Puppy training – what a ride! Training a puppy is not the easiest thing in the world as you’ve probably realised so far. We’re not gonna sugar coat it…it can be quite a rollercoaster. But we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll tell you all the puppy training tips you need to make life easier.

We’re going to tell you all about:

  • Why it’s important to train your puppy
  • Our top 5 puppy training tips
  • What to do when training your puppy is too challenging
puppy sat on grass giving puppy eyes to camera
Photo by Austin Kirk on Unsplash

Why is it important to train your puppy?

Your puppy comes to you pretty much as a blank slate. This is good and challenging at the same time – they have no concept or ‘rules’ or what’s expected of them yet, which makes us their main point of reference. As you can imagine, then, it’s important we teach them how life works and what we’d like them to do for the following reasons:

  • Safety of your puppy: A puppy without a recall can run into roads or chase wildlife which can potentially end up in a not so good ending with someone getting hurt. 
  • Safety of you: Puppies that pull, become dogs that pull. Dogs that pull are no strangers to giving their owners back and hip issues. Also, no one likes being dragged around, it’s embarrassing.
  • A better quality of life with your puppy: ‘A trained dog is a happy dog’. When they know what they’re supposed to do, especially when trained with Positive Reinforcement, they become the happiest of pups. Lovely. 
  • Smarty pants: Your puppy becoming the cleverest pup in town tends to be a side effect of all of the wonderful training you’re doing, we see no one complaining about that!

Our top 5 puppy training tips

Training your puppy should be fun, for both of you! Gone are the days of barking at our dogs, and ordering them to do things like we’re the boss of them. The training process can be great fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. 

We’ve listed out our top puppy training tips below. If you’re wondering what you should be training them for exactly, take a look at the Zigzag puppy training app  – we lay it all out there. 

  1. ‘You get what you pay for’ 

No, we’re not talking about actual money, for once. We’re talking about how Positive Reinforcement works with our puppies – one of our best puppy training tips if we may say so. Whatever action you reward your puppy for is going to be repeated, so the more we ‘pay’ for stuff we like to see from our puppy the more they are likely to do it.  And yes, you guessed it right – treats will be the currency they understand the most. Whether it’s coming towards us when we call them, responding to their name, or peeing and pooing in the right place, You better reward that sh*t to make sure it happens again! Don’t literally reward the sh*t though…unless it happens in their designated loo area. 

Wondering what to pay your puppy with? Then check out our review of healthy puppy treats article here to find the best ones.

  1. Focus on Life Skills not just Obedience

Yeh, we hear you, you want an obedient puppy. But did you know that teaching your puppy to be confident and able to cope with everything life throws at them is of equal importance? In fact, it may be even more important to how they’ll turn out. Teaching Life Skills is how you truly get a well-behaved and well-mannered puppy combined, able to take on the world like a hero.

Aherm, ahem, please note that we didn’t say NOT obedience, because we want you to learn that too. 

Download our app – we have a tonne of Life Skills AND obedience exercises for you to teach your puppy in there. Oh and a bunch of other puppy training tips you will enjoy – they’ll surprise you for how well they can work. We’ve also created this Guide to obedience training to teach you all the tricks – your pup will shine bright in no time.

  1. A routine. It will save you a lot of time and tears

Creating a routine is one of the best puppy training tips we can give you. It’s going to help massively with toilet training, sleep training, separation training and scheduling for training your puppy each day.

Puppies thrive on knowing what comes next. Predictability in their daily lives creates a confident and optimistic puppy who can be certain of what’s going on around them.

We have a wonderful Weekly overview of when to start training your puppy for further reading which will help you craft your day perfectly around this hectic (but wonderful) time. But why not look in the Zigzag App for more juicy puppy training tips? There are plenty, trust me.

golden lab puppy photo
Photo by Berkay Gumustekin on Unsplash
  1. Socialisation – Think about how your puppy is feeling and go at their own pace

It’s tempting to run ahead and have your puppy meet ALL the dogs and ALL the people right away. But if we rush it, it can unfortunately cause problems like:

  • Your puppy can become overwhelmed or frightened 
  • Your puppy can become a social butterfly who ‘loves everyone too much’ and can get frustrated when not allowed to do that as they mature 

Effective socialisation teaches your puppy to adapt to scenarios and environments and gives them coping skills to deal with what life throws at them.

It’s important that we do this in those critical early months, when your puppy’s brain is much like a sponge so they learn early on to not worry, and be happy.

  1. Do the training that’s important for your individual puppy

While some people might want their puppy to learn every trick in the book, you might just want a well behaved family dog. Those who are able to lie down and relax when you’re at home, who walk nicely on a lead and who joggs over to you with a smile when you call them.

First piece of advice is to try not to worry about what others tell you you must do (what a challenge…even for our own lives, right?). Rather, focus on what you think is going to be important in an adult dog. 

If you’re having a baby or you have another pet at home, be sure to check out these sections in our puppy checklist article – it gives a pretty good outline of puppy training tips for all kinds of different scenarios you might run into and how you can help them feel comfortable around them. You can just imagine the shock of hearing a screaming baby for a puppy.

What to do if you’re struggling to train your puppy

It’s no secret that sometimes puppy training can become quite a struggle. Often quite literally, like when you’re busy trying to yank your shoes off their little piranha teeth. Our team of Puppy Training Experts in the Zigzag app are always happy to help you, whatever you may need, and on every step of the way of your puppy journey. Of course,  there is a chance you’ll feel the need to see someone in person…to either help you or give you a supportive hug. Each is valid.

In case you need someone to help you in real skin and bones, we strongly recommend finding a well-run puppy class by Member organisations of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter. They go way beyond giving puppy training tips, just you wait and see. You can also look directly on the APDT , CAPBT or The Pet Professional Guild  websites for a local trainer or behaviourist.

Oh, and you can be sure that all members of the above organisations are all dedicated to using modern and ethical methods. No need to worry about that.

Of course, if you feel like your puppy’s developed a sudden change in behaviour then we suggest your vet might be a good one to call. Just to be on the safe side and rule out anything medical. 

puppy sitting for camera
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Now that you’ve read this article and hopefully feel jolly good about practicing some of these puppy training tips, we’re gonna give you some last words of encouragement to give the Zigzag puppy training app a try. 

We’ll have a personalised training journey waiting for you and your puppy to follow, and expert support from a fantastic team of qualified puppy trainers. Want to know How it works? Come on, you know where to click. Don’t be shy, start your free trial today!

Next, find out more about the benefits of online puppy training classes and discover what an ideal daily puppy routine looks like with our simple guide.