Cute Puppy Names – Adorable Ideas For Naming Your Puppy

cute puppy namesCute Puppy Names Just Got Even Cuter!

One of the most exciting things about getting a new puppy is deciding what to name it.

Our adorable puppies deserve a name that will match their cute looks and personalities.

But when there are many ways to go about finding the right one, how do you decide!

Naming your puppy

The best cute puppy names are also relatively short and simple.

This is to make training your pup to respond to its name as easy as possible.

But just because names are important for training doesn’t mean we can’t have fun finding the best cute puppy name for your new pet.

If you’re struggling to think of good name ideas, this article should provide you with lots of different suggestions to help you find the perfect name for your new puppy.

Choosing a name can be tricky – especially when you remember that your puppy will keep this name for its whole life!

Therefore it’s important to decide on something you will be happy with for a long time – another reason why cute names are great!

Celebrities’ cute puppy names

A lot of people want to name their puppy something unique, but sometimes looking at the names other people give their pets can be a good starting point.

cute puppy names

Here are some of the different, cute puppy names celebrities have given their pets.

You might just find one of these perfect for your new cutie-pup!

  • Meatball (Adam Sandler’s Bulldog)
  • Finn (Amanda Seyfried’s Australian Shepherd Mix)
  • Penny (Blake Lively’s Maltese-Toy Poodle)
  • Tucker (Charlize Theron’s mixed breed)
  • Sheriff (Christina Ricci’s mixed breed)
  • Flossie (Drew Barrymore’s Chow Chow-Labrador mix)
  • Winston (Gwen Stefani’s Pomeranian)
  • Lola (Hilary Duff’s Chihuahua)
  • Mocha (Hugh Jackman’s French Bulldog)
  • Kola (Kellan Lutz’s mixed breed)
  • Shadow (Vanessa Hudgens’ Toy Poodle)
  • Augie (Ellen Degeneres’ mixed breed)
  • Lupo (Kate Middleton and Prince William’s black cocker spaniel)
  • Vida (Demi Moore’s Chihuahua)
  • Mona (Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Boxer)
  • Esmerelda (Anne Hathaway’s Labrador)
  • Brutus (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s French Bulldog)
  • Atticus (Jake Gyllenhaal’s German Shepherd)
  • Sid (Jessica Alba’s Pug)
  • Tina (Jessica Biel’s Pitbull)
  • Sammy (Justin Bieber’s Papillon)
  • Fox (Matthew McConaughey’s Australian Cattle Dog)
  • Pearl (Lea Michele’s Pomeranian)
  • Sidi (Orlando Bloom’s Saluki mix)
  • Wink (Selma Blair’s Jack Russel

Cute girl puppy names

Using human names for new puppies is a great way to find fun, cute puppy names!

However, you might want to avoid the names of your friends and family members, as it can get confusing when your pup is around!

cute puppy names

Here are some cute female puppy names that you might want to try on for size:

  • Nala
  • Gigi
  • Abbie
  • Bella
  • Callie
  • Amy
  • Penny
  • Cara
  • Winnie
  • Mia
  • Sandy
  • Cindy
  • Trixie
  • Maya
  • Joy
  • Tara
  • Bonnie
  • Nell
  • Grace
  • Tilly
  • Alice
  • Mimi
  • Becca
  • Eve
  • Zara

Cute boy puppy names

Perhaps you’re looking for an adorable male puppy name instead!

There are lots of different types and styles of human name, so you don’t have to go with the crowd or the most recent top ten.

cute puppy names

Here are some cute human names you might want to use for your male puppy.

  • Felix
  • Dustin
  • Charlie
  • Jake
  • Hugo
  • Chester
  • Chico
  • Mickey
  • Theo
  • Rowan
  • Benny
  • Luke
  • Noah
  • Gus
  • Bo
  • Duke
  • Milo
  • Romeo
  • Alfie
  • Harry
  • Max
  • Drew
  • Clay
  • Bryce
  • Mac

Cute girl puppy names – unique ideas

Choosing a unique name for your puppy is a great idea, as it expresses the individual personality of your pet!

However, it also has a practical purpose – a unique name reduces confusion in dog parks when several dogs have the same, common name!

cute puppy names

Unique names are often more memorable, too, so family members will find it easy to quickly learn your puppy’s cute, unite name.

Here are some unique, but still super cute puppy names that might be perfect for your new puppy:

  • Beanie
  • Goldie
  • Ducky
  • Peaches
  • Muffin
  • Ginger
  • Gizmo
  • Princess
  • Daphne
  • Pixie
  • Piper
  • Treasure
  • Pepper
  • Roo
  • Brandy
  • Faye
  • Candy
  • Sparks
  • Eskimo
  • Babs
  • Swift
  • Pip
  • Polo
  • Skittles
  • Whiskey

Cute boy puppy names – unique ideas

Unique names aren’t just for our female puppies!

Finding a cute, unique name for your male puppy is a great way to show just how individual he is.

cute puppy names

Here are some cute, unusual name ideas you might love:

  • Buddy
  • Boots
  • Coco
  • Peanut
  • Snickers
  • Buster
  • Loki
  • Champ
  • Dumpling
  • Rocco
  • Prince
  • Teddy
  • Ziggy
  • Elton
  • Hershey
  • Spike
  • Evian
  • Yogi
  • Scruff
  • Frazer
  • Dudley
  • Duke
  • Cadbury
  • Mario
  • Huck

Sweet puppy names

A name can be a great way to reflect the personality of your new pup.

Puppies are happy, active, playful pets that are full of love and curiosity.

You might want to choose a name that highlights these adorable features!

cute puppy names

Let’s look at some names that can demonstrate some of the characteristics your puppy might have:

  • Lucky
  • Sunny
  • Rascal
  • Scooter
  • Darling
  • Precious
  • Hero
  • Wags
  • Skip
  • Paws
  • Floppy
  • Tubbs
  • Chewie
  • Chomper
  • Dizzy
  • Rocket
  • Yappy
  • Napper
  • Dusty
  • Digger
  • Dodger
  • Chopper
  • Tumbles
  • Jumper
  • Happy

Adorable puppy names

When looking for the cutest puppy names ever, perhaps you should take inspiration from popular films and shows.

