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Where to start with your new puppy? You need a plan

If you're a new or soon-to-be puppy owner and are currently feeling a little overwhelmed, you need a plan! A step-by-step guide to keep you on the right path, at least one paw ahead of your puppy. Vicky Carne, The Dog Coach, introduces the PUP Plan.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet


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Where to start with your new puppy? You need a plan

The PUP Plan

Step 1: PREPARATION

  • That means making sure you’ve got everything you’ll need, ideally before your puppy comes home.
  • Decide on your puppy house rules so that everyone in the family is on the same page with how you’ll train the puppy. Being consistent will help your puppy understand what’s wanted.
  • A large part of what your puppy learns every day won't come directly from you. They'll discover what's fun to do by experimenting with what's around them.
  • So, think of crates, pens and gates as your training assistants.
  • By limiting the areas your puppy can access, and remembering to shut doors, your puppy will only have the opportunity to play with appropriate puppy toys and chews.
  • Keep items you don't want your puppy to have – shoes, chewy wooden furniture, wires, kids' toys, the list is endless – out of reach.
  • By managing their environment you'll save yourself a great deal of time in the future as your puppy will naturally be developing good habits.

Step 2: UNDERSTANDING

  • Now’s the time for you to start learning how to train your puppy, and for your puppy to discover what fun it is to be trained by you!
  • In the first few days, you just need to focus on house-training, how best to get through the night, what to do when your puppy bites, and why socialisation is so important.
  • And, of course, how to play and have fun with your puppy, building their trust in you, confidence in the world generally and developing a mutual understanding that will last a lifetime.
  • Whether you learn how to train your puppy through books, puppy classes, individual training sessions or via an online course, make sure you’re following modern, positive, methods that show you how to set your puppy up for success and reward your puppy for getting it ‘right’, so there’s no need for punishment.
  • Training and having fun with your puppy can – and should – be one and the same thing.

Step 3: PRACTICE

  • Over the coming weeks, you’ll begin to teach your puppy the basic skills and manners they need in order to become that well-behaved, take-anywhere companion
  • This is where you’ll be training them to sit when asked, walk nicely on a lead come when called as well as not to jump up or bark excessively.
  • Training your puppy doesn’t need to be a chore to get through. With a young puppy, sessions should be short, frequent and fun for both of you.
  • So, don't panic. Whether you're about to pick up your puppy or they're already with you, with a plan to follow, you can focus on what’s important, and you and your puppy can learn together over the coming months.

Could training help your dog or do you want to know more?

This article was written by Vicky Carne, founder of The Dog Coach. Contact Vicky via the website for more information about the PUP plan. Please follow the link to book a puppy or dog training video appointment.

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