Puppy training: The basics

Joy, excitement and uncertainty often lie close together for prospective puppy owners - after all, you want to welcome the new family member wholeheartedly and do everything right so that nothing stands in the way of a long, trusting friendship between man and pet.
But don't worry: we'll explain to you how to confidently accompany your wild, curious puppy on its way to becoming a healthy, relaxed four-legged friend with the right puppy training!

Why is proper puppy training so important?

Puppies that are socialised early and learn and master the rules of togetherness are often less fearful, aggressive or restless than four-legged friends who receive little or no training. Good puppy training helps your dog to trust you and be loyal and respectful towards you, and whenever you demand obedience from your darling, he will gladly follow you.

Puppy training: When do I start?

Puppy training begins in the first weeks of your dog's life. At best, your little four-legged friend will get to know people and noises in everyday life at the breeder's - naturally well protected in the company of his mother and siblings. This is important so that he does not develop any shyness or even fear when he moves to his new home and is confronted with a lot of strange people, things, noises and smells. The first days and nights are a big challenge for your darling anyway - so it helps if your puppy grows up as close to everyday life as possible before he moves in.

Puppy education plan: When to teach what?

As soon as your little darling is about 8 weeks old, he can gradually move from the breeder into your care. Then you are directly challenged as the future caregiver: It is now up to you to build up a bond with your little puppy and to teach it security and the rules that apply in your home.

Chantal from the We love HUNTER team:

"I think everything kind of ran in parallel for us at the time: housetraining was an issue right from the start, we soon tried walking too. And right from the start it was clear that Floki wasn't allowed to chew anything: If he wanted to chew our carpet or our shoes, we always intervened immediately and offered Floki exciting chew toys as an alternative. Little by little, we taught him everything he needed to know."

Among the 7 basics of puppy training, we include the following, most of which you can practise with your companion shortly after he moves in:

1. Housetraining: from the beginning

From the third month of life, you can keep an eye on your dog to understand when he needs to urinate and do his business. From around the 4th month of life, four-legged friends can control their bladder - then you can start with housetraining.

2. Care routines: from the beginning

Depending on the breed, your puppy will need to go through regular grooming routines with you later on - whether it's trimming the fur on the paws or regularly cleaning and checking the floppy ears. Ideally, the breeder will take care of these routines so that your inexperienced young dog gets used to them early on. It also makes sense for first visits to the vet if your darling allows his mouth or eyes to be checked without resistance.

3. Bite inhibition: from the beginning

At best, your puppy learns already at the age of a few weeks in play with its siblings, through the education of its mother and through the intervention of the breeder that biting too hard is not desirable. After all, your puppy should learn to regulate his strength when biting so that he does not accidentally injure other puppies or people. Once he has moved in with you, you must continue the bite inhibition training and break him of the habit of biting inappropriately.

4. Walking on the leash: from the beginning

Even in the first few days, your puppy can get to know the collar, leash and harness - because only when he has overcome his scepticism can you set off on your first walks together and gradually practise leash walking.

5. Socialisation: from the beginning

Interaction with people and other dogs also plays an important role in puppy training. You can gently introduce your puppy to others at an early age, but be careful not to overload him - after all, everything is new to him at the beginning, from noises to visual impressions to smells. With ongoing training or in regular puppy classes at the dog school, your darling will get used to other dogs and learn the right behaviour.

6. Commands: from the beginning

You can lay the foundation for commands such as "No!", " Place!", "Come!", "Here!" or "Sit!" already at an early age. If your puppy is about to sit, you can accompany this activity with the command "Sit!
The next step is to provide specific, but short training sessions in a low-stimulus environment with your puppy's favourite treats. With specific exercises, you can gradually expand the repertoire of commands so that your puppy will eventually be able to reliably master recall using commands such as "Here!" or "Come!

7. Practising being alone: from 4 months of age

Your young family member should never be alone at home for the first few weeks - make sure that someone is always with him. Especially in the beginning, trust is essential for your future life together and for the success of your training measures. Once your puppy has settled in well, you can start the first exercises in staying alone with him.

Our tip: If you feel you could use some help with puppy training, ask for a puppy class at a dog school near you - there you will meet like-minded people and experienced dog professionals who will give you advice and support. Many dog trainers also offer individual training sessions just for you and your puppy. It's better to take too much expert advice than too little - puppy training is one of the most important investments in your future!

How long does puppy training take?

How long it takes your pelt-nose to reach all the important milestones of puppy training varies from puppy to puppy - after all, puppies develop at different speeds.

Puppy training - tips and methods

Your cuddly puppy has just about everyone wrapped around its finger. Perhaps you also tend to let your puppy get away with a lot? Unfortunately, there is no patent remedy for the perfect upbringing of your little darling. But we do have useful training tips for you:

  1. Positive reinforcement: If your puppy shows desirable behaviour, show him by rewarding and praising him with treats immediately afterwards. Repeated praise will motivate him to stick to the behaviour.
  2. Non-violence: It should go without saying that violence, punishment or shouting have no place in puppy training! The negative stress caused by punishment is especially damaging to the relationship between dog and owner and is much more likely to lead to problem behaviour than if unwanted behaviour is simply ignored or corrected.
  3. Attention: Stay in contact with your puppy at all times. He will gradually learn to interpret your body language and vocal tone so that you can use them as a means of communication. Talk to your puppy, give him cuddles - this way you establish a relationship with your little pelt and can control his behaviour much more easily.
  4. Patience: Patience is probably one of the most important skills for owners in dog training. It's especially hard when you notice regression from time to time - but hang in there, it's worth it!
  5. Loving consistency: If you want to teach your young dog manners, you must learn to resist the cute puppy eyes: For example, avoid having your dog sit at the table while you are eating, begging intrusively or even stealing food from your plate.
  6. Leadership: Always be available for your puppy and offer him reliable security by showing him boundaries and providing orientation. Small routines in everyday life, such as regular meals with appropriately portioned food or suitable toys, also show your puppy that he can rely on you.
  7. Rest and time out: Always give your little whirlwind enough rest and breaks - after all, he is still a puppy! As a dog owner, you can also create space for yourself by temporarily restricting your puppy's range of movement. This way, you can move freely and alone in your home in the future and prevent your puppy from developing fears.

Conclusion: With sensitivity, patience and a little knowledge about the development and needs of your new family member, you will succeed in mastering all these milestones with your puppy step by step. With species-appropriate puppy training you lay the most important foundation for a harmonious life together - you'll see: All the effort is worth it!
What has worked best for you and your puppy in training? Are there any behaviours that you had to work on for a long time? Tell us about it - we are curious to know how you became a good team!

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