This is also a great way to get the whole family involved, especially if you have young children, who know the characters your puppy is named after!

cute puppy names

Naming your puppy after cute characters is a great way to show people just adorable and sweet your puppy is.

Here are some really cute puppy names inspired by different characters:

  • Dopey (Snow White)
  • Gromit (Wallace and Gromit)
  • Chip (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Scooby (Scooby Doo)
  • Thumper (Bambi)
  • Dug (Up)
  • Stitch (Lilo and Stitch)
  • Flounder (The Little Mermaid)
  • Gunter (Adventure Time)
  • Squirt (Finding Nemo)
  • Dot (A Bug’s Life)
  • Pebbles (The Flintstones)
  • Chuckie (The Rugrats)
  • Pascal (Tangled)
  • Dobby (Harry Potter)
  • Agnes (Despicable Me)
  • Jerry (Tom and Jerry)
  • Boo (Monster’s Inc)
  • Yoshi (The Mario Brothers)
  • Simba (The Lion King)
  • Astrid (How to Train your Dragon)
  • Fry (Futurama)
  • Wendy (Peter Pan)
  • Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Lady (Lady and the Tramp)

Pretty puppy names

If none of the above names have been to your liking, perhaps you’ll prefer some of our pretty puppy names.

A great way to find a cute, pretty name, is to look at names inspired by the world all around us!

Looking at nature is a great way to think of a cute name that will suit your pooch perfectly.

Here are some cute puppy names with their roots in nature!

  • Misty
  • Daisy
  • Petal
  • Bear
  • Newt
  • Fig
  • Faith
  • Rusty
  • Twigs
  • River
  • Sage
  • Wren
  • Brooke
  • Cliff
  • Dawn
  • Noodle
  • Copper
  • Basil
  • Grove
  • Olive
  • Rio
  • Sky
  • Ash
  • Clover
  • Grove

Mythologically cute puppy names!

If you’re still struggling to think of a good, cute puppy name, one final source of inspiration we’re looking at is mythology.

Naming your puppy after different figures, Gods and heroes, is a fun way to find a cute name if nothing else has seemed right!

Additionally, looking up the story behind your puppy’s name can be fun when explaining the name choice to others!

Here are some examples:

  • Hera (Greek Goddess of Marriage)
  • Apollo (Greek God of music and wisdom)
  • Hermes (Greek messenger of the gods)
  • Athena (Greek Goddess of wisdom)
  • Zeus (Greek king of gods)
  • Eros (Greek God of love)
  • Gaia (Greek Goddess of earth)
  • Cronos (Greek God of time)
  • Helios (Greek God of the sun)
  • Kratos (Greek God of strength and power)
  • Momus (Greek God of satire)
  • Morpheus (Greek God of dreams and sleep)
  • Pan (Greek God of nature)
  • Zelus (Greek God of dedication)
  • Pontus (Pre-Olympian sea god)
  • Hypnos (Greek God of sleep)
  • Heracles (Great Greek hero)
  • Juno (Roman Goddess of Marriage)
  • Venus (Roman Goddess of love)
  • Pluto (Roman God of the underworld)
  • Diana (Roman Goddess of the hunt)
  • Cupid (Roman God of love)
  • Ceres (Roman Goddess of the harvest)
  • Bacchus (Roman God of wine)
  • Mars (Roman God of war)

Best Cute Puppy Names

Hopefully one of these cute puppy names is perfect for the new addition to your family.

Let us know which one you picked in the comments section below!

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How To Pick The Absolutely Perfect Name For Your Pup

There are lots of fun things about having a dog, not least of which is coming up with the perfect name. Maybe you had a name picked out before you even met your pup, or maybe you’re two months in and still indecisive. It can be hard to make a decision so permanent and significant. Below, you’ll find a guide to help you pick the perfect name! Fear not, dog lovers, there are ideas here for every taste and every pup.

OLD MAN/LADY NAMES

old-dog-with-a-old-man

Personally, I looove when dogs have old people names. I find the classic names of yesteryear to be unique and regal. Who doesn’t want a gentleman dog named Albert, Eugene, Seymour or Walter? How about a lady dog named Agatha, Alma, Flora or Harriet? Find some good guys’ names here and girls’ names here.

SOMETHING FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD

dogs-and-kid

Childhood is a common source of nostalgia. A friend of mine named her dog after the street she grew up on. I named my own dog after a cliche opening line in books I read growing up (“somewhere in the distance, a dog barked” – I named him Somewhere, thus turning it into “somewhere, a dog, barked”). Stroll down memory lane and see what clever names you can come up with!

NAME BASED ON LOOKS

dog_colors

Is your dog brown? How about the names Brownie, Rolo, Chocolate, Coffee, Cocoa, Sienna, Chestnut, Caramel or Fawn? Black? Blackie, Onyx, Coal, Ebony, Sable, Inky or Noir. White? Snow, Snowflake, Sugar or Ivory. The options are endless. Try doing a search for your dog’s coloring and look for synonyms. If you’re dog is striped or spotted, look for those synonyms or consider naming them after another animal that has the same sort of coat. Does your dog have any special markings or identifiers? Is your dog super big or super small? That could lead to some inspiration too.

STEAL FROM THE FAMOUS

pudseytrailer

Have a favorite ‘famous’ dog? Whether it’s from real life (Tuna) or from Hollywood (Lassie, Blue), you can likely find inspiration in the form of notable dogs. Check out these internet famous pups and these movie and TV dog names. Love books? You could name them after a famous author’s dog (Jack London had a dog named Possum) or after a dog in a book (like Argos from Odysseus).

YOUR HERITAGE OR FAVORITE PLACE

farmer-dog-ireland_6784_600x450

Homesick? Consider naming your dog after your hometown, state or country! Want to honor your heritage or a foreign land you love? Consider giving your dog a foreign, but understandable, name like Pierre, Fritz or Kaiser. Irish and love the water? Try Murphy, which literally means “off the sea.” Try Googling dog names of your favorite country or common words used in the language.

