How to Train a Puppy for New Pet Owners

Congratulations on your new furry bundle of joy and fun! For whatever reason, you have now become a dog owner, and want to learn how to train a puppy quickly!

Taking care of a new puppy is no easy task. They constantly bite at things, bark at everything, and go to the bathroom everywhere! For new dog owners, this can seem overwhelming, but just remember to be patient, patient, patient!

To help speed up training, check out the tips below to learn how to train a puppy quickly. You’ll have your sanity back, and a new best friend, in no time!

How to Train a Puppy to Use a Crate

Just like humans, dogs also need their own space when the world becomes too hectic and scary.

Contrary to popular belief, crate training is the not cruel. On the contrary, a dog’s crate is their “home within their home”. It’s their den, when they have all the security and comfort they need to calm down, and relax.

When things get confusing and scary around our dog, they will actually seek out their crate for safety and comfort.

Step 1: Find The Best Crate for Your Dog

To find the best crate for your puppy, there are a few things you want to consider before making a purchase:

  • Are you buying a temporary crate, with plans to replace it when your dog gets bigger? Or, do you want to get a full-sized crate for your puppy now, and let him grow into it?
  • Are you looking to buy something compact, and travel-friendly, like a kennel? Or, do you want something standard, like a wired crate?

Once you have the above questions answered, you can start picking out crates for your puppy.

If you’re looking to get a great kennel, we recommend Amazon Basic’s Portable Folding Kennel. It’s the perfect kennel for your puppy if you want to give them maximum comfort and privacy. The kennel also comes in multiple sizes, so you plan ahead for your puppy when he’s an adult.

best kennel for a puppy

If you’re looking for a more traditional, standard crate, we recommend you get a crate with a divider. Dividers are optional in many crate purchases, but they can make crating your puppy easier.

best crate for a puppy

Step 2: Introduce Puppy to Their Crate

Once you make the decision on which crate to buy, the next step is to introduce the crate to your puppy.

To prevent traumatizing the puppy, we don’t recommend locking the puppy in the kennel, and then walking away.

Instead, try to sell the crate to your puppy. Get them to trust the crate as their safe place. To do this, start feeding your puppy in their crate. When it’s time to eat, place the pup’s food and water in the crate, and coerce them into eating inside the crate.

how to train a dog to use a crate

Another tactic is to place treats inside the kennel for your dog to find. When your dog goes inside the kennel, be sure to give them tons of treats and verbal praise. By letting them know that they are doing a good thing by using their crate, they’ll want to return to it in the future.

One more tactic you can try to ease crating is to place articles of your clothing in the crate. Your clothing smells just like you, and is a great way to comfort and soothe your dog while away.

Also, try placing your puppy in the kennel, closing the door, and sitting with them for five minutes at a time. While crating, again, be sure to give your puppy plenty of treats and praise. The best way to teach a dog new tricks is to give them plenty of treats!

Step 3: Use the Divider

When introducing your puppy to their new crate, it might be a good idea to place a divider in the crate.

Dividers are great when you have a crate that gives your dog too much space. If you give your dog too much space, there’s a good a chance that they will use that extra space as a bathroom. That’s where the divider comes in.

By placing a divider inside the kennel, you limit the space your puppy has to move around. Dogs hate using the bathroom in their own den area, so the divider, and small space, encourages them not to use the bathroom in their crate.

After a while, once you’re confident that your dog has gotten using the crate down, you can remove the divider. The extra space will come as a reward to your dog, and they shouldn’t be encouraged to waste there, assuming the crate training has gone well.

How to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash

We have to say, leash training can be either the easiest, or hardest, lesson to teach a puppy.

how to train a puppy to walk on a leash

Humans have to understand that dogs aren’t born understanding how a leash works. You will need patience, and the right equipment, to learn how to train a puppy to walk on a leash.

Step 1: Find the Best Leash for Your Dog

That being said, we strongly recommend using a harness when leash training your puppy. Many owners use a standard “leash connected to the collar” method, and that’s fine. However, it’s not always the most comfortable experience for your puppy.

By using a harness, the leash connects to the back of the dog, instead of the neck.

a harness is more comfortable to help train your puppy to walk on a leash

Step 2: Introduce Puppy to the Leash

Introduce your puppy to the leash by letting him walk around the house in the leash and harness.

Practice putting the harness and leash on your dog a couple of times. Eventually, after plenty repetition, they’ll be able to assist with putting on the harness.

The good thing about a harness is that it’s something the dog only puts on when going outside. This can be very good for training your puppy, since the harness will give them a que that they are going outside soon.

Step 3: Make Puppy Comfortable with Leash

Once you’re comfortable with putting on the leash, try practicing walking inside.

It may take a few tugs to get your puppy moving in any direction. Be sure to reward them with plenty high-quality treats when they do listen.

