- Get a crate! It makes house training incredibly easy.
2. Let your puppy sleep in your bedroom, at least for the first few nights. This whole experience is scary for a pup. Don’t make him sleep in the laundry room. Put the crate next to your bed so you can reassure him.
3. Baby gates are your friend. Use them to keep the puppy out of places you don’t want him to destroy.
4. Supervise, supervise, supervise. If you cannot watch him like a hawk, he needs to be in his crate or in his “room,” Set up a puppy room for when you can’t supervise. Pick a small area like the bathroom or kitchen, block it off with baby gates. Add a bed in one corner and pee pads or a dog “toilet” in another.
5. Pick a potty spot. If you don’t want Sparky pooping all over the yard as an adult, pick one area and take him directly there when it’s potty time.
6. Set a daily routine. House training proceeds more smoothly if your puppy knows what to expect from her day.
7. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Not all advice is good advice. Take everything with a grain of salt. Use the advice that works for your lifestyle remember not every ones household is the same.
8. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Discuss the puppy rules with your whole family. Figure out who will do what when. Pick one set of training cues and stick with them.
9.Don’t encourage behavior that you’ll regret when he gets big.
Get your pup used to handling from day one, touching feet, nails, tail, ears, mouth, teeth, and belly with love. Start grooming early on.
10.Let your puppy meet at least two new (friendly and gentle) people every day.
Take your puppy to the pet store. Great socialization opportunity.
Introduce your pup to all kinds of novel things. People in funny hats. Remote control cars. Kids playing. Agility equipment. Balloons. Cats. Car rides.
Socialize, don’t traumatize. Introduce new experiences slowly and never let your puppy get overwhelmed.
11. Reward good behavior, don’t wait for bad behavior. Reward the puppy when you see him doing something you like. Don’t wait until he’s misbehaving to give him attention.
12. Avoid the dog park. In addition to putting your under vaccinated puppy at risk for disease, most dogs at the dog park are quite rude by canine standards. A couple bad experiences could ruin your puppy’s opinion of her own species.
13. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. For example, teach your puppy to sit when greeting people. Don’t just yell at her for jumping up.
14. Watch your puppy’s poops. Disgusting? Yes. But it could save your puppy’s life. If you notice anything like diarrhea or blood, take your puppy for a vet visit ASAP.
15. Rotate through the toys. Let your puppy have two or three toys at a time. Changing up the toy selection will keep Sparky interested.
16. If you think your puppy needs to go potty at all, don’t hesitate to take him outside! You’d be surprised how often puppies need to go sometimes.
17. Practice separation. As tempting as it is, don’t let Sparky be glued to your side all day. Letting your puppy have time to himself in his crate or room will help prevent separation anxiety.
Hellos and Goodbyes should be no big deal. Don’t make a fuss over your pup when you leave or come home. Again, prevents separation anxiety.
18. Don’t get offended when your puppy chews on you. Puppies bite. Sometimes painfully. It is NOT aggression. Do not react by yelling, smacking him, rolling him on his back or holding his muzzle shut.
19. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners. Your puppy will think it smells like urine and it will actually encourage her to pee there again. Use an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.
20. Visit the vet. Take your pup for a visit when she doesn’t have an appointment. Bring some treats and ask the office staff to give her some. Make the vet’s office a fun place! (call ahead first to make sure this is OK)
21. As a general rule of thumb, the number of hours a puppy can “hold it” is his age in months plus two. So a two month old puppy should be crated for a maximum of four hours at a time (during the day. When they sleep at night, puppies can usually hold it for longer).
22. Be prepared for your pup to become an obnoxious little brat around age 6-10 months. Adolescence is even more challenging than puppy hood. First and foremost have fun with your dog!