YOUR FAVORITE FOOD

dog-and-bagel

Who doesn’t want to think about their favorite food all day? Think how happy you’d be to run around the dog park yelling “Pizza!” Okay, that one is a little weird. But if Apple was good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s good enough for us. We also like Alfalfa, T-Bone, Bacon, Fish, Bagel, Lemon, Biscuit, Blondie, Kale and Peaches, to name a few. See some good ideas here and here.

THE NAME YOU WANTED TO GIVE THE KID

dog-and-kid

Around the age of 11, my parents told me that they went back and forth for ages over my name, finally settling on Loren but forever loving Autumn (and being doomed to never be able to use it, as I was the only girl). Since I knew pretty early on that I probably wouldn’t have kids of my own, I named one of my first dogs Autumn instead. The name fit her perfectly! So, if you and your partner have any discarded human names, there are some immediate contenders.

NAME BASED ON PERSONALITY

funny-dog-names

If you’re willing to spend some time with your pup before naming him or her, consider giving them a name based on their personality traits. Maybe they skip down the hall every time you come home (Skip) or have a funny bark (Bowzer). Maybe they’re super patient waiting for food or treats or with your young kids (Patience) or maybe the have the best overall disposition you’ve ever seen (Happy). Love to sleep all day? Snoozy! Loves to be right next to you? Cuddles! Won’t stop peeing by the door? Puddles! You get the idea. Maybe just don’t name your dog Sir Humps A Lot. Or do! Who are we to judge?

FOR US LAZIES

funny-dog-name-meme

If you’re adopting your dog from a shelter or rescue, your new BFF likely already has a name assigned to them. If you love the name already, feel the dog is already attached to it, or simply just cannot be bothered to come up with anything different, you’re in luck! Another idea? I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve met lately called Puppy. Or Cat. Maybe that seems stupid to you, but I actually think it’s cute and funny. Then there are the classics like Fido and Rover. In any case, you go with any of these and the decision has been made for you. And sometimes, that’s the biggest blessing of all.

Dog people, what have we missed? What do you call your best friend, and how did you come up with their name? Tell us your naming stories in the comments below.

Featured image via @mel0w Comments

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Naming Your New Puppy: Tips And Mistakes To Avoid

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Naming a new puppy is always a challenge. It’s fun, of course, but picking just the right name for your new furry friend is important.

You want to get it right. And you only get one chance, so choose wisely!

You can name your dog anything you want to name him. He’s yours. There’s no “wrong” answer here. But there are some guidelines that you might want to consider before you hang a moniker on that cute little pup.

how to pick a name for your puppy

5 tips to help you pick your puppy or dog’s name

  1. The first thing that you need to consider is that he’s not going to stay a puppy. He’s going to grow into a dog. You’re going to have to call him and others may be listening. Do you really want to stand out in your yard and holler, “HERE PEEPOT” at the top your lungs? I didn’t think so. So keep this in mind when you are naming your dog.
  2. You really don’t want to name your dog one of the single-word commands, either. Don’t name him “Stay” or “Sit” or “Down” or any of the other commands. You’re just going to confuse the poor animal when he’s going through obedience training. Even if your dog is a purebred with a pedigree and comes with a registered name, you’ll still need to give him a name that he’ll learn means you’re talking to him. I don’t advise using names like Rover or Fido. But the name needs to be short. Dogs are smart animals, but there’s no sense in stretching that intelligence be demanding them to learn to come you call him by a long and convoluted name. His name should contain no more than two or three syllables.
  3. If your dog is a small breed but is quite nervous, you must choose a sweet name so as not to excite him. If your dog is calm and has a submissive temperament, there too, opt for a sweet name.
  4. It really helps if you choose a name you love, because you will use it very often. Also make sure that everyone in the family agrees on the name, to avoid confusion.
  5. Don’t change your dog’s name. Once you’ve named him, stick to that name so you really do need to get it right the first time. Of course, when you adopt your puppy from the shelter, he’ll often come with his own name.
  6. If you decided to bring home a dog that is quite older, it would be probably better to stick with its old name. But, what if the name of the dog is “Barney”, the name of your-ex whom you had a bitter breakup? Then, stick with other sounds similar to it.

Below we give you some guidelines and tips to help you with your very important decision. You will certainly find inspiration here on how to pick a name for your new puppy!

A classic name for your puppy

Names from the old days can be fantastic for dogs. These names are unique and classic.
How about these ones:

  • Albert
  • Arthur
  • Humphrey
  • Agatha
  • Harriet
  • Clark
  • Sophie

Your favorite food

Who doesn’t think about his favorite meal or drink often? Perhaps that is going too far to call your dog pizza, but it’s funny right?
How about:

  • Bacon
  • T-Bone
  • Ice-T
  • Tequila
  • Alfalfa
  • Gin
  • Gouda

how to pick a name for your new puppy

Foreign-sounding names

Looking for an original name for your dog with a foreign vibe to it? Asian names are very trendy in recent years:

  • Hichiko
  • Yuzu
  • Hotchi
  • Suzuki
  • Yuki
  • Fujio
  • Arigatou

A famous dog name

Do you have a favorite famous dog? Maybe it’s a real existing dog (Laika, for example, who was the first dog in space), or a Hollywood celebrity? Here’s some inspiration:

  • Lassie
  • Rin Tin Tin
  • Bolt
  • Pluto
  • Beethoven
  • Lady

A name based on appearance

Is your dog brown? Is he black? White? You have numerous options. If your dog is striped or spotted, think of animals that resemble it. Does he have any other specific details? Is he very big or very small, maybe because he was the runt of the litter? This can all give you the inspiration to choose his perfect name.
For example:

  • Blackie
  • Ebony
  • Brownie
  • Sienna
  • Ivory
  • Snowy
  • Spock

A name describing his character

Your pup is mellow, excited or proud? You can choose a name based on his character so he has a name that suits him perfectly!
Like these ones:

  • Thunder
  • Demon
  • Hippie
  • Harmony
  • Zen
  • Rocky
  • Tarzan
  • Speedo
  • Funny

picking a name for your new puppy

No inspiration?

