15 Things You Need To Do To Train A Puppy


If you are on the puppy parenting journey, buckle up—it is an exciting ride. Training a puppy is all about patience, consistency, and understanding their adorable little quirks. Here are the 15 things you absolutely need to do to train a puppy:

Establish a Routine

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Puppies thrive on predictability. From day one, set up a schedule for feeding, potty breaks, playtime, and sleep. This does not just help with house training but also gives your pup a sense of security. Make sure you’re consistent with these times; it will make life easier for both of you. Just like kids, puppies need to know what is expected to feel secure.

Start with Basic Commands

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Begin with simple commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘no’. These basics are the building blocks of good behavior and safety. When teaching these, use clear, consistent words and reward your puppy with treats or affection for obeying. This positive reinforcement will make them eager to learn more. Remember, short, frequent training sessions are better than long, sporadic ones.

Socialize Your Puppy

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Socialization is about more than playing with other dogs—it is crucial for your puppy to become a well-adjusted adult. Expose them to different people, sights, sounds, and experiences. Aim for a variety of encounters in controlled environments. However, wait until they have had all their vaccinations before heading to public spaces. Proper socialization can reduce fear and aggression in dogs.

Potty Training

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Be prepared for a bit of a challenge here, but know that consistency is key. Decide whether you will train your puppy to go outside or use potty pads (or both), and stick to the plan. Take them to their designated potty spot regularly—especially after meals and naps—and praise them when they get it right. Accidents happen, so never scold; just clean up and keep moving forward. This can take a few weeks, so hang in there!

Crate Training

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A crate is like a personal den for your puppy—somewhere they can feel safe and secure. It’s also a lifesaver for house training and preventing destructive behavior when you cannot supervise them. Introduce the crate gradually with lots of treats and positive associations. Never use the crate as a punishment; it is meant to be a happy, safe space for your pup.

Teething and Chewing Management

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Puppies chew—it is a natural part of their development. Instead of getting frustrated, provide them with plenty of appropriate chew toys. This redirection teaches them what is okay to chew and what is not. When they pick up something they should not, calmly replace it with a toy. They will learn over time, but remember, teething is uncomfortable for them, so be patient and keep those chewables handy!

Handling and Grooming

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Start handling your puppy early on—touch their paws, ears, and mouth gently. This will make it easier when it is time for grooming, vet checks, and nail trims. Regular grooming sessions, even if they are short and simple, help your pup get used to being brushed and bathed. Use treats and calm praise to create positive associations with these activities. The more comfortable they are with being handled, the easier life is for both of you.

Prevent Resource Guarding

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Resource guarding is when a dog protects their food, toys, or other valuables with aggressive behaviors. To prevent this, teach your puppy early that human interaction with their stuff is a good thing. Practice “trade-up games” where you exchange the item they have for something better, followed by returning the original item. This helps them learn that giving things up brings even greater rewards.

Set Boundaries Within the Home

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Decide early on what parts of the house are puppy zones and which are off-limits. Use baby gates or closed doors as needed. Also, teach them acceptable behavior in each area. For instance, jumping on furniture may be a no-go, but lounging on their bed is perfectly fine. Consistency from all household members is key here—everyone needs to enforce the same rules.

Leash Training

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Walking nicely on a leash is an essential skill for any dog. Start by letting them wear a collar and leash around the house, so they get used to the feel. Then, practice walking in a quiet area without many distractions. Keep the leash short but loose, and use treats to encourage them to stay by your side. If they pull, stop walking until the leash is slack again, then proceed. It’s all about positive reinforcement.

Ease Them into Noisy Situations

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Some sounds really freak puppies out. You know, like the roar of a vacuum or a car horn. You can help your pup get cool with these by starting off super quiet and ramping up the volume slowly. Give them some treats and lots of praise for staying chill while the noise is on. This way, they learn there’s nothing scary about everyday sounds.

Learning ‘Drop It’ and ‘Leave It’

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When your puppy has something they should not, “drop it” is what you will need. Play a game where you swap the forbidden item with a treat. It is a trade-off they can dig. “Leave it” is a bit tougher. Start with a treat in your hand. When they stop trying to get it, reward them from the other hand. Step it up gradually until you can place treats on the floor without them snatching it up.

Mealtime Training

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Nobody likes chaos at the table, right? Teach your puppy to sit and wait until you put their bowl down. This is not just about good manners; it is actually about teaching them to control those impulsive urges. Stick to this routine, and mealtime will be a breeze, trust us. 

Positive Exposure to Other Animals

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Like with people, your pup also needs to learn how to be cool around other animals. Start slow, maybe a quick sniff and greet in a park or a friend’s yard. Keep these meet-ups short and watch for any signs they are not having fun. It is all about making sure everyone plays nice.

Patience and Consistency

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Above all, be patient. Some days it feels like you are not getting anywhere, but just stick with it. Dogs really thrive on routine, so the more regular you are with the rules and schedule, the better they get it. And when they finally nail a new trick or command, make sure you celebrate—that is what it is all about!


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