If you’re a bit of a control freak and you expect your puppy to have mastered all of your commands in the first couple of weeks, you may be disappointed. Young puppies, in particular, have a lot to take in in the first few weeks as they settle into their new home away from their mom and litter mates. Start off with two or three commands at the most – sit, come and down should take priority – and don’t move on to new commands until such time as your puppy has mastered the basics.

When it comes to house training, you don’t have to be a scientist to work out what goes in must come out. If you feed your puppy a quality, balanced dog food and stick to regular meal times (3 times a day for young puppies, dropping down to twice a day for older dogs), then your puppy is more likely to have regular toileting habits – which means you’ll have more of an idea of what time to take him out. If, on the other hand, you offer your puppy constant treats and tidbits and feed him at different times of the day, you can expect your puppy to need to toilet at any time of day too.

Unless you plan to keep your dog outdoors--and few of us do because it's not recommended--you'll need to teach your dog where to eliminate. Therefore, house training (also called housebreaking or potty training) is one of the first things you need to work on with your dog. Crate training can be a very helpful part of the training process. This includes house training as well as many other areas of training:


When it comes to house training, you don’t have to be a scientist to work out what goes in must come out. If you feed your puppy a quality, balanced dog food and stick to regular meal times (3 times a day for young puppies, dropping down to twice a day for older dogs), then your puppy is more likely to have regular toileting habits – which means you’ll have more of an idea of what time to take him out. If, on the other hand, you offer your puppy constant treats and tidbits and feed him at different times of the day, you can expect your puppy to need to toilet at any time of day too.
Before enrolling with a particular club contact them and ask if you can go to watch a class without your dog. This will help you decide if this is the right environment for you and your dog. Some clubs have waiting lists and you will need to book ahead, some accept people on a roll on roll off basis. Prices will vary from a joining fee and then weekly payments to a one off fee for a certain length of training.
Like small children, puppies have short attention spans and get tired quickly. Keep your puppy training sessions short – 5 to 10 minutes is enough – but regular. Two or three short training sessions every day is ideal. And, remember, you can build in the ‘come’ command throughout the day; for example, when you want to feed your puppy or play with him.
Training clubs that run the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme - the largest dog training programme in the UK are a sensible place to begin. Here you will learn about every aspect of dog ownership from the Puppy Foundation Courses through to Bronze, Silver and Gold award levels. Go to GCDS Training Clubs in your County to find one near to you or email the GCDS Team ([email protected]) or call 0207 518 1011.
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