Puppy School

Welcome to the early weeks of puppyhood, otherwise known as the socialisation period (or cuteness overload, if you want to get technical). From now until he’s 20 weeks old, your toddling terrier is teacher’s pet: It’s the best time to start training him, because he’ll be soaking up all the wonderful experiences and teaching you give him. It’s also a great point to introduce different people, dogs, cats – whoever you’d like him to chew the fat with.

With learning coming so easily, dig in to these lessons over a 2-3 month period:

  • Wearing a puppy collar and walking on a loose lead
  • Paying attention when you call his name
  • Coming when called
  • Keeping paws on the floor when greeting people
  • Keeping teeth off humans
  • Any other basic lessons that will help your puppy pupil in the two-legged world

Puppy schools can get you and your favourite furball off to a great start, no matter how much or how little experience you’ve had with dogs. Well-run classes will demystify the cute yet kooky things your compact companion does, while teaching you handling skills. You’ll also get the how-to on housetraining, setting boundaries and general care. Even if you already know how to train a dog, puppy school will enrich his learning, without the need to buy him a tie and blazer. Chances are, you’ll discover something new too. When it comes to puppies, there’s always something.

Simple commands to start with.

‘Come’ is the classic start to puppy obedience. Call your big-pawed pupil several times throughout the day, around the house and yard. Say his name in an excited voice, crouching down, if needed. When your playful pal comes to you, praise him verbally and reward him with a puppy treat. He’ll be thinking, “Man, I can’t WAIT to scamper over to my furless friend again!” Note: It’s best not to call Fido, then growl at him, even playfully. This will teach him to fear you – potentially insult you (“No way, baldy!”) the next time you call.

‘Sit’ is another easy command. Begin by moving a puppy treat from just in front of the puppy, to directly above their head. Your little one will probably raise his head to follow the treat, while naturally lowering his bottom to the floor. At that moment say, ‘Sit,’ then praise him well (pats, cuddles, serenades, etc.,) and reward him with a puppy treat.

Lick that training with these helpful hints.

Here are some helpful pointers for training your Pointer, or any other puppy you bring home:

  • Puppies learn quickly by being praised and rewarded for doing things right. It’s best not to growl at or punish them – not helpful to the learning process. And you’d hate to turn your bulldog into a little bully or scared kitten, for that matter.
  • Puppies crave stimulation and attention: Paw-fuls of games plus exercise plus gentle handling equals one happy, well-balanced pet – who wants to keep you as happy as a licked face.
  • Make learning fun. Puppies dig it upbeat, with plenty of rewards for progress. And don’t forget to end the training before they get bored.
  • Puppies have short attention spans, and learn better with many brief lessons of a few minutes, each day.
  • Puppies love to be with their petlovers. Get yours used to walking with you, by placing a comfy collar around him, then taking him around the house for short strolls, on a lead.

Best of pup, petlovers!