Puppy Training Tips for New Pet Owners

By: Kelli Rascoe | Updated Nov 1, 2021


Close up of a puppy laying on pet owner's lap


Bringing a new puppy into your home can be an exciting time. There are many things to consider when getting a new puppy, like what type of food they will eat, when to take them out, and knowing when the right time is to start puppy training. Puppy training is an essential part of the growth and development of your puppy and can help ease the transition from puppyhood to an adult dog.

Naturally, some of the skills learned during puppy training can curtail adult dog issues later in life. We sat down with the Trupanion pet program team to get the scoop on five recommended puppy training tips that are a must-try for your new furry friend.

5 kinds of puppy training you shouldn't skip


Lab puppy training outdoors on a green lawn


1. Potty training

Potty training is a necessary part of being a responsible pet owner. For example, potty training can help the pet, as well as the pet owner. Certainly, you don’t want to come home to a mess around the house. Not sure where to start in regards to puppy potty training?

Here are some key pointers to successfully put potty training into practice –

  • Focus and learn puppy’s cues
  • Help establish routines
  • Take them out at key times of the day (for instance – in the morning, after eating, and after a big walk or play session)

In addition, puppy pads and crate training can be a resourceful tool for effective potty training. Most of all, take your time and know that every puppy and experience is different. Indeed it is a learning experience for all parties.


Close up of dog paw pads while dog is laying asleep


2. Crate training

Crate training can serve a wide variety of functions. For example, you can use a crate for potty training, separation anxiety, pet travel, and creating a safe space. Crate training can be a wonderful tool and is high on the list of puppy training tips.

In addition, here are some key pointers to crate training:

  • Start training in small time increments
  • Take your time
  • It may take time for your puppy to adjust to the crate
  • Crate training can be easier for puppies (although they can be more vocal)

A crate might seem like an ideal training opportunity, but it does not work for all pets. Rather, every pet is different, and might initially respond to the crate.

For this purpose, take your crate training day-by-day and track your training challenges and wins via a journal. Certainly, this puppy training tip is valuable for the puppy and pet owner and will be useful for the lifetime of your pet.

3. Puppy toys and tricks

Puppy enrichment toys and tricks can be an essential part of the development and training of your best mate. For example, enrichment toys can help curb mouthiness and biting.

Also, enrichment toys can provide an enhanced training opportunity for resource guarding for your puppy.

Consider interacting with your puppy using an enrichment toy, taking it one step at a time.

For example:

  • Try taking the toy from your puppy, and if they do not react, give the toy back to them.
  • On the other hand, if you take the toy from your puppy, and they react negatively, hold on to the toy and wait to give it back.

Every interaction is a learning opportunity for your puppy. Regardless of how your puppy reacts, give them time to understand and react, and respond to each interaction.

Similarly, enrichment in the form of tricks is a fun puppy training tips addition. For instance, tricks such as:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Lay Down
  • Shake
  • Leave it

Likewise, these tips make for a well-rounded training regime that incorporates focus, new skills, and positive behavior. Consider working on tricks such as, “Leave it”, as a puppy, and will make this behavior much easier to tackle as an adult dog.


Little puppy eating out of a black dog bowl on a tile floor


4. Connect treats and training

Puppies are naturally food motivated. Consider incorporating treats into your training, especially while using enrichment toys and tricks. Additionally, hand-feeding is another good way to combat reactivity and solidify your bond together.

5. Establishing the human + pet bond

Most importantly, the human and pet bond is the most essential puppy training tip. Do make sure this is central to any training regime. By taking the time to spend quality time with your puppy, training or not, it further solidifies your bond together.

Also, playtime is a fun and interesting way to strengthen your friendship and build trust. Consider interweaving playtime with training time for enhanced interaction. You and your best mate will get to spend a long time together, make sure you really make it count, and you both will benefit.


Close up of white and brown puppy face


Puppy training tips: Building a team

Puppy training tips help establish boundaries, reinforce good behavior, and strengthen your human and pet bond.

Because of this, our pet training tips are here to support positive interaction and structure for your new puppy and you. Besides having a healthy and happy growing puppy, what’s more important, you are building a team and a happy family dynamic.


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