The Best Puppy Training Advice

The Best Puppy Training Advice

The Best Puppy Training Advice

Henri has been the best addition to our home. This is my first puppy as an adult and I have had a lot to learn over the last year. I wanted to share some of the advice I learned from friends, neighbors, and readers. I hope this helps give you better guidance when welcoming your own puppy into your home.

The Best Puppy Training Advice

It is a lot like having a toddler around. You want to give the puppy the best balance of food, sleep, and play. In return, your puppy will be the most loyal and loving companion. Henri is laying next to me while I type this.

The Best Puppy Training Advice

Socializing Your Dog

One of the first things we did with Henri after he was cleared from his shots was to let him play with other dogs. We are very lucky to have a lot of dogs in the neighborhood. Nearly every walk we take, he is able to run into a dog friend for a quick play.

It’s important to ask permission before letting your dog play with another dog. We have only run into one dog that wasn’t very friendly to Henri and snapped at him. I think I was more traumatized than Henri. Henri still wants to play with every dog we meet. Asking permission allows the other dog’s owner to give the go-ahead. It’s common courtesy and it helps keep your own dog safe. Some dogs just aren’t friendly towards puppies or certain size dogs.

Potty Training

Henri did pretty well at potty training. It took us a little while to get him fully potty trained. We had a few accidents on the stairs on the way out the door. I purchased this spray at our local grocery store which helped clean up the smell of an accident in the house so he didn’t revisit the same location.

Take potty breaks often. The more the dog gets used to a routine the better. Reward the good behavior with treats. Henri loves these treats and these treats the best. . I also learned to reward Henri with his own kibble. I put a ziplock bag in my pocket for walks and rewarded him with kibble for good behavior.

Take the water bowl up in between meals. He could drink water all day long but this also reduces the number of house accidents.

Put a bell on the front or back door to teach the puppy how to signal when he needs a potty break. Henri quickly learned this very quickly. Sometimes when he needs to go urgently, he will ring the bell loud and quickly.

Routine training for puppies

Routines Are Key

Routine training for puppies

Just like with toddlers, routines are key. Take your puppy for walks at the same time, schedule mealtime and playtime if you can. They will adjust to your schedule. I work out at 9:15 every morning and no matter what time Henri gets up, he is always ready for a nap around 9:15 right when I start class.

How to train a puppy

Find what activity your puppy loves best and use that as a form of play. Try to break up your day with playtimes to keep your puppy tired. Henri will start to chew things like chairs and our rug if he is bored. It’s a great nudge to get out of the house and go get some fresh air for a walk or a play session.

Henri loves playing fetch. We have a bunch of balls in the house for him to play with. If the weather is nice, we will go to the park and play ball. He does play without his leash in a quiet wooded area away from cars. I was very nervous about him running off and it took a little learning for both of us. I rewarded Henri with treats every time he came back to me instead of taking the opportunity to run in the other direction. The other distraction that will override my commands is his buddy Gibson who he will run anywhere to see.

Check with the vet before introducing people’s foods/new treats. Henri’s bread has a history of sensitive stomachs.

Puppies will grasp at anything for food. Make sure to keep an eye on them during walks so they don’t eat anything they aren’t supposed to. Having a dog in the city makes this much more of a challenge.

The Best Pupping Training Advice: Separation Anxiety

I think this is common with doodles and pandemic puppies. Henri loves being next to me and I love having him by my side. It is good to take some space from them throughout the day. Start slow and work your way up to more time. Leave the puppy in a different room while you work, work out, or sleep. It’s good for both of you. Even if you enjoy the company now, you will want freedom later. Henri loves his car rides to the grocery store and errands. I do leave him at home depending on my schedule.

We originally crate-trained Henri. I bought two inexpensive crates online. We used one for when we were away from the house and the other was used for sleeping. I had to visit my dad in Ohio and bring Henri, it was his first time alone and I was so nervous he would destroy the house while I was gone. He ended up sleeping the whole time in the crate while the door was open. We tried to make the crate feel like a safe space for Henri. Toys and blankets help.

Try your best not to put your puppy in the crate when he is bad.

This will break the safe space feeling and comfort of the crate.

We didn’t let Henri sleep out of the bed until his first birthday. I bought a bed at Target that he sleeps on most of the time. He does make his way into the bed now. Depending on how hot he is, he will choose to sleep on the floor.

We try to have him start on the floor at night. It may take a few tries as he continually jumps into bed. You have to be consistent and keep leading him off the bed.

You can also have the puppy sleep outside of the bedroom.

The Best Training Advice: Leash Training

The Best Puppy Training Advice

My finacé will chime in that I am terrible at this. I let Henri walk me and not the other way around. We went through a lot of different leashes and harnesses before we settled on one we liked. Henri chewed through a lot of leashes.

We found a doodle walking in our neighborhood with this leash and harness we ended up purchasing it. Henri was full-grown at this point so we knew what size to get him. We went with a medium in size olive.

We use Henri’s leash in the house when he gets high energy. It helps calm him down as he stays by my side. The leash is weighted and it makes Henri feel like he can’t move as quickly around the house. It calms him down just like a weighted blanket.

The Best Puppy Training Advice: Puppy Classes

We took one in the city which was good for socialization but I can’t say we learned that much so I can’t recommend it. I learned the most from a Masterclass we watched before we brought Henri home. I do recommend trying a class in your neighborhood or city if you have the time. Good basics are always good to have as a foundation for training your puppy.

Tire your Puppy Out

Puppies have a lot of energy! Walks and playtime are great for getting out that extra energy. You can also give your puppy a bone. The chewing will keep their attention and tire them out. Just make sure to choose one that works well for your puppy.

If it doesn’t work with your schedule consider puppy play dates, schedule a dog walker, or puppy daycare. We are working on getting Henri scheduled for a swim class with some of his neighborhood dog friends. And we recently added a dog walker for days when we need it in our schedule. We have someone we love and trust in our neighborhood. Ask around on Nextdoor or other dog friends for recommendations on everything from groomers, pet sitters, and dog walkers. Your neighbors and friends with dogs are the best resources. Our dogs are part of the family from day one and you want to make sure they are well taken care of. ❤️

A few random pieces of advice: The Best Puppy Training Advice

Brush your dog’s teeth. Henri uses these dental chews. I give them to him in the afternoon when he is a bit restless and I need to get work done. It takes him a few minutes to make it through one chew.

Bring home a blanket or article of clothing that was rubbed on the dog’s mom. The puppy will likely have separation anxiety. We had a little blanket and toy that was given to us by Henri’s breeder. You may also want to put a t-shirt with your own scent in the dog’s crate once they get used to you.

I hope this post has been helpful. If there is anything I am forgetting, please comment below and share your own puppy training tips.

P.S. This post includes affiliate links. I make a small commission off of items purchased from my links which goes to dog treats for Henri. Merci. xo

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  1. Agree with everything. I am commenting because of the SQUIRRELS IN THE TREE TOY. This is the best toy!!!!! It has high reviews everywhere and it actually is something that my puppy, who just turned one, truly loves. haha

    • Hi Dana,

      Thank you! I am so happy you love the Squirrels in the tree toy! It was a gift when we got Henri and he loves it too! I am so happy your pup does too. xoxo