Puppy Training Tips

We have over 400 articles posted on the Puppy In Training Blog and it is absolutely littered with Puppy Training Tips.  If you’re looking for the latest and greatest tips then you’ve come to the right place.  This is where we organized our very best Puppy Training Tips across the blog.  So take a peek at some of our favorite Puppy Training Tips.

Puppy Training Tips

Train Your Dog Like A Guide Dog – Have you ever wanted to raise a guide dog puppy? Learn to raise your dog like a guide dog puppy raiser!

How Much Should I Feed My Puppy – I get asked this question all the time and my advise is not to follow the directions on the bag.  Check out my article instead.

What’s Different About Guide Dog Puppies – A list of some of the differences when raising a guide dog puppy vs a regular puppy.

Earthquake Safety For Pets – With all the recent natural and unnatural disasters we decided it was important to come up with a list of earthquake safety tips.

Dog Safety Tips For The Fourth Of July – Every fourth of July dogs get lost.  Many dogs are fearful of fireworks including my aussie mix, Linus.  Here are some tips…

Dog Halloween Safety Tips – Some puppies can be frightened around Halloween and lets not forgot all the deadly chocolate that’s around this holiday…

If you’re looking for more Puppy Training Tips then check out our archive or try using our search box in the upper right hand corner.  We’ll continue to add to this list as time goes on so make sure you check back frequently.  If you have any puppy training tips you’d like to share or if you have any questions please leave us a message in the comment section below.

Comments

  1. Ed says

    My daughter insists on raising here pit and beagle as children, spoiling them, yet when they do not listen to her she swats them. The problem I see is that the other she baby sat a one year old and her attention was on the child noy the pit, so the pit started to growl at the child. Does this mean that the pit was jelous of the baby and does not understand she’s only a dog not a child as my daughter teaches her?

    • says

      @Ed, thanks for visiting our site. I’d recommend you/your daughter contact a dog behavior expert for an in home consultation to make sure everything is going okay with your daughters dog’s behavior and training.

  2. kel says

    Hi, i have a golden ret (6months old) and he’s currently taking puppy classes, but he’s really playfull, he will always jump or reach to tables(anywhere he sees or smells food). I knw i cant b frustrated, but at times i wonder if he will ever be like a well behave dog. What am i doing wrong? I want him to be able to go to hospitals (hospice) which is were i work, what can i do???

    • says

      @kel congratulations on you puppy. I would talk to the trainer in your puppy class and see what suggestions he/she may have. You may need to be more strict with your puppy you may be giving him too much freedom around the house. When my pups are jumping I just stand on their leash until they stop trying. As soon as they stop trying to jump I give them tons of praise. Good luck with your new puppy!

  3. Alexandra M. says

    hello, i need some help asap
    ok I am picking up my new puppy tomorrow, the breeder feeds him Purina one for large breed puppies.
    I want to switch to a better food and got him Blue b for large breed puppies.

    Anyways, I was looking all over the stores and online for a small pack of that purina one l.b puppy food (to mix both foods to avoid stomach problems) but i can’t find it. They have 4lb but only purina one puppy food (not for large breeds) the large breed puppy food starts at like almost 20lb..and i don’t want to buy that much. My question is can i get him the purina one puppy food instead of the large breed formula? thank you

    • says

      @Alexandra, I would stick to the exact same food your breeder is using because I’m sure the ingredients are different in the regular vs large breed. I’ve had plenty of upset puppy stomachs changing their foods and it’s not too fun. Why don’t you ask your breeder if you can buy a little bit of the purina one for large breeds.

  4. megan says

    Hi Colby I have another question. Tucker (our yellow lab) is now 2 months old. In the past week or so he has started being really snappy. We can be in the middle of playing and snap. I have no idea how to stop it. We have tried a firm NO but that does not seem to help. I don’t know if we should do a light pop on the nose or what? HELP!

    • says

      @megan, it sounds like he might be getting overly excited while he’s playing. When my pups get like this I just give them one of their toys and stop playing. I wouldn’t give him a light pop on the nose as this will most likely aggravate the problem.

  5. Melanie says

    I rescued a puppy that had been abandoned at a local gas station and we started her on pedigree puppy food yesterday.We do not know the history of the puppy but she is very friendly. Her stomach is upset from the food could it be that she has not had this dog food? Also I would like to say thank you so much i found this website and all your crate training tips have helped alot!! she only whined for 15 minutes after we put her in there for bed. When we first got her she would not stop whining!!! Thank you again for all the advice!!