Then you can always call him Puppy, Pooch or Pall! Or Louie, after the sweetest puppy in the whole world!

Or you can check out this list with hundreds of cool dog names that we have compiled for you:

https://www.rover.com/blog/top-50-cute-dog-names-new-puppies-senior-dogs-alike
https://www.thelabradorsite.com/dog-names/
https://www.thelabradorsite.com/male-dog-names/
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/pets/g3500/the-most-popular-dog-names/
https://thehappypuppysite.com/female-dog-names/
https://thehappypuppysite.com/male-dog-names/
http://www.uniquedognames.net

Teaching your puppy its name and mistakes to avoid

Ok, so now the hardest part is over and you found that perfect name for your new dog, you can focus on learning it to him!

Teaching a dog its name is nothing more than teaching him a signal. His name is the signal for “look at me and wait for instructions.”

Here are some tips to help you with this:

  • Be sure to take the time to teach your dog his name from the start. You are going to use his name in all of your future training. Use his name when you feed him, call him for walks and for play time.
  • Use his name in the command if you want action, do NOT use it if you want him restricted from action. This is very important. Hearing his own name makes a puppy leap into action by his very nature. When you want your puppy to come, say, “Puppy, Come!” [insert his name instead of the word Puppy, of course] When you want him to lie down, simply say, “Down”.
  • A dog’s name should only be used when positively interacting with the animal. Call the dog’s name to get him to come to your side or call his name when you are serving his dinner. Don’t, however, call your dog’s name when you are unhappy with his or her actions. The dog would negatively associate that with punishment.
  • There are many different ways to teach your pup his name. One of the easy options is to use the curiosity of your dog. Practice this at home if your dog has been lying down somewhere. Stand near him, call his name and praise him when he looks at you. Repeat this a few times and then continue with what you were doing.
  • If your puppy, after doing this a couple of times, looks at you every time you mention his name, you can also practice in more difficult situations. For example if your dog running around. Build this up until, for example, he also looks up from sniffing when you call his name or when you are at a greater distance.
  • Do not repeat his name if he does not respond immediately! The goal is to teach the dog to respond after one command. Makes a sound or a hand movement to draw his attention. Then say the reward word and give him a treat.
  • Don’t let children who play with the dog constantly mention his name. The danger is that his name will become a mere “background noise”. The dog then learns to ignore it.

With these tips, naming your puppy and teaching it to him should be lots of fun!

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Naming Your Puppy


The expected arrival of a puppy in the house is a delightful event. Children, in particular, are happiest about the addition. The innocent and playful movements of a puppy are a pleasure to watch, and to take part in. But you can’t go on calling the new puppy “Puppy” forever.  Once the puppy has been brought home, s/he has to be named. The question remains, what name should you select? How do you settle on a name for the puppy?

Normally we do not attach too much importance on naming a puppy. But in reality, naming a dog is not always easy. This is because we forget that a dog’s response often depends on the name we have selected. The name should be picked out very carefully.

One thing we should remember is that the name we select for the puppy is the key to communicating with him. So the name should be such that it is meant to generate a quick response from the dog. If it rhymes too closely with another member of the house, with a frequently used word, or with a command, the dog could become confused and respond inappropriately or not at all. Many dog owners also strive to choose a name that matches with the dog’s individuality, along with demonstrating their inner feelings toward the puppy.

What’s in a Name?

Often people will typically select a “human” name for the dog, but this is not always appropriate. There is some concern in the pet training sector that the more people choose human names such as Charlie and Molly and Maxwell, the more people will tend toward anthropomorphizing their pets. Of course we have to respect our dogs and give them the dignity they deserve, but dogs are not people and cannot be expected to learn how to adjust to each social situation they find themselves in or avoid troublesome behaviors for fear of being punished, as humans do. 

That is not to say that dogs are not intelligent animals — they are. At the same time they have their limitations. Which is why, before selecting a name for the puppy, you should understand the importance of a name.

Dogs do not understand a name the way we understand it. This is because a dog takes in everything we say to him as a sound. He or she takes the sound as a command, and responds accordingly. Your puppy does not understand the meaning behind the name. With practice your puppy has learned to respond in a particular way to a particular sound.

Where There’s a Rhythm

If that is the case, then what is the use of spending so much time in selecting a name for the puppy? The name we select and the rhythm associated with it have to be such that the name demonstrates the affinity we have developed towards the puppy. As everyone knows, dogs respond most quickly to those who have developed an affinity with him. A puppy’s name can be the guiding factor for how the puppy responds to the call of its master.

Many dog trainers suggest giving dogs names that are more in keeping with their status, as well as names that are easily spoken (by humans) and learned (by dogs). Ideal names to give a dog a name are comprised of two syllables; some examples of this are Bella, Buddy, Cosmo, Lucky, Rocky.

Trainers say that dogs will learn and quickly respond to these types of short sounds, making training easier and long term control of the dog easier; even three syllable words can be confusing for some dogs. Longer names can be clumsy or confusing, or can be mispronounced by others who are involved in the dog’s life, making consistent obedience tricky.

The puppy has a much easier time of learning and responding if her name does not sound like a command that is being given. Similarly, the name should not sound like a joke. Dogs are sensitive and intuitive. They can distinguish and understand the mood of the person and the emotions within the speech, whether the words are coming from the master, from members of the family, or from an outsider.

In the end, the name will be with your puppy for its entire life. So choose wisely. And if you need a help with some names, here is a list of a few of our favorites.

Image: Dov Harrington / via Flickr

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Tips for Naming Your Dog or Puppy

Finding just the right name for your dog or puppy can be tough. If you have reached the naming step, that probably means you have a new dog. Congratulations! Choosing the right dog is not always easy, but here you are. Now it’s time to pick the perfect name for your new canine companion.

