions, you can teach the basics through games and encourage desired behaviors. Be patient, keep it fun! Repetition over weeks and months leads to solid behaviors.

Potty Training

Prevent accidents by:

·         ⏱ Taking out first thing in morning, after eating, after waking from nap, every 30 minutes when active.

·         👀 Supervising directly inside. Keep them on a leash with you if needed.

·         😊 Praise immediately after they go in the designated spot! Reward with treats and give a potty command word like “Hurry up” so they associate.

·         🙅‍♂️ Avoid scolding after the fact for accidents - it can instill fear and cause them to hide when needing to go. Just calmly clean it thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner.

Hang in there during this stage - the extra effort pays off with a house-trained adult dog!

Name Recognition

Have tasty treats ready to reward your pup when you say their name. Call their name excitedly when they make eye contact. Vary tone and volume, say it when engaging in play and as you give affection. Soon their name will grab their attention!


Hold a treat at their nose level. Slowly move it over their head so their nose follows the treat upwards and hindquarters drop. Say “sit” then mark and reward. Build duration by having them hold it briefly before treating. Practice near distraction to strengthen it.


Run away excitedly so they chase you, then reward with praise and treat. Build by calling when playing, during walks, and when they are focused on something interesting to break that focus. Always make coming fun!

Leash Manners

Take them on lots of walks in safe areas to experience sights and sounds. Bring HIGH value treats. Randomly reward for attention checks back to you or for staying near your side. If they pull, stop movement. Praise and repeat when the leash is loose again. This takes time and consistency!

Bite Inhibition

Puppies mouth everything when teething. Say “ow!' and stop play for 15-30 seconds when those needle teeth pinch. Offer appropriate chew toy instead. Be consistent so they learn soft mouth behavior. Frozen carrots or wet washcloths also soothe sore gums!


Handle puppies frequently - touch feet, ears, mouth, tail regularly. Reward tolerance to grooming like nail trims and brushing. Introduce veterinary exams through play and praise cooperation. This prevents sensitivity as they grow.

Building trust and confidence prevents many adult behavior issues down the road. Set them up for success starting now!

🐶 Ongoing Training In The Puppyhood Phase

In the early months, focus less on structured training sessions but more on positive experiences. Let your puppy explore environments, introduce new surfaces, sounds, people, supervised interaction with vaccinated puppy friends.

Capture and reward desirable behaviors as they happen naturally. Respond calmly to typical puppy antics like play biting, demand barking, house soiling accidents - these are all part of the process!

Above all, shower them with patience, love and appreciation for their cute puppy selves! Raising a confident, friendly dog is very rewarding.

We can't wait to see your pup growing over their wellness visits. Bring your questions - we are here to help set you both up for success!

Teach Impulse Control

Once they master the basics like sit, down, stay, "leave it", you can strengthen their self-restraint by rewarding patience and good choices.

·         🚪 Have them sit politely before going outdoors, receiving dinner, entering/exiting the home or car.

·         🎾 Practice addressing the human first before chasing a ball or stick thrown, then release to retrieve only after "ok" cue.

·         👄 Have them ignore food items on the floor they can't have. Mark and reward lack of interest.

·         🏃‍♂ Teach polite walking as their desire to pull builds. Stop forward motion whenever the leash gets tight. Resume only when it's loose again.

Handling and Grooming

Puppies often resist handling of paws, ears and mouth as they grow. Make it fun! Provide tiny treats as you briefly touch sensitive areas, keeping sessions short. Work up slowly to mimic vet exams - reward tolerance.

Introduce grooming needs like nail trims, brushing and wiping faces. Go slow with positive association. Having them comfortable with handling prevents vet visit struggles!

Car Travel

Accustom your puppy to car travel early on to prevent anxiety later. Use a secured crate or restraint harness in the back seat for safety. Bring toys and treats to make it positive.

Take them on short errands at first before building to longer trips. Calm praise and treats prevent carsickness. Never scold anxious behavior - it will worsen it! Stay upbeat and make it fun.

Advanced Cues

Once the basics like sit, stay, down, come have duration, practice them in more challenging environments with distractions expected of adult dogs.

Vary location - front yard, park, pet stores. Have strangers request cues. Walk off leash trails, rewarding check-ins. Solid real world behavior takes time and creativity - keep it fun!

Setbacks happen! Regress to easier versions if needed, rebuild confidence and trust in the cue. Increase challenge gradually. Growth often happens in waves during puppyhood. Stay positive!

🐩 Common Hurdles In Puppy Raising

Puppies bring joy but also headaches at times. Know you aren't alone in struggling with typical challenges like:

Demand Barking And Nipping

Puppies learn to use their voice and mouth to get needs met by littermates. Redirect gently with appropriate chews when those needle teeth come out. Provide mental stimulation through games, training. Avoid scolding - it often escalates frustrated behavior. Stay calm and reinforce quiet moments.

Submissive Urination

Some puppies leak urine out of excitement when greeting or feeling intimidated. Ignore this submissive behavior - scolding worsens anxiety. Greet pup calmly, build confidence through reward-based training. It often resolves by 1 year of age. Protect your floors in the meantime!

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are social animals. Puppies often cry, bark and soil the home when left alone - they panic being apart from you. Ease this transition with delicious food puzzles, calming music and building alone time very gradually. Never scold anxiety! Reach out if struggling - we offer counseling and medications to help.

The trying times are temporary but the bond built through overcoming hurdles together lasts a lifetime. You've got this!

🩺 Health And Veterinary Care

Raising a healthy, happy pup requires preventative care you can easily provide at home, and routine veterinary services.

At Home Care

·         🍽️ Feed age-appropriate commercial or veterinary therapeutic diet

·         💊 Administer prescribed preventatives like flea/tick and heartworm medication

·         ✂️ Trim nails as needed (avoid quicking)

·         🏋️ Ensure adequate exercise opportunities based on age and breed

·         🛏️ Wash bedding, pick up waste promptly from potty area

·         🧷 Groom coat regularly - wipes for faces, brushing

·         🟡 Avoid sharing human foods, toxins, small chokeable items

·         🥰 Give them your time, attention and affection!

Routine Veterinary Services

·         🩹 Puppy exam series: Multiple visits assess growth, discuss training

·         💉 Vaccination series: Critical for immunity against contagious diseases

·         🩺 Spay/neuter surgery: Prevents unwanted litters, reduces some health risks

·         🏥 Prompt attention for illness: Puppies decline quickly - call us with concerns

·         🩸 Labwork: Screens for parasites and disease not prevented by vaccines

·         ☎️ 24/7 ER access: We offer after hours triage and emergency care guidance

Building a relationship with your veterinary team provides a safety net and ensures your puppy stays happy and healthy as they grow!

🎉 Graduating Puppyhood

The first year flies by in the blink of an eye. The tiny fluffball you brought home transforms into a teenager pushing boundaries to develop adult dog manners and judgment.

With a strong foundation from consistent, positive training they have so much potential!但 Set realistic expectations - adolescence brings regression. Stick with what works, power through thetrying phases and you’ll end up with an incredible companion.

We're honored to support you and your puppy through the adventures ahead. Please reach out anytime for behavior troubleshooting, health concerns or just to give us cute photo updates!