    • says

      @Melanie, since you found her abandoned I would take her to the veterinarian and tell him about the dog food and upset stomachs. In my experience any time I change my puppy’s food it usually causes an upset stomach. However, I’d still recommend you have your puppy visit a vet.

  6. amber says

    Hi Colby,
    I have a 4 month old Golden irish who is extremely high energy that I am having to keep seperate from my 2 young kids due to his energy. My question is, is there something I can do to help him calm down when in the house? I take him for an hour or more long off leash walk every day, as well as have been training him to use the treadmill (just lightly right now due to his young age-but he loves it.). It is at the point where we ae considering finding him anouther home and getting a lazier breed. We have had dogs before (GSD’s) and put alot of research into this breed before we got him. There are no puppy classes where I live, but I am training him myself. He listens well to basic commands, but just won’t calm down. Thanks for you help.

    • says

      @Amber, my current Golden Retriever is a puppy and has that puppy energy too and he’s currently about 85 pounds. It sounds like you’re on the right track by giving him a lot of exercise which would have been my first suggestion.

      My current Golden I keep on leash and by my side in the house all the time. If I myself am not keeping him under control then I will have him stay in his kennel. I will do this until he understands the rules of the house. Although I do not have children so I think this is easier said then done. I know you said you don’t have puppy classes, but you might try consulting a local dog trainer for a in-home training session.

  7. annah says

    hi colby,
    i found your website very useful. I will be bringing home a pembroke welsh corgi pup,her name is elspie and she will be seven weeks next month at the end of may. But i have one small worry,the ride up to go get her is 5 hours long,and with stopping to let her relieve herself and the usual traffic it will be closer to six hours before we get her home. So i am just wondering how this will go since you have so much experience.

    thanks colby,
    annah

    • says

      @annah, thanks for visiting my website. My drives home with young puppies have only been about 2 hours (depending on traffic) and each one of my puppies were a little different. I had one puppy get car sick and vomit, but for the most part he was very good during the drive. One puppy slept the entire 2 hours. Another puppy was in his kennel, woke up after about an hour and a half and had an potty accident. 2 of my puppies barked and whined for the first 10 minutes of the car ride then fell asleep. 2 of my puppies slept for about an hour then woke up and started barking and crying.

      Sorry for all the different scenarios, but it really is a mixed bag. I’d expect a lot of barking and whining and if you’re puppy does not then I’d be very happy. Your puppy will probably fall asleep within 10 minutes of the drive. Any time your puppy wakes up I’d be ready to relieve him.

      Those are the things I can think of off the top of my head. Hopefully they help. Congratulations and good luck with your new puppy!

    • Paulina says

      Hi,

      A few months ago I was in your position and I read up on everything I could find. This website was a Godsend. Definitely take Colby’s advice. :) Like Colby said, every puppy is different. I think it would helpful if you had someone go with you. I picked my puppy up in California and it was an 8+ hour drive for me. I got lucky because he was AMAZING. We didn’t have any accidents, he didn’t cry, and he basically just laid/sat on laps the whole time. To be honest he just seemed depressed. I thought he might have been moping. (I later realized that he was just a super chill puppy.) I think if you had someone to hold her, it might be more comforting? I took Colby’s advice and got a stuffed animal for Jasper and had them rub it on his siblings so he had something that smelled familiar and was cuddly too. You could always try securing a crate and putting her in there with the stuffed animal as well? The crate would help keep most messes contained and she might feel a bit safer because it’ll simulate a den like environment. She might cry a bit (or a lot) if you crate her though. It could go both ways… Good luck with everything!!

      • says

        @Paulina, great advice! That’s awesome that your puppy did so well on such a long trip. Like I mentioned I’ve had many different experiences with my puppies. One that I forgot to mention was when I picked up Linus my rescue puppy. Unfortunately, he was so sick and anemic he didn’t move the entire ride home. It was so sad my girlfriend thought he might have passed away. However, there was a happy ending. We got him healthy and now he’s 8 years old and sleeping by my feet while I write this reply :)

  8. Polly says

    Colby,

    My husband and I brought home our new miniature schnauzer puppy, Abigail yesterday. She is our very first puppy. Last night was well……how should I put this….Very challenging. She is 6 weeks old. We made sure we did not feed her right before bed, we took her to her potty area outside right before bed, put her in her crate and she “whined and cried” all night. We had her crate in our bedroom. She would cry for 45 mins and sleep for about 20 ( and so did we) . Am I to assume we will have to deal with this for a while?

    • says

      Hi Polly,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Every puppy is different. Most puppies I’ve raised have taken between a few days and a week to get used to their crate. However, Stetson took about a month before he stopped crying in his crate and I’ve heard of other pups that have taken as long as 2 months. If you haven’t had a chance yet take a look at this article: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies-14-useful-tips/. Hopefully there’s something on that list that will help with your puppy’s crate training. Good luck!

      Colby

      • Polly says

        Colby,

        Thanks for the encouragement. It has been only 1 week and little Abigail is totally crate trained. She sleeps all night without crying and we have even put the crate in living room. She naps in it and she will also play in it when we’re busy and cannot keep an eye on her. Now we seem to be having a problem with her biting. I realize puppies only know how to play with thier litter mates and they bite and chase each other. How do we teach her that we are her new mates and biting is not an acceptable form of play?

  9. Trudy says

    Hi Colby. You gave me very good advice when I asked about my puppy’s biting. It has cut down considerably. She is four months old now. New issue – she is very willful and does not like to be corrected or told “no”. For example, if she comes to us with a toy while we are sitting on the couch, and we do not play with her, she barks at us and tries to nip our knees. If told “no” or “no bite”, she backs up and barks at us. When we reach for her, she runs. We must not be handling it right. Do you have a suggestion? Thanks so much (again!) Trudy

  10. Kaleb says

    Hi Colby!

    I appreciate all the help you have provided me with on this site! However I am in need of some more tips/advice. As I mentioned before, I have a 3year old Boxer, Roxi, and an 8 week old Cane Corso, Sergeant. Should I expect Sergeant to take dominance over Roxi when he becomes an adult? Its difficult picturing my 55lb Boxer keeping the “pack leader” role over the potential 100+lb male. Thanks again for your help!

    -Kaleb, Roxi and Sergeant

    • says

      Hi Kaleb,

      I wouldn’t necessarily expect Sergeant to take dominance over Roxi. I’ve heard of little Yorkies bossing around Labrador Retrievers. Good luck with your puppy!

      Colby

  11. Devin says

    Hi this is devin again… o dont know if u remeber me and my puppy roman but i got bad news.i forgot to say i was 13 when i was asking about roman. my mother sold him.. can u make a guide on how to deal with the loss of your puppy/dog. :(

    • says

      Hi Devin,

      I’m sorry to hear that you lost your puppy. When our pups are 18 months old we have to return them to the school so they can complete their guide dog training. It’s a very tough day and probably similar to your situation with your mother selling your pup. I’m sure he found a good home and will be loved by his new family. Unfortunately I don’t have a guide on how to deal with losing your puppy. Time eases the pain, but you’ll still always remember him.

      Take care,
      Colby

  12. shikha says

    hi colby . i have a two mnth old golden lab .. i want to know how much should i feed him and how many times a day.and wat quality of food ?should it be vet specified food for a certain period of time or should it be fed to him for lifelong?

  13. Manda says

    Hi Colby! What a great website and resource. We have already learned a lot. We just brought home an 8 week old black lab puppy last weekend, and when I read your story about Stetson, I felt we were in for the same thing! The first few nights were tough, but luckily Rooney has started to be more calm throughout the nights. One main problem we have is his chewing on in appropriate things … we have tried to do as the books and websites say and to make a loud noise to distract him and then redirect his attention to one of his chew toys. But this just does not work! He usually doesn’t even flinch at the loud noise and will continue chewing. We have blocked off an area so there are minimal things that can be chewed, but still we are concerned he may start chewing on the cabinets we have in that space. Any advice you have would be helpful! Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi Manda,

      My first dog Linus was rescued from the animal shelter and he ended up chewing lots of things including electronics, cell phones, tv remotes, shoes, etc. The lesson I learned from Linus was that you need to keep a constant eye on your puppy. Now when I bring home a new puppy I keep them on leash and constantly overlook their activity until they understand the rules of the house. If I can’t keep a constant eye on my pup then I use my crate or an ex-pen to keep them from chewing on anything inappropriate. If you haven’t already when you can’t keep a constant eye your puppy you might try using an ex-pen or crate to keep you puppy out of trouble.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  14. Martha says

    Hi Colby, I must say your website is very informative and has great tips for new puppy parents. We brought home a boston terrier he is about 3 months old ..he is a good puppy but sometimes gets very hyper. He likes to bite my sons socks and pull at his shorts.. it got so bad that he bit my son’s foot yesterday.. he seems to bite my son more so than anyone else.. how can we stop him from biting?