There are thousands of potential dog names out there. Take some time to narrow down your choices.

  • Choose a name that you truly like. You will be using it all the time, so you should enjoy the sound of it.
  • Pick a one to two-syllable name. Longer names can be difficult for your dog to understand and a hassle for you to say over and over.
  • Try out the new name for a few days and see how your dog responds.
  • Avoid choosing a name that sounds like a command you plan to teach your dog. It would be confusing to teach “Fletch” to fetch or to train the stay command to “Shae.”
  • Don’t name your dog something that others may find offensive or embarrassing. This includes potential racial or cultural slurs, general insults, crass slang terms, and anything that has a curse word in it. Do you really want to call out to your dog “Poophead” and have the whole neighborhood hear it? What will your vet’s office call your dog if you name him “Fartface?”
  • Try not to pick a complicated name like Sir Fluffy Von Wagglestein unless you plan to actually use a simplified call name like “Sir Fluffy.”
  • Avoid changing an adult dog’s name if the dog knows it already. If you must change the name, choose one that sounds similar. “Bailey” can be changed to “Hailey” or “Kaylee,” and “Charlie” can easily become “Harley” or “Farley.”

Unless you are especially attached to a certain dog name, you may wish to avoid the most popular names. You will run into other dogs with your dog’s name and it could lead to some confusion at the dog park or vet’s office. The names Bella, Bailey, Max, Molly, Buddy, and Lucy are just a few of the most popular dog names. This is sure to change over time, so do some research before you settle on a name.

Some people like to get multiple dogs together and name them after famous duos or trios like “Abbott and Costello” or “Moe, Larry, and Curly.” Others use phrases like “Sugar and Spice” or “Peanut Butter and Jelly.” While these can be cute and funny, you also need to consider how you like each name separately. The two dogs might not always be together.

If you wish to give your dog a name that also belongs to a human family member or friend, you should ask that person how they feel about it first. Uncle Herbert might be amused that you wish to name your Basset Hound after him, but Cousin Annabelle might be offended if you choose her name for your Maltese.

Consider your dog’s appearance and personality. You can choose a descriptive name like “Dottie” for a Dalmatian, “Shorty” for a Dachshund, or “Happy” for a jovial mutt, but this has been done many times before. On the other hand, it can be cute to pick a name that describes the opposite of your dog, such as “Tiny” for a Mastiff or “Attila” for a little Yorkie.

You might get the idea for a name because reminds you of a certain place, incident or item. For instance, a dog found as a stray puppy at The Home Depot might be named “Depot.” A dog born or adopted in the spring can be called “Petal” or “Blossom.” A dog might be named “Converse” after a Converse shoe is the first thing the puppy chews up.

Some people like to name their dogs after famous celebrities or historical figures. For instance, a classical music lover might name a dog Brahms or Mozart. Sports fans might pick the first or last names of their favorite players. Literature enthusiasts might name a dog after a favorite author. There are dogs named after famous actors or the memorable characters they played.

Another fun idea, if you like the idea of a theme, is to name your dog (or dogs) after something you enjoy. Wine enthusiasts might consider something like “Merlot” or “Riesling.” Scientists could name their dogs after chemical elements. If you are really into fancy cheeses, you can have dogs named Roquefort, Stilton, and Limburger, and so on.

No matter what you name your dog, make it a name that you like and one that your dog responds well to. As long as you are pleased with the name, who really cares if it’s highly unusual or incredibly popular? After all, your dog doesn’t know the difference.

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Tips for Housetraining Your Puppy

House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet.

It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy’s previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones.

And while you’re training, don’t worry if there are setbacks. As long as you continue a management program that includes taking puppy out at the first sign he needs to go and offering him rewards, he’ll learn.

When to Begin House Training Puppy

Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home and he’s been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating his waste), house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog’s behavior — with encouragement and reward.

Steps for Housetraining Your Puppy

Experts recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that he needs to go outside to do his business, you can gradually give him more freedom to roam about the house.

When you start to house train, follow these steps:

  • Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his food between meals.
  • Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he goes out last thing at night and before he’s left alone.
  • Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his business. His scent will prompt him to go.
  • Stay with him outside, at least until he’s house trained.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

Using a Crate to House Train Puppy

A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on him for signs he needs to go and teach him to hold it until you open the crate and let him outside.

Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:

  • Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for him to use a corner as a bathroom.
  • If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.
  • If you can’t be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives him a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
  • Don’t use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: he may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where he lived before; he may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big; or he may be too young to hold it in.

Signs That Your Puppy Needs to Eliminate

Whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or, if your puppy is unconfined, barking or scratching at the door, are all signs he needs to go. Take him out right away.

House Training Setbacks

Accidents are common in puppies up to a year old. The reasons for accidents range from incomplete house training to a change in the puppy’s environment.

When your puppy does have an accident, keep on training. Then if it still doesn’t seem to be working, consult a veterinarian to rule out a medical issue.

Do’s and Don’ts in Potty Training Your Puppy

Keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind while housetraining your puppy:

  • Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you.
  • If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so he knows he’s done something unacceptable. Then take him outside by calling him or taking him gently by the collar. When he’s finished, praise him or give him a small treat.
  • If you found the evidence but didn’t see the act, don’t react angrily by yelling or rubbing his nose in it. Puppies aren’t intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.
  • Staying outside longer with puppy may help to curb accidents. He may need the extra time to explore.
  • Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.

5 Simple Commands You Should Teach Your Puppy

Contents

  1. How To Teach A Dog To Come
  2. How To Teach a Dog Loose Leash Walking
  3. How To Teach a Dog To Sit
  4. How To Teach a Dog To Stay
  5. How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down

Getting Started

To start off on the right foot (and paw!) with your pup, he’ll need to know what you expect from him. This will make him feel secure in his ability to meet the goals laid out for him going forward.

The foundation of dog training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.

Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a “high value” food for training treats — something special — such as dried liver or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward. Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying “Good dog!” in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce behavior.

Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief — just 5 to 10 minutes —and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.

How To Teach A Dog To Come

teach dog to come

teach dog to come

You’ll want to begin training a recall (come when called) in a quiet area and indoors. Sit with your puppy and say his name or the word “come.” Each time you say “come/name,” give your puppy a treat. He doesn’t have to do anything yet! Just repeat the word and give a treat. Easy!

Next, drop a treat on the floor near you. As soon as your puppy finishes the treat on the ground, say his name again. When he looks up, give him another treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can begin tossing the treat a little further away, and he can turn around to face you when you say his name. Avoid repeating your puppy’s name; saying it too often when he doesn’t respond makes it easier for him to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy and go back to a step where he can be successful at responding to his name the first time.

Once your puppy can turn around to face you, begin adding movement and making the game more fun! Toss a treat on the ground and take a few quick steps away while calling your puppy’s name. They should run after you because chase is fun! When they catch you, give them a lot of praise, treats or play with a tug toy. Coming to you should be fun! Continue building on these games with longer distances and in other locations. When training outside (always in a safe, enclosed area), it may be helpful to keep your puppy on a long leash at first.

When your puppy comes to you, don’t reach out and grab him. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer him treats as you reach for the collar. Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach him that you are unpredictable, and it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to his or her name, even if they have been up to mischief!

Further Reading

How To Teach a Dog Loose Leash Walking

teach a dog to heel

teach a dog to heel

In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.

Whatever cue you choose, be consistent and always use the same word. Whether your puppy walks on your left side or your right side is completely up to you. But be consistent about where you want them so they don’t get confused and learn to zig zag in front of you.

First, make sure your puppy is comfortable wearing a leash. This can feel strange at first, and some puppies may bite the leash. Give your puppy treats as you put the leash on each time. Then, stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop and give him several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg. Take one step forward and encourage him to follow by giving another treat as he catches up.

Continue giving treats to your puppy at the level of your knee or hip as you walk forward. When he runs in front of you, simply turn the opposite direction, call him to you, and reward him in place. Then continue. Gradually begin giving treats further apart (from every step to every other step, every third step, and so on).

Eventually your dog will walk happily at your side whenever he’s on his leash. Allow your dog plenty of time to sniff and “smell the roses” on your walks. When they’ve had their sniffing time, give the cue “Let’s Go!” in a happy voice and reward them for coming back into position and walking with you.

How To Teach a Dog To Sit

teach dog to sit

teach dog to sit

There are two different methods for showing your puppy what “sit” means.

The first method is called capturing. Stand in front of your puppy holding some of his dog food or treats. Wait for him to sit – say “yes” and give him a treat. Then step backwards or sideways to encourage him to stand and wait for him to sit. Give another treat as soon as they sit. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying “sit” right as he begins to sit.

The next option is called luring. Get down in front of your puppy, holding a treat as a lure. Put the treat right in front of the pup’s nose, then slowly lift the food above his head. He will probably sit as he lifts his head to nibble at the treat. Allow him to eat the treat when his bottom touches the ground. Repeat one or two times with the food lure, then remove the food and use just your empty hand, but continue to reward the puppy after he sits. Once he understands the hand signal to sit, you can begin saying “sit” right before you give the hand signal.

Never physically put your puppy into the sitting position; this can be confusing or upsetting to some dogs.

Further Reading

How To Teach a Dog To Stay

A puppy who knows the “stay” cue will remain sitting until you ask him to get up by giving another cue, called the “release word.” Staying in place is a duration behavior. The goal is to teach your dog to remain sitting until the release cue is given, then begin adding distance.

First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.

When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats (it can help to sing the ABC’s in your head and work your way up the alphabet).  If your dog gets up before the release cue, that’s ok! It just means he isn’t ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.

Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Place him in a sit and say “stay,” take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned (which is more realistic).

Once your dog can stay, you can gradually increase the distance. This is also true for the “sit.” The more solidly he learns it, the longer he can remain sitting. The key is to not expect too much, too soon. Training goals are achieved in increments, so you may need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To make sure the training “sticks,” sessions should be short and successful.

Further Reading

How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down

down step 2

down step 2teach dog to go down step 1teach dog to go down step 1
“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.

You can also lure a down from a sit or stand by holding a treat in your hand to the dog’s nose and slowly bringing it to the floor. Give the treat when the dog’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and giving the treat AFTER he lies down. When he can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.

Just like with sitting, never use force to put your dog into a down.

And Remember …

Keep training sessions short and fun. End each session on a positive note. If you feel your dog is having a difficult time learning or being “stubborn,” evaluate the speed of your training and the value of your rewards. Do you need to slow down and make the steps easier, or does your dog need a bigger paycheck for a harder exercise?

The “Basic 5” commands will give your puppy a strong foundation for any future training.

And just think, if you and your puppy continue to work hard—and have fun—at training, someday you may become obedience champs!

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Potty Training Your Pup

There’s no doubt about it, puppies are cute, but they’re also hard work. There’s the general training, the socializing, the feeding, and also the toilet training. So, to help you get ahead, here are some tips and tricks you need to take note of when it comes to toilet training your puppy.

Don’t push them

First and foremost, remember your home is not a familiar environment for your puppy, and the first few days can be stressful for them. Everything is new, and your pup needs to get used to you and your movements just as much as it needs to get used to the new location – house, backyard and neighborhood included. And it’s not just the sights that matter to your dog either, but also the smells and noises.

While you should start toilet training your puppy as soon as you get home, it takes time and patience, and every puppy is different.

Watch out for the signs

There are signs your dog will show when it needs to go. These include sniffing around, fidgeting, and beginning to circle before squatting.1 A whining or pacing dog may also be indicating that it needs to go to the toilet, as well as a dog that has been chewing on something for a while and suddenly moves to do something else.2 If you keep a constant vigil on your pup during the toilet training process, watching out for these signs will mean fewer accidents.

