A little puppy moves in with you – what now? The rascal is full of energy, curious, wants to be kept busy, is still clumsy and disoriented at the same time. He is not yet house-trained and may not even know his name. Read here how to train your dog step by step in a puppy-friendly way!

A new addition to the family – what now?

When your puppy arrives at home, it must first get to know its new surroundings and foreign stimuli. Start puppy training from day one, because young dogs are still very receptive now.

Up to the 8th week of life, the puppy goes through the so-called imprinting phase. This is a time when the puppy processes a lot of stimuli. During this time, the foundation is laid for how the puppy takes in the world and how well it will later react to its environment. It is therefore important to choose a trustworthy shelter who treats the young dogs accordingly.

The imprinting phase leads into the socialisation phase, which lasts until about the 20th week of life. In this phase, the dog is with you and must learn the house rules, dealing with you, the family, strange people as well as with other dogs. The same applies to the socialisation phase: early practice makes perfect.

Lessons every day – there is a lot for a puppy to learn.

What is on the curriculum at dog homeschool? As a newcomer to this world, the little one has a lot to learn.

Puppy education includes, among other things,

– teaching the puppy its name.

– house-training.

– teaching important commands.

– teaching the puppy to stay alone.

It will take a few weeks to implement last point. First, your puppy needs to build up trust with you.

Don’t give your puppy too many lessons at once. Five to ten minutes per training session is quite enough for a dog a few weeks old.

Teaching the puppy its name

The puppy learns its name first and should associate it with: “That’s me! I should look at my human, because something important is happening!”

The environment for name training should be distraction-free and quiet. Also, your puppy should not be sleepy. Choose a moment when your puppy is not paying attention to you and at the same time is not too busy with another activity. Now address him clearly by his name. As soon as he looks at it, he will be rewarded. This can, but does not have to be, a treat, because puppies also react positively to petting or a game. Repeat the exercise several times a day. If you are training two puppies, train them separately.

Housetraining the puppy

Housetraining your puppy is one of the first things you should do. Often older puppies are already house-trained when they come to their new owners, but they do not yet have good bladder control and need to get used to the local conditions of their new home. Start this lesson from day one.

The important thing here is to remain calm and show patience rather than punishing or yelling at them, which will have the opposite effect.

Young dogs need to be let out to relieve themselves every two hours. Since dogs don’t like to mess up their sleeping place or feeding place, most of them quickly learn to relieve themselves outside the house. Then it’s immediately: praise, praise, praise! If an accident does happen in the house, grab the little one and carry him outside. Do not reprimand or punish him.

A tip: Take the puppy out again shortly before bedtime. If necessary, put special dog training pads down to avoid accidents during the night.

Teaching the puppy the most important commands

What are the most important commands?

– “Off!” to refrain from an activity,

– “Sit!” to sit down, and

– “Stay!” to stay and wait,

– and “Come!” for recall.

Start with the important command “Off!” or “Leave it!”. You can also use “No!” for this, however, this is an often “worn out” word in everyday life that dogs hear too often.

Example: Tell your puppy to refrain from an activity such as chewing on objects and move on to another action. Say the signal word in a low voice and make a serious face. You will notice that dogs are much more sensitive to body language than words. When your puppy refrains from nibbling – perhaps more out of surprise at first – look at him kindly and praise him immediately. If necessary, offer him a puppy-friendly chew bone.

For the other commands, praise your dog when he shows the correct behaviour in response to the signal word. If he happens to trot towards you, immediately say the command “Come!” and praise him for it. If your puppy sits down in front of you, immediately say the command “Sit!” and give him a small reward that is appropriate for his species.

If a new pet has joined your family you need to be perfectly equipped from the start to ensure they can settle in to their new life easily.

Maxi Zoo are on hand with our new pet starter kits for every kind of pet.  You can find out more information about them here. Our store staff are available to give customised advice so you choose the perfect product for your new arrival, and you can get 10% off* your starter kit when you visit your local Maxi Zoo store, find yours here.