Puppy training since the first day
As soon as you bring your puppy home, you'll have to start training it. At Purina you can find more information on how to train your puppy.
THE FIRST DAY AT HOME
Puppy training should begin as soon as you bring it home. Start by getting it to know its name. Use it whenever you play with your puppy, feed or cuddle it, and it will soon recognize and respond when you call. As soon as your puppy knows its name, you can use it to communicate with it and to start training it.
The next step is to get it used to using a collar and leash. It may feel a little strange at the beginning, but be patient: it’ll get there! Put a light collar on it as soon as you get home, and practice taking it out for a walk with a light leash. If your dog has not yet received all its vaccinations, start practicing with the leash around the house and garden. It might get very nervous, or pull at the leash when you take it out for a walk. But if you are perseverant and dedicated, your puppy will get used to it very soon.
SOCIALIZING YOUR NEW PUPPY
It is vital that your new puppy is socialized correctly if you want it to become a happy and reliable adult dog.
One of the best ways to socialize your puppy in a fun and friendly environment is a puppy gathering. Your veterinary clinic probably organizes this type of events for puppies that have already been given their first vaccinations (at approximately eight weeks of age). If it doesn’t, maybe they can tell you who does.
Puppy gatherings allow puppies of similar ages to get together to play and have fun.
Find a gathering led by expert trainers, breeders or veterinarians, as they will know how to create a positive and fun experience that increases your puppy's confidence. If the meeting isn’t carried out properly, your puppy will not enjoy it or may even feel scared; but with the help of experts, it will love making friends.
Puppy gatherings will probably be the first time that puppies play with others since they left their litter, and many of them will look and behave very differently to their siblings.
While they get to know each other and explore in a controlled environment, they will learn invaluable life lessons, such as the importance of not biting, understanding body language and canine facial expressions and how to communicate with others. These encounters are also a great opportunity for your puppy to meet with trainers and be directed by them, which will strengthen its confidence when interacting with people.
Instructors will help teach your puppy good manners, such as not being possessive over food or toys — and giving them back when asked, not to bark uncontrollably or push past people through doorways. With a lot of practice at home and plenty of snacks as rewards, you will soon have a calm, happy and educated family member who is a pleasure to live with.
TRAINING CLASSES FOR PUPPIES
Once your puppy has been given all of its vaccinations, at between 12 and 16 weeks of age, it can switch up from puppy gatherings to training classes. They are fundamental to your puppy’s development, and very fun for you too.
During training classes you will teach your puppy basic exercises and commands, such as “sit", "down", "stay", "come" (and you may even be able to teach it fun tricks like “paw”or “roll over"!). These classes are for teaching both owners and their dogs, and you will be shown how train your puppy using modern, friendly and motivating techniques.
When looking for a puppy training class, choose one that is friendly, organized, fun and reward-based. There must be at least one trainer or assistant for every six puppies, so that dogs can keep focus and not get bored. A good trainer will allow you to attend a trial class before signing up so you can be sure you have chosen the right place. If the class is overcrowded or chaotic, if the instructor shouts or punishes the dogs (or the owners!) or if they use choker collars, do not go back. Your puppy and you deserve better.
Your puppy's breeder and vet will be happy to help and advise you, and you can find more information on where to find good puppy trainers near you on the Purina website.
Training your dog helps build an invaluable bond between the two of you, so enjoy every moment.
Good luck, and have fun!