    • says

      Hi Martha,

      Congratulations on the new puppy! Biting/Mouthy behavior is very common for puppies and not too fun because their baby teeth are like little daggers. You can expect him to be very mouthy until his adult teeth come in at around 4-5 months of age. There are two things I usually do when my puppy is being mouthy. First I always make sure and have some type of dog toy on me like a nylabone, plush toy, KONG, etc. If my puppy is getting overly excited and biting then I just remove whatever of mine he is biting, replace with a toy, and just let him play by himself for a little while. The second thing I usually do is spray bitter apple spray on whatever my puppy is biting (hands, arms, pants, etc). Most pups don’t like the taste and eventually learn that biting that object results and an icky taste.

      Hope that helps. Good luck with your puppy.
      Colby

  15. says

    Hi Colby,
    Few days before , I found a lonely puppy near my backyard. I felt sooo sorry for it and took it home. Now , Iam totaly confused as of how to take of the puppy, what sort of food should i feed, when should i get him vaccinated,how many times a day should i feed him .. similar 1000 questions are in my mind.. pls help… :(

  16. JaKeisha Perkins says

    Ive only had my puppy for 3 days, he only understands “Go to sleep” “No” and “Potty” its hard when I try to tell him to come he doesnt, any advice.

    • says

      Hi JaKeisha,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! That’s pretty good your puppy already knows all of those commands. We work for over 1 1/2 years with our guide dogs puppies teaching them the same commands (we keep working on them until they are perfect). I wrote an article about teaching “name” and “come”: http://puppyintraining.com/how-to-teach-your-puppy-his-name/. Make sure you stay consistent when teaching your puppy any commands.

      Good luck!
      Colby

  17. Destiny says

    I have a 10 week 5 day old puppy, I got him when he was 8 weeks and 4 days old. I can’t get him potty trained and he bites all of the time. Also you can not leave him in his cage he will get poo or pee all over him. When I let him out in the fence he won’t come back on my command I have to chase him around. He is my first puppy science I was a little kid when my mom and dad did it for me.

    • says

      Hi Destiny,

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      If you haven’t already take a look at this article on how to potty train your puppy: http://puppyintraining.com/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/

      As far as his crate training you may need to take a step back and start him from the very beginning. Take a look at this article for some guidance: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/ You should first thoroughly clean out the crate with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle to get all the odor out. You should also make sure you have the correct sized crate. After you’ve cleaned and determined the proper size of your crate only use it for short periods of time (maybe like 5-10 minutes to start) to make sure your puppy does not have an accident while inside. Over time keep extending the amount of time he stays in the crate until he can stay in the crate for several hours without an accident.

      As far as the biting goes you need to get him lots of different textured toys to chew on. If he’s getting excited and biting just remove your hand or whatever object he is inappropriately biting and replace it with one of his appropriate chew toys. You can also try using Bitter Apple Spray to deter his biting. Puppies are usually very mouthy until their adult teeth come in at around 4-5 months, but you still want to work on deterring any inappropriate biting so it doesn’t carry over to adulthood.

      One thing you need to work on is never let him get away with not coming to you when you call his name. Take a look at this article to learn how to teach your puppy his name and work on recall: http://puppyintraining.com/how-to-teach-your-puppy-his-name/

      It sounds like your puppy is having some fun playing the chase game. Take a look at this article: http://puppyintraining.com/why-you-should-not-chase-your-dog/

      Puppies are a lot of work. Work on being consistent, persistent, and patient with your puppy.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

    • says

      Regarding eating rocks and flowers in the garden. At his age you really don’t want to give him so much freedom that he’s allowed to eat the rocks and flowers in the garden. A 11 week old puppy need rules and boundaries or he is bound to get into trouble.

  18. Amber says

    Hi Colby,
    I have a 8 week old puppy who likes to eat a lot of grass and he picks up leafs and tries to eat them, I try to take them out of his mouth before he swallows them. Is it bad if he was to swallow a leaf?

  19. justin ironman says

    Hi! I Have 12 week old mixed german shepherd/Belgian Malinois. I’m Having A Hard Time Potty Training Him To Go Outside He Pees And Poops In The Same Place And Leash Training Him Is A Problem To. Thank You

    • says

      Thanks so much! We do our best to share all of our puppy training experiences as we usually have a new guide or service dog puppy every 18 months.

  20. mark whelan says

    I have enjoyed reading the posts and the good tips . I’ve only got a new pup this week she a cross between a cocker spaniel and a American akita name and potty training

  21. mark whelan says

    While I am toilet training Oreo I don’t think I should bring her out too the back garden as next doors dogs can get into my garden . As she is only six weeks old and not due her jabs till she 8 weeks . So is it good to get her to go at the back door on a toilet mat till I can let her out

  22. PhilM, says

    Hi,

    We just adopted a twelve-week old GSD from a shelter. She is a great puppy, very intelligent. We were able to teach her sit,down commands in no time. However, she has the habit of biting us. We understand that she didn’t get to spent much time with other pups of her age and was separated from her mother too soon.

