Back To School Time! Tips for Puppy Training

After the busy summer holidays September is here and it’s back to education for your children, but it is also a great time to train your puppy. Just like a young child, your pup has no grasp of right and wrong and needs to be educated through repetition and reward.

Between the ages of 4 to 12 weeks is the golden time to introduce them to a variety of different settings and experiences.

There are many articles on puppy training and within all of them the same themes come up; consistency and reward are key, and train by reward, not punishment.

There are different areas of training from toilet training to socialisation, We’ve put together the main aspects to get you started.

Toilet Training

One of the immediate priorities is to toilet-train your pooch, and learning their signals and signs can go a long way in avoiding too many accidents.

  • Puppies have incredibly small bladder capacity to start with so it is likely they will need to go every 2 to 3 hours, but this will improve as they grow.
  • They will also need to poo in a relatively short time after eating, so check them around 30 mins after meals.
  • Another good opportunity is to take them outside is when they first wake up from a nap.
  • Get into the habit of taking them outside first thing in the morning and use a word such as “toilet” as they start going to associate the command with the action.
  • Please don’t punish or scold your pup for accidents, it is not their fault and in fact, the majority of accidents are due to not having enough opportunities to relieve themselves
  • Much like a toddler, when your puppy needs to go to the toilet it will become fidgety and restless, but unlike your child, they will also start to sniff the ground and circle. When circling happens you have a very short space of time to get them outside!
  • All dogs learn and mature at different rates, remain calm and patient throughout this process.

Preventing Nipping & Mouthing

In the same way we humans use our hands to explore the world around us, canines use their mouths which is where the term ‘mouthing’ is derived. Puppies love to chew and mouth things to play and make sense of their surroundings but chewing up your shoes or favourite cushion, or worse still your hand is not desirable! Here are some practical training tips to ease them out of this habit.

  • Firstly, remove any items or belongings that could be at risk from your pup’s mouth in the first place.
  • If you are nipped through play, immediately stop and exaggerate how much it hurts or turn away and fold your arms to signal that the behaviour is not welcome.
  • When chewing is occurring, rather than stopping the behaviour which is a natural instinct for pups to do (especially when they are teething), try swapping over to a toy so that through repetition they associate chewing with them.




Once your furry friend has reached protection from their vaccinations you can begin socialising your pup with other dogs, people and places.

  • It is a good idea to keep plenty of treats and some favourite toys whilst out with them to reward good behaviour and grab their attention when needed.
  • Begin a puppy socialisation class so that they can mix with other puppies and people in a controlled and positive environment.
  • Introduce them to places and people in gradual steps, opening their world up at a pace they can adapt to over time to avoid anxiety and overwhelm.
  • Get your pooch used to travelling in the car, making sure they are secure and building up the time travelling.

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