Your puppy is moving in. And now? Unfortunately, the dog school where you registered for the puppy course had to close due to the current situation. We’ll help you with 3 tips to start puppy training at home.
Tip 1: Socialization
The socialization phase (approx. 3rd to 16th week of life) is a very important phase in a dog’s life because here you lay the foundations for later life. Use the socialization phase at home as well, by making your puppy familiar with various animate and inanimate influences in a well-dosed manner. Introduce your pup little by little
- Different substrates such as carpet, tiles, grass, concrete, paving stones, or some unusual substrates such as foil.
- Various noises such as doorbells, rattling pots, lawnmowers, or even the classic vacuum cleaner.
- Various objects such as the garbage can that stands on the side of the road or the bike in the bike rack.
All of this should be done in a playful way and always carried out with positive reinforcement.
If there are other animals or even dogs in your household or garden: perfect! You can also introduce these to your puppy. Lead your pup close to the other animals and give them time to observe them calmly. You can then reinforce calm behavior with a treat.
Tip 2: Rest
Make sure that your puppy gets enough rest and sleep phases in your hectic everyday life between work, home office, and childcare. A growing dog should sleep up to 20 hours a day. The younger the puppy, the more rest and sleep it needs.
Offer your dog its own sleeping place with enough space to stretch out and preferably with washable blankets. You should choose a quiet area as the best place in the house. Your dog should not be disturbed by coming and going here and all family members should respect this retreat. If your puppy seems sleepy, encourage him to go to his roost. You are also welcome to sit next to him and calm him down with slow and gentle strokes.
Tip 3: Train the First Signals
Use the time with your puppy to training the first basic signals in the house and garden.
Some of the most important signals your puppy should learn right now include sitting, down, recalling, and taking the first few steps of walking on a slack leash. Before you start training, please realize that your puppy has a short attention span depending on its age. A tired or overly excited puppy upon waking up will have a hard time concentrating on what is being asked. Find out the optimal training time for you. Be careful not to overwhelm your pup with too many exercises that are too long. For example, you can train retrieval with every meal by inviting him to eat with a call or whistle. The sit or later down position should first be practiced in a quiet, low-distraction environment 5 to max. 10 times throughout the day. You can also practice the first steps on the leash in your apartment by motivating your dog to walk alongside you with a treat. It is important for all exercises that you first praise each correct behavior with a cookie and/or verbally.
Puppy Training at Home: Additional Help
You should ignore incorrect behavior and repeat the exercise after a short break. If you need support for the right approach to the individual exercises, there are many good books on the subject, online dog schools, and the on-site dog trainer may be able to support you by phone with your training at home during the Corona period. We wish you a lot of fun and success in this great puppy time.