Puppy training is very important, please read the following on how to train your puppy.
See our dog training schedule for details of classes in Shrewsbury on Mondays and Thursdays in Hanwood

Image of sleeping puppies

Buying a puppy

So you are thinking of buying a puppy, how lovely...good choice. Be sure that you think very seriously before getting a puppy, and that everyone in the household will help with the bringing up of your pet. Don't forget there is truth in the saying 'A dog is for life'. So before getting your dog, please remember some very important things...

  • Your life style - do you work and for how many hours will your dog be on it's own?
  • A dog can live up to 15 years of age and will be dependent on you all his life. Are you prepared for this type of commitment?
  • Can you afford not only pet food, but vet bills?
  • Do you live in a house or flat? Do you have a garden for your dog to play in?
  • Are there children in the household?
  • Will you be able to spend hours of your time walking and exercising your dog, grooming, playing and training your dog?
  • What about holidays, can you afford to pay for your dog to go into kennels if necessary?
  • Where will your dog sleep? What kind of bed should he have? Is it a good idea to use a 'cage' or pen?
  • What breed or size of dog would suit your life style?
  • Get a puppy from a breeder if possible
  • Puppies are best brought home at 6-8 weeks old
  • Choose a social and lively puppy from a litter
  • Check your pup's medical history including vaccinations

A puppy will need reassuring on his first night away from 'mum and other siblings'.

A warm hot water bottle, or a house brick put in the oven for an hour and both wrapped well in an old towel will be very comforting. Also a small clock put under his bedding will sound like a heartbeat. As puppies all snuggle up, sometimes on top of each other, the sound of a 'heart beat' will be reassuring for your puppy. A pen is also a good idea and not at all cruel as long as you treat it as his bed and safe haven, but NOT a place to be told to go to when he has done something wrong. You should never tell your dog to go to bed as a punishment.

Use a litter tray until your puppy knows to ask to go outside to the toilet. A dog will not foul its bed, so put the 'toilet tray' on the far side of his bed in the pen if using one. Never scold a puppy for having 'accidents' in the house, you are only making contact with him and this he can associate with doing the right thing. NEVER rub your puppies nose into the mess he's made, but say nothing, gently take him outside to where you want him to toilet. A dog will start smelling or going round in circles when he his ready to go to the toilet. If you see him doing this, quickly put him outside and give him a command such as 'toilet' or 'wee' and praise him well if he does it. Take your puppy outside after he has eaten, as this is usually a time he will want to go - especially after a drink.

Your puppy will need to 'socialize' with other dogs and people at a very early age. This is very important if you want your dog to be sociable. He will need to be taught a few basic commands like sit and lie down. He will also need to get used to a collar and a leash and to walk nicely by your side. These are commands that can be easily taught by using treats (small amounts of food your dog doesn't have every day). Lots of praise or play when he does something right. You should not tell your dog more than twice to do something. It is important to show your dog what it is that you want him to do, for example 'sit'. Hold a small treat just above your dogs head, just out of reach and take it backwards, so that the only way the dog can keep watch on the food is by looking up, this will make him automatically sit. As soon as he goes into the sit position, tell him 'sit' and give him the treat straight away, so he knows why he has been given this good morsel of food. Practice this a couple of times a day. It shouldn't take him long to get the idea that the word sit means just that, and he should sit as soon as you ask him. Don't forget to praise him each time...very important.

He/she will also need a name, so choose one that you will keep. Once a dog gets used to his name it should be the only one used. You will only confuse your dog if you give him a great long name and then sometimes shorten it - he won't know who you are talking to. There will always be a time when his name becomes 'bad dog' or naughty boy/girl, but this will mean nothing to him. It's your 'tone of voice' that counts. A dog should never be smacked or hit with an object and never smacked on the nose. A dog's nose is very sensitive as it's 300 times more sensitive than ours.

Here are some of the modules we teach when training puppies:

  • Learn how to toilet train.
  • Learn what to chew and what not to chew.
  • Come when called, even from play.
  • How to control jaws and claws.
  • Enjoy being handled, examined and visiting the vet.
  • Sit, stand and lie down on command.
  • Enjoy being 'home alone'.

Again, as with a puppy, treats, praise or play when your dog does something right, goes a long way. What ever age your dog is, he can get as bored as you or me. If he has nothing to do, that's when dogs usually chew things and get into mischief.