The most important things you can teach your puppy!
You can start this training as soon as you bring your new puppy home. The following are free training videos that help you learn how to teach your puppy the skills he or she needs to be a well mannered pet, without the need for force, punishment or painful equipment. Teaching these behaviors to your young pup NOW will prevent many unwanted behaviors later when your dog is older, larger, stronger and more independent.
- by Pamela Johnson (5:35) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omZt5Eu8nfE
The following videos on this page are based on clicker training. This short clip explains how to get your puppy to understand that the click has meaning. It also covers how to use a word instead of the clicker and a toy instead of food. Note: If your dog is deaf, you can use a hand signal like a quick thumbs up or the flash of a flash light in place of the auditory marker.
Practicing YOUR skills first
No matter what method of dog training you choose, it still takes some skill on your part. Part of the skills you need, include proper mechanics. If you learn these now, you won’t have bad habits of your own to fix later.
This video has a game you can play to improve your skills so your puppy will learn even faster.
- by Pamela Johnson (2:40) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_rx2B0Ra14
Why mechanics are important and how to muffle the sound of a loud clicker
- by Kikopup (1:49) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKHk-6nReTk
This video explains how to select the best treat and what size treat to use. Puppies will work for very tiny treats. Use your dog’s level of desire to gauge the “value” of that particular treat for your puppy. For many of the behaviors on this page, you can use meal time as training time and instead of putting your dog’s food in a bowl, use it as training treats.
- by Kikopup (1:21) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJY8Hee7ewc
How to get your puppy to stop doing unwanted things. Rather than yelling at your pup, using his name in a harsh tone, or physically stopping/correcting the pup, train a “positive interrupter”. This will be a sound that gets the dog’s attention away from whatever he was doing that you don’t like and it works like a charm! This also helps prevent your puppy from waiting till you aren’t around to do the fun stuff he wants to do (like chewing, barking and urinating in the house).
- by kikopup (5:52) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8
How to teach your puppy a word that will get him to quickly drop anything he might pick up in his mouth or release anything he might grab with his mouth. This can help prevent your puppy from eating dangerous items, chewing things he shouldn’t, guarding objects, running away with forbidden items, grabbing you or your clothes and can come in handy if you want to play tug with your dog.
- by Domesticated Manners (10:18) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndTiVOCNY4M
Don’t mug me!
Is your puppy so food motivated that he just wants to bite, jump at and paw at your hand with the treat? You need to watch this video! It is also great for teaching your puppy the foundation of “impulse control” which is a critical skill for all dogs to have!
- by Kikopup (1:09) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4IzTn-kMU0
- by Pamela Johnson (3:16) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t37zLMLT6KA
Don’t bite me!
If your puppy likes to bite your hands, legs and anything that moves, you’ll want to watch these videos. This also covers how to get the puppy to accept your touch, and arousing contact with the puppy. Being able to pet, examine and hold your puppy is a critical skill all dogs need.
- by Sarah Owings (8:11) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gAmM70hpWM
- by Kikopup (8:44) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEeS2dPpPtA
There are many dogs that develop anxiety about the owner leaving them, even for brief separations. This can cause many unwanted issues that it’s better to do your best to prevent right from the start. Being able to leave your dog by himself is a critical skill for a well adjusted adult dog. It will also help lower their stress level if you have to leave them at a boarding kennel or with a dog sitter or at the vet.
- by Kikopup (10:08) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGxhcb-itO4
Related skills- teaching your pup to love his crate:
- by Pamela Johnson (5:39) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1csNGAGmwA
- by Kikopup (4:35) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?bl3VjwWuKlA&v=dUzF0g0PwY4
Another critical skill is teaching your puppy where it may and may not relieve himself. Using punishment can create a puppy or dog that will not “go” in your presence. This can cause issues later on if you travel or go for long walks and need to dog to empty himself while on leash. It can also create a dog that hides in the house to potty and that is really hard to stop.
- by Kikopup (9:09) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvPiFcG7ROI
Having a dog that comes when you call, no matter what the dog might be doing when you call, is amazing! It gives your dog freedom and gives you piece of mind that you can call your dog to you any time you need to do so. It may even save the dog’s life if the dog is about to get into something dangerous!
- by Kikopup (3:38) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV5qsH5tjYA
Walk nicely on a leash
Being able to go for a walk without your dog choking or trying to pull your arm off is much more pleasant and will make it more likely that your dog gets to leave the house/yard more often and go with you to more places. Because of this, it is deemed a critical skill. You don’t need painful equipment to teach your dog leash manners.
- Walking backwards, then pivoting by Helix Fairweather:
- “Silky Leash” by Ahimsa Dog Training
- A few different methods and tips by Kikopup
A dog that is always looking for the slightest opening of a door to dash outside to play, sniff, run and have fun can be frustrating and it’s a very dangerous behavior for your dog. This training also teaches impulse control and allows you to make sure the other side of the door is safe for your dog (no loose dogs, no people afraid of dogs, etc.) This type of training can be used for ANY door (crates, cars, new buildings, etc.) This is more impulse control work.
- by Pamela Johnson (5:10) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQLEdnztAFw
If you rarely hear or think this about your puppy, you might want to watch this video. It covers how to teach your dog that when you are not interacting with them, they should lie down and relax. This comes in handy in SO many places!! It also helps the dog with impulse control.
- by Kikopup (6:24) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c
One additional critical skill you’ll want to be sure to teach your puppy is to accept handling of all their body parts (head, ears, paws, tail, checking in their mouth, checking their belly, etc.) Start when the dog is relaxed after a good physical workout like a play session or walk. Briefly touch the puppy and if the puppy is calm, click and treat while you make contact. Repeat this with all body parts till you can carefully examine and handle all over your puppy. This will make the puppy much easier to handle for nail trimming, ear and teeth cleaning, grooming and vet exams. You’ll also want to teach the puppy to be comfortable on his side and on his back while you examine paws and belly and do some massage. You can give the puppy a safe chew treat like a bully stick to work on while you are doing the handling and grooming.
This video is a case study by Canines In Action (C.I.A.) of a puppy that did not like nail trims and how this was changed: