Bringing home a new and bouncy furry family member can be exciting and challenging. Unfortunately, while all puppies are adorable, their energy and enthusiasm can lead to negative mini-hound behaviors! It's up to you as the hound parent to create an environment that encourages good puppy behavior, as this isn't automatic.
When Should Puppy or Dog Training Begin?
Puppy classes usually start around 8-10 weeks old, but encouraging good puppy behavior, house training, and basic obedience can be taught at any age.
8 Tips for Encouraging Good Puppy Behavior:
- Make sure your hound has plenty of mental stimulation for example, chews, toys, and playtime–so they don't become bored and act out. Regular exercise is also crucial for both mental and physical hound health. Puppies have a seemingly endless supply of energy that must have an outlet, or you can expect undesirable behaviors to start manifesting.
- You can start house training a puppy as soon as you bring your fur baby home. Maintain consistent potty rules so they understand the good behaviors you expect of them.
- When walking, ensure your hound has a secure collar with an identity tag and leash. Going for a walk is extremely exciting for dogs of any age; however, a puppy is still learning basic obedience, recall, and good dog walking behaviors, so a reliable leash is essential. Many states require dogs to wear identity tags and for a good reason! Should your hound go on an unsupervised adventure, they can be easily identified and returned safely to you.
- Set boundaries, such as not jumping up on people or chewing on furniture/belongings, and be consistent with rewards to reinforce good puppy behavior.
- Make socialization a priority by introducing your pup to new experiences and friendly faces at the park or doggy daycare for short periods initially (so it doesn't become too overwhelming).
- Take advantage of positive reinforcement, like treats, praise, and rewards for good behavior, so your pup associates these behaviors with positive attention.
- Provide structure with a daily routine to help them understand when it's time for walks, playtime, and rest. This includes following a regular feeding and training schedule.
- Use distraction techniques or good old-fashioned time-outs when they become too excited or stressed. For example, when your little hound starts biting, jumping, or barking, calmly pick them up and place them in a specific area (crate or bathroom) for a minute or two. Remember, time out isn't a punishment; it allows your hound to refocus and exhibit better behavior.
Puppy Supplies Every Pet Parent Needs
Having the right supplies is also important when encouraging good puppy behavior:
- Secure collar/harness
- Identification tags
- Training treats (for positive reinforcement)
- Toys (mental stimulation)
- Dog bed
The Last Yap
Puppy and dog training is essential for avoiding behavior problems in the future, and it helps your hound start on the right paw from day one. As pet parents ourselves, we know it's not always easy, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can create the ideal training environment to encourage good puppy behavior.