Having a puppy training schedule can save your life and nerves.
If you have a new puppy or planning on having one the beginning of this journey and this new responsibility can be quite challenging.
I remember our first week and even month of having our dog Vivi. At first, we thought that she was this cute little angel that is calm and relaxed in any possible way.
We were so wrong! When she got comfortable with us and her new environment, she showed her true colors. She became this super energized dog, that has no chill whatsoever. She wanted to play 24/7 and she had the energy of a Jack Russell Terrier, not to mention, she’s a French Bulldog.
And we’re a great example what not to do when having a new puppy. She needed a structured life, but we didn’t give her one, because we didn’t know how.
But now she’s 3,5 years old, and we’re finally on the right way of having a relaxed and anxiety free dog.
So here is what you need to know and do in order to avoid the same mistakes we made.
1. First 24 hours of having a puppy: helpful tips for overjoyed dog parents
Before having a puppy, have a daily schedule planned out for him, so you will know when he has to eat, go for potty, play and sleep – create a schedule for him to follow.
|7:00||The first thing you do when you wake up is to grab your puppy and run outside|
|7:15/30||playtime, free time in a supervised area (kitchen, an area with baby gates)|
|8:00||out for potty|
|9:00||crate time (maybe quick potty before crate);|
|11:00||out for potty|
|12:00||out for potty|
- Potty training – At first you would want your puppy to know where the toilet is. Show him space, the backyard if you have one. Be prepared to run outside very often to show him his potty place.
For more information on potty training your puppy, visit our potty training blog post!
Related posts:DoggieLawn – Imagine having a grass on the balcony or in a house, where your dog could go and do his “business” whenever he wants.
Bark Potty – An amazing company has made a great puppy pad alternative
- Introduce him to your home – let him sniff around a little bit, but always supervise him. It’s better to have a puppy on a leash all the time, so you have the chance to guide him
- Have a lot of play sessions throughout the day, so he get to know how fun you are, also to get his excess energy out and to ease his anxiety
- Get him used to a crate
Here’s a video of How to Crate Train a Puppy in few simple steps:
2. Tips For Your First And Second Week Of Your New Puppy Training
Week 8, 1st week of having the puppy
Not focusing on teaching your puppy specific commands, but mainly focus on creating a bond.
How can we do that?
- Hand-feeding your puppy;
- Catch him off guard as much as possible – focus his attention on you;
- Build the value for the word – YES;
- Supervise, always;
- Play games
Remember to always use leash for your new puppy.
This tool is going to be your best friend, even inside the house.
They are so curious and excited when in a new environment, so having a leash on them all the time can save you some time and pressure when you allow them to walk around freely and to explore.
You can even use a simple nylon rope to attach it to your puppy’s collar so it feels like he’s off the leash.
It’s a great tool to have when he’s outside the crate, so you can control his behaviour more easier.
- Potty training – have a crate, it prevents accidents from happening in the house
- Crate train your puppy – whenever you’re not around it’s the best way for your puppy to stay out of trouble and stay safe. It will give a safe space for your puppy to relax and teach him discipline
- Train him to be alone – don’t leave the puppy alone for hours, try to accustom him slowly. In the beginning, it can be for a few minutes. Hide in the same room or go to another room for few minutes to check his reaction. Then slowly add the time of you being gone
- Hand feed your puppy – it helps you to create a bond with your puppy and it also shows that you are the source of the food. You can teach your puppy to take the food gently from your hand (keep the treat in your fingertips holding with your thumb, when he’s sniffing and licking mark the good behavior saying ‘yes’ and give him the treat)
- Teach your puppy to follow the food – don’t move too quickly and allow him to move a few steps, then give him a treat. When following the treat, you can try to teach him to go into positions like sit, down, and stand. You don’t have to teach the commands yet
Sit position – put the treat as close to his nose as possible, when he sits – reward him, repeat it a few times.
Down position – use the previous position as the base for this one. From the sitting position move the treat down to the ground but do it slowly. This can take time, so be patient with the puppy.
Stand position – from the down position move the treat up and little bit to the front, as he gets up from the down position, reward him.
Week 9, 2nd week of having the puppy
After a week, your puppy will be used to the environment he’s in right now. That means he will be more brave and more than before.
Keep doing everything you have been doing during the week 1, try to level up a little bit to build his confidence.
Focus on his name, potty manners, crate training and so on.
Now that he’s more accustomed to you get him used to a human touch.
- Touch his collar, take it off, put it back on – use food to reward him
- Touch his feet – reward with food
- Touch his ears – reward with food
- Touch his mouth and inside the mouth – reward with food
These exercises will help you with grooming your dog in the future, it also helps when you’re visiting your vet. If you have practiced these things at home, you will be able to handle your puppy better when needed.
3. Improved Puppy Training For Your 10 To 16 Week Old Puppy
Now that you have started to create a greater bond with your puppy you can start to teach him the basic commands. As you already started to teach him what does the sit, down, and stand to look like, you can now teach him the actual command of these positions.
Slowly introduce him to those words when completing the command.
Note: don’t combine the vocal with the visual. If you use them together the vocal command loses its meaning to the dog.
- Working on a SIT command – use the word SIT, then use the treat to guide him into that position, mark the completed command with YES, then reward the puppy. Work on this at least for a week.
The next week work on taking off the treat from your guiding hand.
- Working on a SIT command – use the word SIT, then use your hand gesture (as you did before, but without the treat this time), mark the completed command with YES, then reward the puppy
- Then for the week work on DOWN and STAY commands with and without the treat
When practicing this every day, try to experiment with your puppy. Say the command without the hand and see what he’ll do. Most of the puppies at this point will sit without your hand guiding them.
But don’t worry if it’s not happening with you and your puppy. Everyone has their own pace, don’t rush it. It’s better to do it slowly and steadily than fast and without the results.
- Work on socialization – invite your family and friends to get to know your new family member. Your dog will meet new people all the time when he’s older, so the positive association with strangers is important for your puppy
- Continue on socialization – introduce the puppy to new people and positive, calm dogs post-vaccination.
- If you want to teach your dog to be completely calm when touching his paws, ears, tail, teach your dog to be calm. It helps for the grooming and vet appointments too
There are many ways you can teach your dog to relax. Crating dog is one of them, but one interesting command that I learned recently is To Lay On His Side.
It’s a great position for full body check, for clipping his nails or whatever you need to do for your dog.
Here’s a great video how you can teach your dog to do that:
When your dog has mastered this command you can start to add touching his paws, mouth and whatever you feel like is necessary to touch, and of course, rewarding him for staying calm and allowing you to do everything you want.
Try also things that are not too comfortable for him, reward him for good behavior. If he gets too excited or anxious while doing them go a few steps back and repeat those things after a while.