Puppy education is a process that requires a lot of patience and dedication. There is no single and definitive guide that can state how to educate a puppy , as this process will vary greatly depending on the individual, their learning capacity or the repetitions that we offer them. Even so, we can offer you some general guidelines so that you know what you should take into account when educating a puppy dog.
In this article we will detail the most important aspects to take into account when raising a puppy step by step, explaining what the socialization of the puppy is, how to teach him to urinate on a newspaper and many other important details.
Before adopting a dog …
Adoption is a very important process, therefore, before bringing the puppy to our home, we must make sure that it is a considered decision and approved by all members of the family unit. Likewise, we will make the necessary preparations to ensure that the newcomer is comfortable and thus we can promote a quick adaptation.
Let us remember that dogs are long-lived animals, which can accompany us for approximately 15 to 20 years . For this reason, we must be sure that we can take care of it throughout its life and, in the event of an accident, have a trusted person to leave it with. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you have time to educate him?
- Will you take him out for a walk at least twice a day?
- Can you take care of him financially?
- Do all the members of your family agree?
- Will you be responsible for him until his last day?
If you have answered yes to all the questions , you are ready to have a puppy. This step is very important to take into account, because only in this way can we prevent difficulties in their education, maintenance and even possible abandonment. The overpopulation of animals and the number of abandoned dogs worldwide is a real problem, do not let your case be one more.
How and where to adopt a puppy?
Choosing the “ideal puppy” is a complex process, since many factors must be taken into account, since they will influence the temperament of the dog in its adult stage. Therefore, if we want to have a balanced and stable adult dog, we must know what are the elements of the forging of character: genetics, socialization and lived experiences, education being an important part of them.
The breeds of dogs can help us learn how to be the character of the dog, as some races stand out as being particularly intelligent, active or predisposed to certain behavior problems. However, in mongrel dogs , we must look at the temperament of the parents, since certain aspects can be transmitted to puppies, such as fear.
On the other hand, a premature adoption, that is, before the dog has been able to socialize with its parents and siblings, can cause the appearance of behavioral problems in the puppy, such as insecurity, fear or excessive vocalization. Thus, the recommended adoption age is between 2 and 3 months of age, at which time the dog is weaned and understands canine language.
Finally, education and training will play a fundamental role in the behavior of the dog, so you will have to dedicate time and effort to teach him how to behave at home and outside of it, as well as initiate him in basic canine obedience so that he responds positively to your directions. To teach him you must make use of positive reinforcement , through treats, caresses or kind words, in no case punishment, because at this stage it can cause fear and breakdown of the bond.
What does a puppy need?
It will be very important that, before the arrival of the puppy, we prepare all the supplies it needs :
- Blanket and towel
- Puppy food
- Puppy shampoo
- Adjustable harness or collar
- Fixed strap
- Bags to collect feces
Place the bed in a quiet place and the bowls in an easily accessible place. Once they are in place, do not move them , as the puppy will need to find them easily. Remember that it will be difficult for him to orient himself in a new home, especially the first few days.
Family unit rules
This detail is very important and must be considered before the dog’s arrival at the home. Dogs are animals of habit and to maintain mental stability they should always follow established and fixed routines:
- Tour times
- Lunch hours
- What can you do and what not
All members of the family must be clear about these points and comply with them properly. For example, we must know if the dog will be able to get on the sofa or not, if it should always sleep in the same place, if we can give it food when we are having dinner, etc. If we all follow the same educational dynamics , the dog will be more stable and mentally healthy and will also behave in a more polite way.
Another detail that we must establish will be education . You should know that the dog is an animal that has its own autonomy: it will likely do things that you dislike at times, such as chewing on a piece of furniture, breaking a precious object or urinating where it does not touch. Remember that a puppy needs time and an education based on positive reinforcement. Using aggression and punishment with the dog will only bring behavioral problems in the future such as reactivity or fear. Instead of punishing him for getting on the couch, reinforce him for coming down.
Finally, we encourage you to look for your new dog in an animal shelter to shelter a rescued puppy that did not have a chance in a real home, don’t you think?
The puppy’s arrival at home
On the first day of the dog’s arrival at the home we must maintain a very positive and relaxed attitude to convey confidence to our new dog, our puppy will probably do some mischief, we should not take it into account.
Usually when dogs undergo a sudden change in life, they usually have an “adaptation period” in which they are shy, introverted and insecure. It lasts about a day or two, then they will start to show their true selves.
On this first day of adaptation you should let your puppy smell the environment to get to know it and get used to it, it can happen in slightly older or younger puppy dogs, they urinate a little to “mark” their new territory, it is normal, do not scold them.
