So you’ve got a new member of the family, an adorable puppy you hope will be with you for many long years. Having a puppy brings a lot of happiness, as well as responsibilities. An undisciplined pet makes for an unhappy relationship, so you’ll need to start your puppy training program soon. If you’ve never had a dog before, you may not know where to begin. Here you’ll find one good strategy to puppy training that results in a happy and well behaved dog.

Your puppy needs time to adjust to his new environment and family members. All of your work will also help him acclimate to the boarding kennel when you leave him for others to care for him when you travel. He’ll want to explore his new home and make friends with everyone. Puppies are so full of energy and natural curiosity, so you should expect that he’ll be getting into trouble somewhere along the line. For example, if you have a cat, be prepared for kitty to immediately get in your puppy’s face, with much fanfare, hissing and arching of back. Take care when you introduce these two. It’s best to make this introduction short and sweet, holding your puppy in your arms and out of kitty’s reach. Your cat will doubtless go off to sulk for awhile, choosing a perching point from which to keep her eye on this guy. Don’t force the situation – they will soon enough get used to one another. They might even become friends.

For the first few days, the only puppy training that needs to happen is potty training. Lay several sheets of newspaper down in the designated spot. This won’t happen overnight, but most puppies get the picture quickly. When an accident occurs, point to the undesired deposit and firmly, but not angrily, say, “No, no, no!” Carry him directly to the newspaper and set him down. Of course, he’s already done his business elsewhere. You want him to begin to associate the newspaper with the action. Never fear, he will eventually get the message. If two weeks pass without progress, talk to your vet for puppy potty training tips.

In the meantime, spend plenty of time playing with your puppy and be sure he’s getting all the exercise he needs. Put him on a leash and take him for short walks a few times each day, preferably after eating. Establishing this routine also helps make the potty training process shorter.

One important component of the puppy training process is grooming, which includes a dog bath. Make the bath water comfortably warm and use baby shampoo, so he gets used to this activity. You don’t want to try wrestling a 6 month old, 40 pound dog into a bath for the first time! Pet him and talk soothingly as you brush him well. Your puppy will grow to enjoy this attention.

Right along with potty training, you’ll want to gently chastise him, should he get hold of your favorite slippers. Puppies chew on anything. Providing him with chew toys will help him learn that the furniture is off limits, but he can chew on his toys to his heart’s content. He’ll catch on soon enough.

Barking is a dog’s job. When your dog barks, he wants to bring something to your attention. On the other hand, excessive barking is unacceptable. If your puppy barks if a bird flies by, he’s probably just bored and in need of attention. You want to nip excessive barking in the bud. If you don’t incorporate this into your puppy training program, you’ll have a tough problem down the road. Be sure he gets the attention he’s looking for before he makes an association between barking and receiving attention.

After three weeks with your new canine family member, he should be house trained, leash trained, eager for baths and grooming, barking appropriately and perhaps can even tolerate the cat. He’ll know about his chew toys and enjoy his daily walks.

Phase one of your puppy training program has been accomplished. Now, for phase two of puppy training. Go online and search out info on teaching the standard commands – sit, stay, lie down and heel. Your puppy is well prepared to upgrade his skills.