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If you want a well-behaved and obedient dog, it begins with proper training from the moment you welcome your precious little pup into your home. While cuddles and play time may seem like a more fun way to interact with your new little friend, basic training at home is vital and it will set a solid foundation for a friendly, happy, and well-behaved dog now, and in the future. Training should begin at around 8 weeks of age as puppies are operating at full learning capacity between 8-12 weeks. Read on for some simple in-home puppy training tips that the whole family can get involved in.

Positive Reinforcement

There are many different ways to train a puppy, but almost every professional agrees that positive reinforcement is best for both the puppy and the trainer. Avoid yelling at your puppy or punishing them for disobeying your commands during training. Instead, you should focus on praising them when they have listened and done something right. When praising, pat your pup under the chin or chest as this is more affectionate than a pat on the head. Your voice is always the best training aid so use a happy tone for praise, a clear tone for commands, and a firm tone for no.

House Training

Most puppies and dogs will spend at least some part of their life inside, even if they sleep outside or generally prefer to be outdoors. House training, which involves toilet training and teaching acceptable behaviour for indoors, isn’t necessarily complicated, it just requires a lot of persistence, and patience. Consistency and diligence are key. Don’t let your puppy do things when they are young that you don’t want them to do when they are older. For example, if you don’t want them on your furniture, don’t sit with them on your couch while they are puppies or have them lay with you on your bed. Training should be done in short but regular intervals throughout the day; 5-minute sessions are recommended, 4 to 5 times per day. This will ensure that your puppy is giving you their full attention at all times.

Leash Training

Every puppy needs to learn to walk on a leash. Aside from the fact that it is required by law to have most dogs on a leash at all times, it is also for their own safety. Keep a loose leash and give them several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg. Take one step forward and encourage them to follow by giving another treat as they catch up. Continue giving treats to your puppy at the level of your knee or hip as you walk forward. During leash training, you can also teach your puppy the command “come” by gently pulling the leash (and offering a reward if required) until they come without you needing to pull on the leash.

Other Commands

When teaching your puppy the other basic commands of sit, drop, stand, and stay, it is often best to include dogs treats in the beginning. For the commands of “sit” and “drop” it is recommended you get down to their level to teach them these. Again, persistence and consistency are key to teaching commands.


By training your puppy to accept new people, animals, other dogs, and unfamiliar places at a young age, it will mean that they are less likely to develop behavioural problems in the future. Puppy school is highly recommended as a good place to socialise your puppy, as well as to get some extra assistance or guidance on puppy training techniques. At home, you should take your puppy on regular walks on different routes, meet up with other pooches at a local dog park, and encourage your pup to interact with visitors and guests in your home.

Persistence, patience, and positive reinforcement are required successful training of a puppy. It’s important to remember that pups can be stubborn, mistakes will be made, and it might feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. However, puppies love to learn and if you persist, within a few short months you will have a happy, well-behaved pooch for life.

Need More Advice?

Your local vet near Byford, Railway Avenue Veterinary Hospital, is here to help with all your pet’s healthcare needs. From vaccinations and de-sexing, to microchipping, behavioural advice and affordable pet surgical procedures, Armadale, Byford, and Kelmscott pet owners trust us every time. To make an appointment with a friendly and experienced vet, Armadale locals should call (08) 9497 1547 or book online now.

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