Training a new puppy? Get it right from the start.

A new puppy is a lot of fun and that little bundle of fluff will have you in stitches with its amusing antics.

But, once it’s settled into its new home and has got to know you, it’s time to start training it so you can begin a happy, well controlled life together.

It’s a good idea to start taking it to puppy classes, not only will you get expert advice but your puppy will learn to mix with other dogs and this social interaction is really important in its early life.

There are many books and manuals you can read about training and far too many things to learn than we can cover here, but below are a few fundamental tips to help you start training in your own home.

The very first thing you need to do is to decide the ground rules – what will your dog be allowed to do and what is not acceptable? For example, do not let your puppy on the couch or your bed unless you are planning to allow this when it is full grown. This will confuse it, causing problems and making it hard to break the habit.

There are two types of training to teach – behavioural and obedience and both types are important.

Behavioural training prevents bad habits that your puppy may develop such as jumping up, biting or chewing things they shouldn’t. Obedience training teaches the dog to obey certain commands such as sit, stay and come to heel.

Training sessions should be frequent but short – say, fifteen minute sessions two or three times a day. Try to train your puppy before meals, as it’ll be more likely to associate the food treat you give it during the training as a reward.

Never get impatient and be sure to keep any tone of frustration out of your voice, otherwise your dog will get stressed and associate training with an unhappy experience, this is the last thing you need. You will probably have to repeat commands many times so be prepared for this and don’t rush it.

Very slowly, you’ll see the results of your efforts and get years of pleasure from having a well-trained, obedient pet.

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