Do not overwhelm him with excessive caresses, yelling and nervousness. Your puppy needs to rest and to be comfortable in his new environment. Providing a feeling of calm, security and well-being will be very positive for your dog and to promote a good adaptation. There will be time to know things, we will go step by step.
How to teach a puppy to go to the bathroom?
The vet must give your puppy the appropriate vaccinations for his age, properly following the vaccination schedule for dogs. Until they have administered all that it should receive, you will not be able to take the puppy for a walk . If you did, he could suffer from a mild cold to more serious diseases, and due to his young age he could not
For this reason, you should teach your dog to urinate on the newspaper. To teach your dog to urinate on the newspaper, follow this simple step by step:
- The puppy usually urinates and defecates about 20 to 30 minutes after eating. We can stimulate you by stroking your belly, “cleaning” your bottom with wet wipes or we can simply wait for you to feel like it.
- If your puppy has already urinated at home before, he will probably have a favorite area so to speak. Place several layers of newspaper in that corner.
- Maybe you decide to go to the newspaper or maybe not. Be that as it may, if your puppy decides to urinate elsewhere, you should pick him up and quickly lead him to the newspaper. Once finished congratulate him and fill him with praise, caresses and snacks . What comes to mind.
- Little by little you will identify your puppy’s urge to urinate: some sniff the ground, others circle nonstop, and others are nervous. When you notice your dog’s urge to urinate, quickly lead him to the newspaper.
- We will always congratulate and reward you.
- It will probably take a while to connect the congratulations, the newspaper, and the pee, but at some point your puppy will understand what is going on and will handle it himself. Do not despair if you need more than 20 repetitions, it is normal, it is a puppy.
How do you teach a puppy to come when you call?
At this stage of his life, we must actively and daily stimulate the puppy’s mind so that he is a very intelligent dog and we can work with him a positive and effective education. As your puppy cannot leave the home yet, we recommend that you start with intelligence games inside the house, whether they are bought or homemade, it does not matter. Stimulating your dog mentally and physically is very important so that in the future he has agile thinking and allows himself to be handled without problems.
Remember that at this time in his life the puppy will have to rest a long time. However, when he is awake, we will practice with him using various toys: teethers, stuffed animals, kong, bones … Whatever comes to mind. Always under supervision.
Offering, removing, and re-offering a toy is a great way to prevent our dog from becoming possessive in the future. It is also a very good trick to give food directly from the hand, in this way our dog will not be possessive of food and will understand that we are the ones who offer him food. This is a key point.
We can also start educating our dog in obedience at home, for example, teaching him to come here . To achieve this follow this step by step:
- Get some dog treats.
- Get away from your puppy a bit (1-2 meters), call him by his name and say “come here”.
- Use loving words to encourage him to reach out to you.
- When he gets to where you are, offer him a small prize.
- Move around and repeat this exercise around the room for about 10 minutes.
Once he has learned to come here you can move on to the next exercise, for example, teaching him to sit. Each time you learn a new exercise, you should allow a day or two of “review” to practice again what you have already learned. Never exceed 10 minutes a day with a puppy.
How to teach a puppy to relieve himself outside?
Once your puppy has received all his vaccinations, he will be ready to go outside for a walk. This moment is very important for the life of the dog, in fact, the behavior of his adult life will depend directly on this precise stage of his life.
We will start by teaching him to urinate on the street for this, you will follow this step by step, very similar to the previous one in which your dog will learn to relieve himself outside the home:
- Probably by now you will know how to identify perfectly when your dog wants to urinate, after eating it is usually the most appropriate time. Now is the time to put on a harness, leash, grab a newspaper and go outside.
- Take this process very slowly, it will take a little time for you to learn that you should now urinate on the street instead of indoors.
- If your puppy identifies the newspaper with the urine you have a lot of work done. When you go down to the street with him, you should put a newspaper next to a tree and wait quietly for him to relieve himself there.
- If you see that he does not urinate, walk a little more and put a newspaper on the next tree.
- Being a new environment for him, he will probably feel overwhelmed, if he does not do it as he should, do not despair, he needs more time.
- Every time he urinates in the street (whether or not near a tree) congratulate him with high praise, caresses or snacks . Positive reinforcement is by far the most effective training.
After urinating, you should continue the walk a little longer, always without forcing it, remember that it is a puppy and that active exercise is not indicated for it.
