Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting experience in your life. You’re full of love, happiness, and adoration for the new member of your family. Just like human babies though, a young dog does not yet know the ropes of how they are supposed to handle themselves inside and outside the household, and it’s up to you to teach them the way. Dog training can range from just the basic necessities to extremely advanced, but most families and pet owners are just going to need to make sure that their new puppy can live comfortably in their home and symbiotically with the family. The most basic types of training to get your dog used to their new living situation and their life moving forward are leash training, crate training, and behavioral training.
If you live in the United States (which most of our readers do, so likely you do too) you’re almost undeniably going to have to train your dog to be comfortable on a leash any time you bring them to a public place like a city center or a park. Leash training is an important stage in a dog’s development because it helps them get exposed to the world outside of your household and teach them how to interact with other dogs, animals, and humans. It’s important that they learn not to be afraid of others so that they don’t become scared or aggressive when approached.
Things can get really bad if they start to attack when they get scared, so it’s a good idea to get them used to the outside world from a young age. Don’t push them beyond their limits though, exposing them to too much at a time can have the exact opposite of the desired effect. Once your dog gains some comfort you can move to a training collar to give them more space to run while still keeping them in control. This is great for taking them on walks in the woods or in larger parks where it is permitted.
Then there’s training your dog for knowing how to behave inside the house, and the tried and true method for this is crate training. The point of training a dog in a crate is so that they have their own place within your home, rather than treating it like a cage you keep them in when you don’t want to deal with them running around. It’s an excellent way to get them to stay off the furniture and generally misbehave by chewing, scratching, or barking excessively. It’s even helpful with housebreaking them, as they’ll learn that they don’t want to eliminate where they sleep. Successful crate training will result in the dog wanting to spend time in their crate without you having to put them in there, or even having to close the door to keep them inside.
Last but not least is behavioral training to help fine-tune your dogs so that they work well with your lifestyle. Proper crate training should help them with housebreaking, but you’ll probably need to give them one last push to make it stick. Plus, you’ll want to make sure that they don’t bark excessively, and it’s also a good idea to get them to respond to a few commands like “heel”, “sit”, “stay”, etc. so that they know that you’re in charge when unexpected situations come up. Much of behavioral training can be accomplished with treats and kind words, and if you want to take it one step further you can check out some clicker training.