5 important things to teach your new puppy

Skills for a new puppy that will save you a lot of trouble around the house

HOUSTON - Did your family bring home a new puppy during the holidays and you want to train him, but you don’t know what to focus on first? Well, before the puppy honeymoon is over, Stephanie Bennett, CPDT-KSA, owner and director of Believe in Dog Training is sharing important puppy training tips that will help you with the new addition to the family.

“We try to encourage people to start immediately, right away, and there’s really five big priorities to try to help people with and, of course, the first thing is potty training. The potty training breaks down to just a schedule, a very strict schedule. Also, all of our training has to be with making sure that they understand where you do want them to potty. So, it’s not about 'I don’t want you to potty,' it’s about 'I want you to potty here, not there,"' said Bennett.

Whether it's furniture, clothes or a door, chewing creates big trouble for puppies. Fix it by teaching him to chew this, not that.

“We don’t want to fight their natural desire to chew, because they need it. You must have an arsenal or awesome chew toys. They are rotated so they are not all available all the time, because if they are out and available all time, who cares, I’m bored, I only want the new thing now. When I see you clearly need to chew something, please don’t choose that wire, here, chew this instead,” said Bennett.

She also suggest socialization as a top priority for puppies.

“We want to introduce them to a hundred different people before they are four months old, literally. And as many other dogs that are safe to play with and lots of positive experiences,” said Bennett, who is considered one of Houston’s top dog trainers and behavioral experts.

According to Bennett, it is also important to teach them the sit and leave it command.

“We teach that sit equals please, so if you want anything in this world, say please, just like you would teach a child,” she said.

The last priority Bennett recommends is handling. This entails cradling the puppy and touching them all over from head to tail.

“We want to create huggable puppies, because puppies usually don’t like to be touched. But we humans love to hug. And we need to make sure that they get used to being touched all over when they go to the vet, when they go to the groomer, anything like that," said Bennett.

See the full clip above.


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