    I have researched around for the best way to teach her bite inhibition. She is not responding well to vocal reaction from us and we don’t want to punish her. We are unable to put her in training classes until she is fully vaccinated. Wondering if you would have any suggestions for us.

    Thanks. This looks like a place where I would be spending quite a lot time reading about training dogs!

    • Makayla says

      My aunt who helps train dogs and cats told me to put something that cats hate the taste of and when she goes to bite she will taste it and hate it. I did that with my other dog when it was five months old and it worked i just dont remember what i use. You can also always keep a spray bottle with u and when it goes to bite u spray it my dogs hate that and she stopped biting me.

  23. Makayla says

    Hey my name is makayla on July 2 my baby gave birth to 5 beautiful puppies and we are going to have to give three away. When is the earliest we can start doing that they r 5 weeks old and today one is suppose to be going to a new home is it still to early. And when is it okay to start bathing them cause they are outside dogs just intill we find a home for three and then me and my brother get to keep two for ourselves and they smell really bad cause they love to stay u stay under the house is it still too early to bath them! PLEASE help!

    • says

      Hi Makayla,

      Congratulations on your litter of puppies! We do not breed puppies so we wouldn’t know too much about litters. You might look for advice from your local veterinarian. Our guide dog puppies go home with their puppy raisers at around 7-8 weeks. Hopefully that helps.

      Good luck!
      Colby

  24. Becky says

    we just got a 9week old GSD puppy, I want to stop very early the jumping on the door behavior. what is the best way to get your puppy to stop jumping on the door?

    • says

      Sorry for this late response. We usually keep our puppies on leash to keep them from jumping. Just standing on the leash corrects the behavior pretty quickly. Good luck with your training!

  25. Annabelle says

    Hi there,

    my chihuahua puppy is almost 5 months old, healthy and very active.
    he is on a strict feeding schedule, and always goes to his pee pee pad the moment he is out of the crate without any hesitation. We go only 3 walks daily equivalent to roughly about 2 miles. I have to be at school for six hours a day 4 days a week. Every single time i come home the crate is a stinking mess even though I make sure to have him go both pee and poop right before he is put in his crate. He only poops in his crate, there is never any pee. I got the smallest crate available, so when he makes a mess in his crate he is laying directly in it. He does not have any extra room in his crate, it is definitely not too big. I use the nature’s miracle cleaner to rid of the smell as I know dogs like to poop habitually.

    He sleeps in his crate at night for 8.5 hours and there is NEVER any mess in the morning, only when I come home from being gone. He is the center of the household is constantly played with, never ignored.

    Is he mad at me for leaving? Should I not feed in the morning before I go? I love this dog but I am at my wits end with cleaning up mushed poop and giving him daily baths.. Please tell me what i am doing wrong so we can both be happy creatures?

    Thank you so much

    • says

      You may be overusing your crate. Something you might try is getting a friend, family member, neighbor, or pet sitter to come over and let your dog out for about an hour or so. 6 hours is a long time to leave your puppy in a crate during the day. Crating your puppy at night is very different because your puppy is most likely sleeping the entire time. During the day he is going to be more active even while in his crate. Good luck with your training!

  26. donna says

    Hi Colby. I am trying to train my 5 month old bichon frise to understand she is not eh pack leader in our house. I finally realised the implications of this with her unruly behaviour. My husband and I both work from home so she has the roam of the house all day and sleeps in the laundry in her crate at night. We go through doors first, I won’t tolerate nipping etc.

    BUT I am struggling with walking her. She constantly races ahead and I KNOW that we should be the ones who lead. Every time she bolts forward I stop her with a little tug to her collar and get her to sit and wait till I say walk. I have also tried stopping and then changing direction which is what my puppy school trainer suggested BUT got frustrated with that technique as I felt we paced a 10 meter strip. I take her for a walk or run most days/ every second day. I let her go a little crazy once we hit the beach but would love her to have some control on the way there and back. Any ideas would be most welcome

    Thanks

    Donna

    • says

      We do the same thing when working on heeling and just change directions. One of the training exercises we do as a group to work on heeling is in an open area the trainer has us walk in a straight line and make sudden changes in direction by telling us what to do such as heel, left, right, about face, stop, etc. This keeps puppies on their toes and teaches them to keep an eye on their handler rather than going off on their own. When out on your walk you can try just stopping in place when your puppy pulls out ahead. Wait until he stops pulling or gets back into position and give him praise/reward. We’ve also used treats to work with our pups by luring them back into heel position with their favorite treats. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training.

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