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Puppy School Homework

Next week Nacho starts at Puppy School with Lady and the Hound where he will go for 6 weeks to learn some basic behavioural skills or should I say, WE will learn how to teach him those skills!

Taking your puppy to training like Puppy School is a fantastic way to start your training journey but it doesn't end there. If you want your pup to be a well-behaved, happy dog, you will need to continue putting what you learn into practice at home.

Here are a few tips on how to help your pup with his homework!

Getting Out and About

At Puppy School, Nacho will be learning about lead walking and recall which will need to be practised in the outside world and will be much more daunting than in the safe indoor space of school.

It's great to get your puppy used to the place where you are likely to walk most but in the early days of training that place needs to be carefully chosen. For example, our closest park is Richmond Park but the vast open space and extra dangers of wild deer and a busy road running through it are probably not the best place to practice recall.

We have therefore chosen a small, enclosed recreation ground nearby for Nacho's walks and any off-lead activities.

Be sure to use some high value treats when training like ByBenji biltong or Beautiful Joes liver treats.

Your pup will also get a lot of benefit from exploring your local area and that's when you can practice getting him to walk nicely on a lead.

Don’t be too worried about practicing any formal lead training on your puppy’s first few walks, let them lead the way and sniff their environment and get familiar with their surroundings. Go at their pace (you might not get very far!) and let them explore and grow in confidence. This is how they will learn to feel comfortable enough to toilet on their walks too.

Imogen - Lady and the Hound

Establishing a Routine

You will need to let your pup know what their daily life is going to be like and the sooner you introduce them to these things, the better.

If your pup is going to be left alone while you go out to work or play without them, then introduce this slowly over their first months if possible. Adult dogs should not be left home alone for more than 4 hours at a time and for pups it's even less.

Other things that will become part of their routine you may need to consider include:

  • Introducing them early to their professional walker/carer, groomers and vets.

  • Getting them used to various modes of transport.

  • Taking them to dog friendly places.

  • Allowing them to socialise with people and other dogs.

  • Introduce them early to anyone who will be a regular visitor to your home.

Being Social

And no we don't mean on Instagram! Get your pup to meet as many doggies of all ages and sizes as you feel comfortable with. If you are a bit nervous about this, get some of your doggie friends to help you and always check with other owners that their dog is OK with puppies. Playing with other dogs is an important part of your dog's development and older dogs can help your puppy learn what is acceptable.

Your puppy should also get used to humans of all shapes and sizes, especially any that will be part of their lives. Some common issues that dogs can develop are people wearing hats/helmets or high visibility clothes, children on bikes/scooters and, of course, the postman! The earlier you can get your pup to learn there is nothing to fear from any of these, the better. If you usually walk in a park, try mixing in some street walks so your pup can encounter a variety of sights, people and sounds such as these and also things like sirens and other loud city noises.

Provide Mental Stimulation

Puppies are inquisitive and constantly looking for mischief, on top of which they are desperate to chew, especially until they lose their puppy teeth.

Giving them a variety of toys and games to keep them occupied will not only save your furniture and shoes from certain destruction but will also get them using their brains.

Providing puppies with ‘doggy jobs’ which involve a repetitive action such as licking, sniffing or chewing encourages your puppy to be calm, keeps them mentally stimulated and helps them settle.

Imogen - Lady and the Hound

There are many excellent brain toys for your pup including K9 Connectables, Kong® and Lickimat®

Give Them Time Out

All that learning is hard work so you will need to factor in some rest time for your pup. Give him a safe place to rest, somewhere away from your other dog, your children and general activity in your house. Your pup will always be more interested in what's going on around him and want to be involved so you will need to help him when it's time to rest.

Creating a quiet VIP den area (very important puppy….my terminology!) will help give them a quiet safe space they can go to to get away from it all - you can use crates, pens, underneath tables and corners to create a VIP area - just as long as it’s tucked away and quiet.

Imogen - Lady and the Hound

For further training tips and booking sessions with Imogen visit Lady and The Hound.

For discounts on products mention visit Archies Offers.


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