For your dog to learn to urinate in the street correctly, you must be very attentive and be very constant on walks. We will remove the newspaper from inside the home and only use it on field trips. At this time of learning, you should go out with him for walks very often to avoid urinating at home. We will always take short walks that do not tire you. If he urinates indoors, don’t scold him, remember that you taught him to do it there before. After a while, your dog will understand that his “bathroom” is now out.
The puppy’s socialization process , which occurs between 3 and 12 weeks of age, is key for the forging of the dog’s character and it will depend on it that in its adult stage it is balanced and sociable.
Socialization consists of introducing our puppy to the world around him. When walking down the street, he will find other dogs to interact with, humans, and he will observe the world around him: cars, noises, bicycles … It is very important that you habituate your puppy to all these stimuli constantly and regularly, always trying that the encounters are positive.
Do not approach your dog to any dog or person, before you should always ask if the other pet is sociable or not, or if the person you are approaching wants to pet him. If your puppy suffers a negative encounter and they end up biting him, he will probably show insecurity and fear in the future when interacting with other dogs. If your dog interacts with different people and pets every day, you will be educating him to be a social and affectionate dog, without fear and accustomed to the behavior of his kind.
Obviously you should not bring your puppy near reactive dogs that may bite him, however, if you observe that another dog growls at him (and even if he marks him without hurting him) you must allow it. Dogs communicate through growling to indicate that they don’t like something. In order for your dog to understand canine behavior and to be able to relate well with other dogs, you must allow small conflicts to arise. Older dogs “educate” and teach little ones how to behave. Your puppy needs to learn to behave through other adult dogs since he has been separated from his parents.
How to teach my puppy not to bite?
This is also a time of development of the canine teeth and your dog will begin to bite objects to relieve himself since they usually feel discomfort. Teaching your puppy to chew properly is very important, for this we recommend buying different types of chew toys that will not only help alleviate pain, but will also teach him that the objects to chew on are toys.
Don’t let your dog use your hand to practice. Stand back and offer him his teether. If you notice that he does not use it and that he prefers your hands, encourage him by moving the toy and shaking it, your dog is indicating that he wants to play. On the other hand, remember the importance of properly cleaning your teeth so that it remains healthy for many years. You can choose to give him cleaning snacks or using tricks to clean the dog’s teeth.
Finally, if your dog is extremely tireless and seems to have no end in his eagerness to bite everything, we recommend that you get a kong, a great tool that is also an intelligence toy.
How and how long to walk a puppy?
For your dog to be mentally healthy and happy, he will have to walk an average of two or three times a day, adapting the dog walks to the real needs of your dog . If you notice that he urinates very often, you can opt for shorter walks, but little by little you should help him adapt to you and your schedule.
During walks it is always recommended that your dog can enjoy being free and off leash. Remember the great importance of the chip and the identification plate in case you lose it. Go to a fenced -in pee-dog to avoid leaks or accidents.
On the other hand, and to finish with the topic of walks, we recommend you visit our post to discover the most frequent errors of the walk, such as not letting him sniff. Remember that dogs receive information from the environment in which they are sniffing and that this helps them relax. If your dog is vaccinated, fear nothing, he will not get sick.
How to train a puppy?
Now that your dog starts to go out on the street constantly and is already young, you should start educating him in dog training so that he is obedient. You must know that obedience goes beyond a few simple tricks such as pawing or playing dead, your dog must learn to behave and listen to you at all times, especially outside the home.
It is essential for your safety and that of other dogs and people. The basic commands training consisting sit, come here, sit still or lie down. Teach your dog important training commands that help him in his day to day.
On the other hand, don’t forget that positive reinforcement is the key to getting your dog to love and trust you. Avoid using methods of punishment, spike necklaces or other techniques. The common training errors can be avoided and if you need you should always go to a professional, never follow advice on behavior problems that are not contrasted by professionals like dog trainers, educators and ethologists.
How to teach a puppy to stay alone?
Finally and to finish with the education of the puppy, you must teach your dog to stay alone at home. It is very important that you carry out this process gradually and positively so that your dog understands that nothing happens because you leave for a while.
All of this is aimed at preventing separation anxiety in dogs, a problem that affects many dogs that feel desperate when they are alone.
To teach your dog to stay alone at home, we must first do small tests inside the house, moving from one room to another without the puppy having access to us. We should not go if he cries or scratches at the door, but he will understand that we will come if he tries to get our attention.
After the movements inside the house, we will begin to make short outings, of between 5 and 10 minutes, in which the dog will be completely alone. Then we will gradually increase the time. To make him feel comfortable and perceive your gait less, you can get the kong, one of the safest toys out there. The kong to treat separation anxiety is a perfect tool.