Also, make sure to practice getting your puppy to come to you, while they’re wearing the leash. This is critical, because they will be surrounded with distractions once outside. You want to be able to trust that your dog will still listen to you when facing temptation.

Step 4: Take Your Puppy Outside

Now comes the fun part! After getting a few reps inside, now you can take your puppy outside to show him off to the world!

Keep in mind that the world is big, and new, and full of distractions for your puppy. Stay patient, and be sure to be vigilant to keep your pup out of trouble.

be patient with your puppy while leash training

Starting out, you want to keep the walks with your puppy short. We recommend keeping the leash short, with little slack, at first. This way, the risk of your excited puppy getting too far away is minimum.

The best way to extend walks is to take your puppy outside for bathroom breaks. Every 3-4 hours, put the leash on your puppy, and practice walking outside.

Find what works for you and your pup, and which sides you both prefer to walk on. Remember, the goal is to keep your puppy moving in the direction that you want.

When they listen, remember to give them plenty of treats. This is key to help them remember that this is how you want it, and that this is good.

How to Potty Train Your Puppy

Now that you and your dog are walking outside, now it’s time to potty train them!

how to potty train a train
French bulldog sitting on a toilet seat in bathroom

In order to potty train your puppy, you have to put both of yourselves on a schedule.

Every 2-4 hours, whenever you feel your puppy hasn’t use the bathroom in a while, take them outside.

Be sure to find high-traffic, grassy spots that other dogs often pass by. Your dog can smell where other dogs have been, so these spots will encourage him to go there as well.

how to train a puppy to go outside
Cute small dog peeing on a tree in an park.

Remain outside until your puppy starts to use the bathroom. Whenever they use the bathroom, be sure to reward them with treats and praise! Repeat this behavior frequently, and potty training your dog will come natural.

Just remember, if you want our dog to use the bathroom outside, then you have to take them outside.

Take them outside often when they’re young. When they get older, and learn how to better hold their bladder, then you start taking them outside less.

Food scheduling is critical too! If it’s been a few hours after your dog has eaten, take them outside. There are pretty good chances that they’ll thank you for it.

How to Train a Puppy to Use Training Pads

For times when you are unable to walk your dog, training pads are great alternative to help prevent accidents inside.

how to train a puppy to use training pads

Step 1: Training Pad and Training Spray

There are a bunch of training pads out there on the market. We recommend going with multi-layered training pads, to ensure no there is zero leakage.

To help train your dog to use the training pad, we recommend you get a training spray as well.

Dogs are attracted to smells. The training spray acts as a “Go Here” attractant for your dog, and encourages them to waste in a certain spot.

By spraying the training spray on the training pad, you help increase your chances of successfully potty-training a puppy.

Step 2: Introduce Puppy to Training Pad

Lucky for you, we already have this step covered in our “How to Potty Train Your Puppy” guide.

How to Train a Puppy to Socialize

Socializing your puppy will depend on the breed of your dog, and the type of owner you are. More aggressive breeds may need early, more aggressive tactics to socialize.

Step 1: Take it Slow

If you haven’t learned, socialization with your dog begins as soon as interact with them.

From the moment you brought your puppy home, they have been learning and picking up on your tendencies.

This is a good time to start to learn how your dog responds to situations at home, before introducing new people.

how to train a puppy to socialize

When you notice your puppy gets too aggressive when playing with you, take responsibility as an owner to correct them.

If your puppy doesn’t follow commands well during training, then you may be socializing them too soon. The world is full of distractions, and you to make sure you can trust your dog not to become one.

Step 2: Bring in Family and Friends

Once your dog has had his vaccinations, you want to begin socializing them quickly. Introduce them to family members, friends, and pets of family members and friends.

introduce your puppy to friends and family

Friends are family are understanding, and will be patient with your puppy if he does something wrong. Friends and family give you a safe space to let your guard down, and see what your puppy is really made of!

Step 3: Take Your Puppy Outside to Socialize

Now that your puppy has passed the “Friends and Family Test”, you can take him out into the world to explore!

Patience and vigilance is key. At this point, you should have a good idea of your dog’s temperament. You should be on the look for other dogs, and even distractions.

introduce your puppy to new dogs

As a dog owner, you will soon learn that other owners can be reluctant about letting your dog meet theirs. Don’t take it personal; In fact, it’s a good thing! Sometimes owners know their dog doesn’t play well, and are saving you from an accident waiting to happen.

While socializing your dog, learn who and what your dog plays well with.

Do they like men better than women? Children better than adults? Big dogs better than little dogs?

learn and understood your puppy

All are questions and scenarios that will answer themselves when your puppy is put in those situations. So, be patient, vigilant, and have fun learning the world with your new best friend.