Okay, how on Earth do you create a puppy training schedule? This is something you may ask if you have purchased or adopted one (or more) young puppies and have no idea where to start. It is so important that your puppy has a structured training schedule as soon as he steps into your house. He needs to learn that this is how things are here—and it isn’t going to change, my furry friend! Although there are many areas of puppy training that are incredibly important (such as potty training, basic obedience, puppy socialization, leash walking, and eliminating bad habits), starting some sooner than others are definitely preferable. Let’s look at where to start in creating an effective training program for your pup.
1. Crate Training
It is important to crate train your pup from the first night he arrives, especially if that’s where you are going to have him sleep there every night. Don’t let him snuggle up with you all cozy for the first few nights, only to pull the rug out from under him because he’s actually going to be sleeping in the crate. This can affect the dog’s behavior in the long run. Comforting him in your bed at first can definitely be tempting to do, but just remember that it won’t benefit him at all. Instead, teach him that his crate is his safe place and that it is somewhere he can go if he’s scared. Make sure you are structured in your crate training schedule too; if you want him to eat his meals in his crate, always have him eat there. If you want him to stay in the crate when you leave the house, make sure that he stays there at all times. Puppies will respond well in the long run to routine and stability, so do your best to make his crate a place where he is comfortable right from the start.
2. Going Potty
Ah, yes! Potty training. It is possibly the biggest hurdle to overcome when you first get your new furry best friend. This needs to be started right away or your pup will have plenty of time to mark his territory, and it will be much harder to teach him to go anywhere else. Make sure you stick to a schedule when it comes to potty training.
Take him out at the following times:
- First thing in the morning
- Last thing before bed
- After his meals
- After his nap time
Your pup will respond well to a potty-training schedule and, as long as you stick to it, there is a good chance of it becoming effective relatively quickly!
3. Playing with Toys
What is playing with toys doing on a puppy training schedule, you may ask? Well, playing with toys for a puppy is incredibly important. You want to introduce your pup to as many different toys as possible. Let him play with as many different kinds as possible, and find out what he likes. Not only does playing with toys make your pup happy and let him blow off some steam, but you’re going to constantly be redirecting your pup toward these toys. Whenever your puppy is mouthing something that he’s not supposed to, you need to distract him, and then redirect him to a toy. Toys are going to become a huge part of your positive reinforcement training method, so you might as well get used to them!
4. Redirecting Negative Behavior
This should be top of the list in terms of your puppy’s training schedule. Before you even jump into teaching your puppy basic commands, make sure you correct his behavior as he goes along with positive reinforcement training methods. Your puppy needs to be positively reminded right from the moment he enters your home of what kind of behavior he is and isn’t allowed to engage in. Whether it’s having accidents or chewing on the furniture (or you!), your pup is going to need to be redirected right from the get go.
Scolding your puppy is not the answer to encourage them to develop a positive behavior, either. You never want your puppy to be scared of you. After all, this defeats the whole point of having a dog in the first place! When your pup spends his first weeks exploring your house and all the wonders it has to offer, help set him up for success by leading him in the right direction. If your pup is nipping at you, exclaim “Ouch!” and replace your finger with a toy. If your pup goes potty on the floor, interrupt what he’s doing and take him to where he’s supposed to go. Always follow with lots of praise and a little treat when he starts behaving in the way you’d like him to, and he will naturally start building on these good habits.
5. Learning to Walk on a Leash
Learning to walk on a leash goes hand in hand with teaching your puppy commands. It won’t seem absolutely necessary at first but will be incredibly useful. After all, your puppy will have loads of energy, and you want to be able to take him for walks to help him burn it off. Going for walks is also great for doggie socializing, as your pup will likely run into plenty of other people and animals. He may be a little hesitant at first, but taking him out into the world is crucial for raising a well-balanced puppy. Take him out on a leash as soon as you can, and work in anywhere from 5–10-minute increments if your pup is just not having it. After all, many pups do not like walking on a leash at first, and are afraid of all the sounds and smells of the outside world. I can tell you first hand that he will most definitely conquer his fear with your patience and persistence!
Listen, nobody expects your puppy training schedule to be perfect, or to see positive results from the get-go. You need to remember, however, that your puppy will crave structure and routine. Try your best to take your pup out for a walk at the same time each day, and feed him, go out for walks, and go potty at regimented intervals. Create a schedule for yourself as to when you want to be doing certain activities each day. Just keep in mind that puppies are rather unpredictable. It might just be an approximate schedule, and that’s okay! After a while, your new schedule will become second nature to you and your pup, and you’ll be well on your way to setting him up to be a well-behaved adult dog.
Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.
And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!