You’ve decided that your little one is ready to start going to school. In theory, training sounds pretty easy, but practical application? Where do you get started? Today we will discuss setting up a puppy training schedule so that you can begin by allotting the time that you intend to train. Next, we’ll follow that up with some tips to help you and your furry friend to get the most out those sessions. Once you both settle into the new routine we think that you’re going to have a lot of fun together. Let’s begin with some dog training ‘lesson plans’ to get you started!
Setting up your ‘puppy training calendar’
Training a puppy is going to be a little more involved than simply teaching your pup when to sit or stay. Dogs have a wider range of skills that they are going to need than that. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered. When it comes to dividing your training time out during the week there are 4 basic areas that you will want to focus on. These areas are as follows:
- Potty training – Your pup hasn’t learned yet where they need to go when it’s time to ‘do their business’. They have no idea that the couch isn’t a fuzzy bush or some kind of weird, leather tree. Realize that this isn’t their fault and be patient, we’ve got some tips to help.
- Socialization – Your dog has a new family paying it a lot of attention to it so they will trust you fairly quickly. What about other dogs or people who are strangers? What happens when they leave their home ‘territory’? Your dog needs to become more worldly and we can help you with that also.
- Learning good manners – Mournful eyes from the floor when you are eating is cute at first but it can become excruciating if it comes with sad whining and ‘what about me?!’ barking. Worse, what if they wait until you aren’t looking and snatch your snack off the living room table? Your puppy needs to learn what is expected at home.
- Teaching commands – We put this last for a reason. Yes, it’s really cool that Joe’s dog can do back-flips (and don’t believe him when he says his dog learned that in a single day!), but the previous skill sets are arguably going to be more important at first. You’ll still have time to teach tricks, just make sure you don’t neglect everything else unless you want a back-flipping steak-snatcher in the family (it’s only hilarious the first few times, trust us!).
Puppy training Guide: Setting up a daily schedule
All puppies have their own personalities so it can be difficult to set up some sort of 8 week lesson plan for puppy-classes. We CAN, however, guide you towards a gradual week by week puppy training schedule that you can create based on how well your puppy works with a smaller, day to day type setup. First let’s give examples of the 4 training types and then we’ll follow with a sample day schedule.
Step by step puppy training
Some example strategies that you can follow in the 4 types of training are simple enough to provide. Here are some examples:
- Potty training – A doggy crate is a great idea for this. To teach your puppy not to use the bathroom in the house in the middle of the night, place them in a puppy crate overnight and follow up by taking them out at the same time every morning to go outside. Praise them when they do!
- Socialization – Take your doggy to a doggy park or on daily walks so that they can get used to other dogs. Always employ a leash and hold tight when other dogs are nearby until you know how your dog will react.
” Slowly increase this time until they learn to sit and wait.”
- Learning good Manners – When your dog has learned ‘sit’ and is trying to beg at the table, use the ‘sit’ command and make them wait a short period of time before getting a treat. Slowly increase this time until they learn to sit and wait until you finish eating.
- Teaching commands – Teaching ‘sit’ is fairly easy. Gently push your dog into a sitting position and say ‘Sit’ and then give them a treat. Call them to you and say ‘sit’ and if they don’t do this, try gently pushing them into a sitting position. Say ‘sit’ a few more times and if they stay sitting, they get a treat.
Sample daily routine
While space constraints keep us from going into a lengthy training discourse we can give you a starting point. Try something like this and see how your dog responds:
- Morning – Take your puppy outside for the potty first thing in the morning, followed by a treat when they do. Next, feed your puppy but get them to sit before they get breakfast to reinforce the ‘sit’ command. Next, give them an hour of supervised running-around while you have a morning coffee. Feel free to practice commands like ‘come here’ or ‘sit’ and don’t forget the treats. Take puppy outside again, then ‘crate’ them with a chew toy and go to work.
- Lunchtime – Take puppy out for a potty break and give a treat immediately when he/she ‘goes’. Playtime and command training as your schedule allows then crate puppy again.
- Evening – An evening walk followed by dinner (after you’ve eaten yours) and then let puppy play (supervised). Practice commands as you like and spend some quality time together.
While this is very basic schedule template, when your puppy is young the important thing is simply reinforcement of the 4 training types. You can develop a week by week schedule once your puppy has mastered these. Just be sure to reinforce the foundation with lots of love and treats and soon you’ll be ready to start practicing those back-flips!