Choose an area where you would like your pup to toilet – this might be a pee pad on your apartment balcony or in a bathroom, or outside. The moment your pup indicates it needs to go, take it to this area. This teaches them that they need to go to this spot or area when they feel the need to go to the toilet. Picking the pup up straight away is crucial, so they associate the act of going outside with the feeling they’re getting.

It’s also important to continually take your puppy out according to timings. The key times are after waking up from a nap, after eating, or after a play. Puppies can’t hold their bladder for that long, so give them plenty of opportunities to go. This will of course change as they get older.

Understand associations

A puppy learns associations in training. When it comes to going to the toilet, a puppy will associate an area with a toilet because of the to the following:

  • Smell of urine, feces or ammonia.
  • Location – when training, try to take them to same spot every time. That way, your puppy will associate that spot with going to the toilet.
  • The feeling of the surface beneath its paws.
  • Physiological things such as after food, when it wakes up, and after a play.
  • Commands – when trained, dogs will associate certain words, commands or sounds with going to the toilet.

At first, it’s a good idea to take your puppy out frequently. For example, set a timer for every hour. When the timer goes off, pop your puppy on a lead and take it to the designated toilet spot. Once there, be patient as your puppy may not go instantly. Give it time, but do not play while waiting otherwise your puppy may confuse toilet time with play time.2

If your puppy doesn’t go, don’t be alarmed. Simply take them back inside and try again a little later – dogs like humans are not robots.

If your puppy does go, reward them straight away. Use encouraging words and make a fuss that they have gone to the toilet in the correct spot.

It’s also a good idea to have a little play outside once your puppy has successfully gone to the toilet. This ensures your puppy associates outside with its toilet space and a place it can play, rather than one or the other.

Add a cue

It would be ideal if your puppy learns to go on command. While it won’t be needed every time, there will be moments when you’ll need your puppy to go to the toilet at a specific time. For example, before bedtime or on a long car ride. Wouldn’t it be great if at these times you could simply take your dog outside and say a specific word, and suddenly they’d relieve themselves? Well, it all starts as a puppy.

Whenever you take your puppy to the toilet, use the same command. For example, you could say the word ‘toilet’. Say it before and during the fact. That way, whenever your dog hears the word ‘toilet’ they know they need to relieve themselves.

Accidents will happen

One of the most important elements you need to remember when it comes to toilet training is that accidents will happen. It’s a fact of life. Crucial to this; however, is not to get angry. It’s highly unlikely your dog has done this on purpose, and getting angry will only make things worse. Puppies do not have full control over their bladder. That’s what toilet training is all about – teaching them how to hold and where they should be going. It’s all part of the developmental process. So, accidents can happen without the dog even being able to prevent or control them.3

Never shout, become angry, say ‘no’, or punish your dog for going in the wrong spot – it doesn’t teach your dog where to go, but it does teach them to be scared about going in front of you, which makes training much harder.2 Don’t make a fuss or an issue over it, just simply clean it up.

It’s also important to use an ammonia-free cleaning product and make sure you clean it well when a puppy has an accident. If the area smells like the toilet area to your pup, it will continue to be used as one.

If you notice your dog is about to go in the wrong place and you’d like to avoid an accident, interrupt them in a calm and cheerful way, and take them to the correct spot. Remember to praise them when they go.

toilet-training-puppy-1.jpg

Reward your puppy

Positive reinforcement is a successful and effective way of toilet training. Your dog will soon associate going to the toilet in the correct spot, with the fact that it’s doing something right.

The reward itself can be in the form of praise, whether it’s talking to your puppy, a long pat, a tummy rub or even a play. As long as you are talking and interacting in a positive and upbeat manner, you are reinforcing good behaviour. You can also give your dog a delicious treat or its favourite toy to play with.

Other issues or difficulties

There are other elements that need to be considered, especially if your dog is having a hard time picking up toilet training. For example, being cooped up for too long can stall the process. Sometimes dogs, especially puppies, can’t hold on. If you’re going to go out for a while, it’s a good idea to leave your puppy in a spot where they can go if they need to.

Also, remember your puppy has gone through a change coming into your home. It’s a brand new environment with new people, and this can affect the way it learns. Be kind to your puppy and give it time.

If you are really struggling with toilet training your puppy, please seek veterinary attention. Occasionally there may be a medical reason why your puppy has issues with toilet training. Your vet is the perfect professional to help you with this and advise you how to treat.

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Puppy Training Schedule: What to Teach Puppies, and When

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

We always anticipate the joys of all that’s good about owning a puppy.

But often it doesn’t work out as well as we’d hoped. Puppies are delightful bundles of energy and curiosity…. but they can also be exasperating and frustrating.

If you respond properly to the challenges of bringing a new puppy into your home, the adjustment period will be shorter and less stressful for both of you.

If you do not respond properly….. well, unfortunately that’s why so many teenage dogs are turned over to rescue groups and animal shelters.

Starting at 7 weeks old….

Training a puppy by teaching feeding routines

Routines are reassuring to puppies. For example, his food and water bowls should stay in one place.

Teach your puppy the daily routines that will govern his life.

  • Where his food and water dishes are located.
  • What times of day he will eat.
  • Where his bed is.
  • What time he goes to bed.
  • What time he will be taken out in the morning.
  • Where he should go to the bathroom.
  • Where his grooming spot is (for brushing, trimming, nail clipping, teeth cleaning).

Be consistent, consistent, consistent.

Dogs thrive on sameness, routines that are familiar, predictable, repeated. As much as possible, do the same things with your puppy every day – the same things in the same order, using the same words.

