Edgemoor Veterinary Practice – providing high quality veterinary care throughout Ryedale and beyond

Puppy Advice – General Training

When can we start training our puppy?

Puppies can be trained any time from when you collect them (usually after 8 weeks of age). It is important to get them used to the normal smells, noises and actvities that go on in human family life – a noisey hoover or child for example. It is best to introduce them gradually to these things and if signs of fear are being shown then the activity should stop. Gradually build up their exposure over time. CDs or downloads are available from which you can play common noises that could be scary for a young puppy – e.g. cars and fireworks. You can play the tracks at home and increase the loudness over days and weeks to help your puppy get used to those sounds.

It is important not to take your puppy out in public areas until they a fully vaccinated and you have been advised by one of our vets to do so. At Edgemoor we offer Puppy Parties which allow your puppy to make friends with other dogs a similar age and learn common doggy etiquette. We hold them at our Helmsley branch.

Call us on 01439 771166 if you would like to attend one of our Puppy Parties.

What is the best method to train puppies?

We recommend using reward-based training. This means giving your puppy a treat when they behave in the way you’d like them to and repeating this many times. It is not recommended that you shout aggressively at your dog because this can cause fear and aggression from them in return.

What treats should we use for reward-based training?

A treat should be something your puppy loves! This could be a tasty morsel or a favourite toy or just some exuberant praise, each dog is different and you will soon learn what your puppy responds to best. Using too many high-fat food treats can cause obesity, so why not try mixing in some carrot treats too?

We have lots of toys available in our Toys and Accessories section!

How soon should we give a treat after good behaviour?

For your puppy to link the good behaviour with your chosen treat, the treat needs to be given as soon as the behaviour is performed – ideally within half a second.

What sort of commands should we use?

There are many commands you can use such as ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’ or ‘Down’ but you should always use the same command for each behaviour. Using different commands for the same behaviour can cause confusion and increase the time it takes for your puppy to learn.

How many commands can we teach puppies?

There are a wide range of commands we can treat our puppies; the main thing is to teach one command at a time to avoid confusion.

Can everyone in the family train your puppy?

Yes. So long as everyone uses the same reward-based techniques and the same commands so the puppy doesn’t get confused.

Should we use punishment gadgets such as water pistols, choke chains or spray/electric collars?

Never, these gadgets don’t tell your puppy the behaviour you’d like and just incites fear, which prevents them from learning. Having a fearful puppy can increase the chance of other unwanted behaviours such as aggression.

How long should we train a puppy for each day?

Keep their training sessions short, no more than 30 minutes at a time.  Like children, puppies can lose concentration and need time to process what they’ve been taught with rest and sleep.

If you have any more questions or if you’d like to book your puppy in for a complimentary initial check up, call 01439 771166 to talk to one of our friendly team.


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