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Quick, Easy Puppy Training Tips

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Puppies are adorable, but despite their undeniable cuteness, a poorly-trained puppy can wreak havoc in the home. Some breeds are calmer and more naturally obedient than others, so be sure to research your breed (or combination thereof) to determine the level of training they will require. You might even find it worth your while to invest in dog training classes for your puppy early on. Otherwise, here are some simple tips for training your puppy at home:

  • Crate train your puppy from the very first day you bring it home. Puppies enjoy den-like spaces, and using this instinct to your advantage will begin one of the most important housebreaking techniques you can use.
  • Don't let your puppy take control of the training. You should be initiating and terminating any interaction with your puppy, not the other way around. You decide when it's time to bring your puppy out to play and when it's time to go back in the crate.
  • As difficult as it may be, don't compromise with your puppy. If he doesn't perform the desired behavior, such as sitting or staying, don't just give up and walk away. Persistence is the key to conditioning your puppy to do certain things at certain times.
  • Your puppy should only be rewarded for good behavior and obedience. This means that you can't just give out a treat every time your puppy looks cute and cuddly--that's a lot of treats!
  • When you're spending time with your puppy, talk to it and pet it often. This helps establish that trustworthy bond that will forever define your relationship.
  • Never use violence on a puppy or any other animal. If firm words or commands don't work, talk to your vet about what you can do to modify certain behaviors; or hire a professional dog trainer.