One of the first questions new paw parents ask experts is, “How soon should I start training my little puppy?” And the answer is always as soon as possible! The earlier you introduce your fur baby to tricks and commands, the easier it will be for them to age with obedience and self-control. 

It’s normal for new dog humans to obsess over what treats they should give, what toys they should get, or what bed they should prepare for their little one. But only a few actually spend time thinking about how they should go about training their newborn dog. A comfortable place to sleep in and nutritious snacks are important for any canine, but another necessity that’s just as essential is their need for a “leader figure.” 

Assume the role of the leader 

Unknown to many, puppies are designed to obey orders and take cues from a pack leader. By definition, a pack leader is reliable, consistent, and enduring; traits not too many dog humans remember to embody on the onset of their puppy’s journeys. You can be tough and assertive at work, but if your cute, tiny dog doesn’t sense that from you, you can forget the idea of a behaved dog. Remember the puppies are smart and can sense our levels of confidence when we’re around them. That means they can overpower and overwhelm us if we don’t take proper and gentle charge. 

When this happens, you will notice that your puppy will continue exhibiting bad behaviors such as chewing on random things, excessive barking, and incessant leash-pulling. 

All these factored in, your role as your dog’s pack leader begins the moment you engage with them.  

Build a routine 

Every practiced dog trick starts by building a routine. Similar to babies and infants, puppies perform the best when they’re used to a specific schedule. Having an established timeframe for activities such as eating, playing, and pooping helps them better structure their concept of both time and space.  

Regularly take your puppy outside 

Immediately when they awaken, take them outside for a little walk or let them stand and move around in one spot or one corner. Ideally, this should be done every two hours or after every meal, at least. 

Let them get used to a bathroom area outside

When you walk your puppy on a leash, take them to one corner and allow them to relieve themselves. Use a certain phrase or word that reminds them to do their business. Again, the trick here is to let them get used to peeing and pooping in one spot outside, so you’re going to need to be extra patient with them on this! 

Reward them for a “poop” well done

Once they eliminate waste, immediately reward them with treats. This lets them understand the value of following orders and sticking to routines. Make sure to do this literally after they’ve finished and not when you’re back inside your home. This part is crucial because rewarding your dog for doing their business outside is the only way to let them understand the importance of this act and behavior. 

Stick to a fixed schedule 

When they eat on time, you can bet they eliminate on time. Depending on how old your pup is, they usually need to munch on meals about four times a day. Constantly feeding them on certain schedules helps properly program their digestion, as well. 

Overall, puppies are fast learners, as long as you’re both gentle and stern. Constantly praising them and giving them rewards every time they obey orders and follow rules should constantly be practiced. Looking for more dog tips and puppy advice? Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out!