We chatted to top dog trainer, Charlie Clarricoates of Charlie’s Dog Training Centre, and discovered his top 10 tips for training a new puppy…
1. Word association is great for training puppies. All you have to do is attach a word to the action or behaviour that your puppy is displaying and reward! Obviously try to choose positive actions such as sitting, getting on its bed, or lying down.
2. Puppies get bored easily so get them working and using their noses by throwing their dry food out on to the lawn for them to sniff out!
3. Using treats get your puppy used to being touched and handled by lots of people. When checking your puppy over keep it short, fun and pleasurable. Remember a puppy that likes being handled and groomed usually turns out to be a really nice dog!
4. Travel with your puppy safely in the car; either in a den, in a harness or behind a dog car guard. Never allow your puppy to be loose in the car.
5. Teach your puppy to follow routines, such as sitting for the lead to be put on and sitting and waiting at kerbs, doors and gates.
6. Teach your puppy to wait and give you eye contact before being released to have their food, this is a great way of helping children and dogs have a great relationship.
7. Toilet train puppies by marking an area off in the garden and taking the puppy on a lead to this area for the first few days. The puppy will learn by habit and scent that this is where it toilets. If you reward the puppy with its favourite treat for toileting here it will quickly learn where its toilet area is.
8. Cut a hole in the side of a large cardboard box and fill it with scrunched up newspaper. Drop in treats, chews, and toys and watch your puppy rummage around inside it, they will have a great time instead of destroying your kitchen!
9. Don’t forget to be consistent with the daily rules of the house, puppies get confused when one day you want them up on the furniture to have a cuddle and the next you don’t due to muddy paws.
10. Play with your puppy as much as you can. Playing with toys will create a great relationship and just remember; they won’t be puppies for long!