Hey friends, it has been a while since I last posted on here so HI! This post is for all my friends that just got a new four-legged companion. I had a few people message me asking if I would do a post on puppy training, so here we go! Before we start, I wanted to let you all know that I am no expert and there have been times I felt so defeated.
First, let me say that patience is going to be your friend and just remember that your puppy is a PUPPY. They are going to do things that you don’t love, like peeing in the house or chewing things that aren’t toys. It is your job to help them learn what is okay and what isn’t in a kind, loving way that won’t harm your relationship with your dog.
Ellie is very smart and mischievous. She loves to learn and be around other dogs and has so much energy. She is a great dog, and I can’t imagine my life without her. To be honest it’s her world and I’m just living in it!
Alright training tips…I would say consistency is the most important thing to remember because if you aren’t consistent the puppy won’t know what to do.
I think the first thing I worked on, besides teaching her what her name was that she needs to come. Recall is so important, especially if you ever want to take her to off-leash dog parks, on hikes or trails, or even just let her go in a field. Trusting she will come back is important. One of the best tips I got was to never use her name to discipline her to ensure that when you call your dog they know its a good thing. That will make her associate her name with hearing “bad dog” or being put outside or whatever you do to discipline your pup. Give your puppy lots of love and treats to help them associate “come” with positivity!
Next is potty training, which is something we struggled with. I blame that on me because we were moving and there was NO consistency for weeks which really confused Ellie. It was a nightmare. She peed everywhere all the time and then I went back and re-listened to the podcasts we used to train her and realized I was doing it wrong. Once we started being more consistent it took 5 days and she is having maybe one accident in the house a day, if any. It used to be so bad and now she is getting the idea to use her doggy door and knows she is supposed to go outside.
Crate training is something many people have talked to me about and asked me about. I can honestly say that I hate crate training. Not because it is bad or doesn’t work because it is actually a great thing to teach and is very helpful but Ellie was not good with the crate and we actually had to change her to an exercise pen because she got so anxious in a crate. Crate training is the idea that at night (and during the day) you crate your puppy to teach them potty training and the idea that the crate is their safe space they can be left alone. Every time you let your pup out you take them outside and tell them to go potty which helps them understand that you outside. At night, when they are younger you have to wake up hourly and take them out because younger puppies can’t control their bladder yet- this can be pretty exhausting. Puppies cry when they are put in their crate because they are used to being in a pack. We got Ellie a comfort animal (a pink bunny) and she sleeps with that when she is in need of something to cuddle with. Once they reach 3-4 months, they can hold it most of the night. Ellie is 4 months and sleeps from 8:30pm-7:30am. We take her out right away and she does her stuff. Feed on a schedule– this helps to let you know when they will need to go which is good because then you can watch their behavior and take them out…get those habits started young!
Honestly, my best advice is to listen to the podcasts I am linking at the bottom! These podcasts cover EVERYTHING, and the longest one is 20 minutes. I listen to them in the car, while I am cooking dinner, whenever I have a minute. They’re simple to understand and they work really well.
One of the other things we had to work on was leash training. Walking on a leash is still a work in progress but it helps to start early and, as always, be consistent. We use a P-Correction Collar with Ellie because she pulls a lot. She is walking on a leash fairly well, but we learned the walking technique from Cedarwood Canine School in Bellingham, WA.
I think that is all I need to cover so I will leave the link to the podcasts for all my dog parents out there! Good luck everyone!!!