Mistakes in Puppy Training (part 1)

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

We are often more excited to bring the little bundle of furry joy home quickly without first preparing ourselves mentally and emotionally, and arming ourselves with a basic understanding of the dos and don’ts of fur-parenting. When reality sets in with destructive chewing, housetraining woes, mouthing, barking and other unsettling behaviours, it can turn that moment of happiness of having a puppy to one of frustration, anger and some regret.

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes new owners make:

Taking the puppy home too soon

Most of us are excited and want to bring the puppy home – this is one of the biggest mistakes we can make.  During the first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life, he receives nurturing from his mother and also picks up invaluable social skills from his litter of brother and sisters. Due to the number of unethical breeders out there whose intention is to make money, they would allow their puppies to leave earlier than they should. One of the key concerns is health issues. Most puppies would require three vaccinations before they are allowed to leave their breeder. Puppies who leave their litter too soon might struggle to learn proper interaction with dogs and people. So, a good time to take the puppy home would be when it is 12 weeks and older.

Giving it the license to roam

Puppies are curious, especially about their environment. Once you allow them to wander everywhere and anywhere unsupervised, it will eventually get into trouble. Chewing furniture, clothes, shoes, running out of the house and the most dreaded of all, improper toilet behaviour. For the latter, try to enforce crate training or a fenced enclosure.

Failing to put crate training in order

Crate training takes advantage of a dog’s desire not to soil their sleeping and eating area.  The crate is a good place to start conditioning your puppy. In the crate, your puppy will be able to sleep and eat peacefully away from children, other pets and distractions. The crate should be tall enough, especially if you have a big or medium-sized puppy as they will grow quickly within the next two months. Key points to note are that the crate should be high enough for the puppy to stand in and long enough for him to turn around and move. Another point to note if you have to leave home for some errands, is not to leave your puppy alone in the crate for more than two hours.

Not getting into basic obedience training 

The puppy that you bought home is capable of learning basic obedience commands the moment he walks into his new home.  However, too many people fail to realise this and focus strictly on housebreaking. Simple obedience commands like sit, down, stay and come are instructions that you can pair with conditions before meals, treats or playtime. I would recommend to not wait and start as soon as possible.


About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden

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