For example… here’s a good mealtime routine:

  1. Cue your pup when you’re ready to prepare his meal. “Are you hungry? Want your food?” Exaggerate the key words.
  2. Have him come with you to the kitchen. Get his bowl from the same cupboard and set it on the same counter every time. He should be right there watching you. You want him to see that YOU are the source of his food.
  3. If he’s acting excitable, don’t put his food down, else he’ll learn that excitable behavior makes the food appear! If he’s racing around, barking, or jumping, he should be on leash so you can stop those behaviors. Puppy sitting before meal“Sit” before meals encourages calmness and patience – two valuable traits that will make other training much easier.
  4. When he is calm, the bowl is ready to go down. If he already knows how to sit, have him sit first – it’s a subtle and gentle leadership thing. Then say “Okay!” and place the bowl on the floor, in the same spot every time. “Here’s your food.”
  5. If you have multiple dogs, each should have his own eating spot away from the others. Place the bowls down in the same order each time, saying the dog’s name as his bowl goes down. “Buffy… here’s your food. Kelly… food.”
  6. During mealtime, don’t let kids or other pets approach any dog who is eating. If one of your dogs is not well-behaved enough to obey this rule, he should be dragging his leash so you can get hold of him. If necessary, feed the dogs in separate crates or separate rooms. Bullying or stealing food is completely unacceptable in a multi-dog household.
  7. If a pup walks away from his bowl, pick it up. If there is still food left, make a mental or written note, as it could suggest illness.
  8. After 10 minutes, all the bowls should be picked up to avoid picky eating habits or food guarding habits to develop.
  9. The final part of the routine is a potty break immediately after every meal. If you’re still housebreaking, take the pup out on leash. If he’s already 100% housebroken and eliminates reliably when you send him out himself, that’s fine. In either case, announce the potty break: “Do you need to go OUT? Time to go OUT.”

As you can see, you’re not only showing your puppy what YOU will do as part of the routine, you’re also showing him what you expect HIM to do as his part of the routine.

Once your pup learns the routine for, say, meal time, if you do your part every time, he will do his part every time. Automatically. Day in and day out.

The trick is to make sure the routines your puppy is learning are good  ones that lead to good  behavior.

Because if he learns bad  routines, he will repeat them just as readily.

Most behavior problems in dogs are caused by the owner (inadvertently) teaching the pup bad routines.

Good routines should cover as many of the 24 hours in your pup’s day as possible. You want a good routine for meal time, potty breaks, grooming, play time, bed time, getting up in the morning, and so on. I recommend the best routines in my Respect Training For Puppies.

The easiest way to raise and train your puppy is to establish choreographed routines – same things, same order, same words – with yourself as the director, the one in charge. Create good routines, stick to them, and your pup’s behavior will be predictable and good.

More  to teach your puppy starting at 7 weeks old

Along with establishing good routines….

Training a puppy by teaching household rules

Teach Puppy which behaviors are allowed in your house and which behaviors aren’t. This particular behavior would be a “No.”

  • Teach your puppy that “No” or “AH-AH” means “Stop doing that behavior.”
  • Teach your puppy that “Yes” or “Good” means “I like that behavior.”
  • Begin a proven housebreaking program where your puppy can only go to the bathroom in the right place.At 2-3 months old, puppies are infants and won’t have reliable control of their bladder for several months. (Tiny breeds are notoriously difficult to housebreak and take even longer.)

    Still, housebreaking begins the day you bring your puppy home.

    Establish the right pattern from the very beginning and Puppy will be housebroken as soon as his internal organs can cooperate.

    But if you do it wrong, housebreaking will become a nightmare. And sadly, many owners don’t realize they’re doing something wrong until Puppy’s “accidents” have become a bad habit…. and bad habits are hard to undo. So you want to establish the right pattern from the very beginning.

    There are several methods of housebreaking, including using a crate, an exercise pen (“ex-pen”), a doggy door leading into a small potty yard, or a litter box (for tiny breeds).

    You’ll find detailed housebreaking directions in my puppy training book (see bottom of page) – and yes, I cover each one of those housebreaking methods so you can choose which one works best for your pup and your lifestyle.

  • Teach your puppy to go into his crate or pen and to stay quietly when the door is closed. Crate training a puppyA crate protects your puppy from household dangers and is an invaluable aid in housebreaking.

    Your puppy’s crate is his safe and secure den.

    Some people mistakenly refer to a crate as “doggie jail” but that is not the way Puppy will view his crate.

    Oh, at first he might be unhappy to have his movements curtailed, but it won’t be long at all before he goes into the crate on his own, to take a nap or just to get away from household activity.

    For a new puppy, a crate helps with housebreaking and provides a safe den for sleeping.

    When your puppy is used to his crate, it will be easy to take him visiting, or for trips in the car, or to the vet.

    When we watch TV, we sit in our favorite chairs and our dogs typically choose to lie down in their crates (doors open), watching the same shows we watch (sort of).

    Pups who are not yet housebroken should NOT be loose in your house. Unless you are interacting closely with him, your pup should be in a crate or pen, or connected to you via a leash.

    The #1 mistake owners make with a puppy is giving him too much freedom in the house, too soon. Loose pups either get hurt or develop bad habits. For their own safety and to prevent future behavior problems, your puppy should not be loose in your house.

Starting at 8 weeks old….

Teach everything above (routines, housebreaking, crate training, Good, No), plus…

  • Teach your puppy to be calm indoors. Pups who are allowed to be excitable indoors are far more likely to have behavior problems. Don’t allow running around the house, rushing the doorbell, attacking the vacuum cleaner, or lots of rough play, barking, or jumping.
  • Teach your puppy to take food and toys gently from your hand. Don’t let him have anything if he grabs at it.
  • Teach your puppy NOT to mouth or nip at anyone’s hands or feet. Training a puppy by teaching him gentlenessTeach your puppy to be gentle when interacting with people. He must not nip or chew on people’s hands.

    Puppy’s mother (and siblings) began teaching gentleness by firmly correcting Puppy when he played too roughly.

    Your job is to take over from where they left off and teach Puppy how to restrain himself when he plays with humans.

    Remember, you must be the one who sets the limits of ALL good and bad behavior.

  • Teach your puppy NOT to jump on anyone, including yourself.
  • Teach your puppy to give or drop whatever is in his mouth when told.
  • Teach your puppy to stay still (more or less!) and not fuss when you’re brushing him, bathing him, clipping his nails, or brushing his teeth. Teach him to accept handling of any part of his body. Training a puppy by teaching him to accept handlingStart handling your puppy immediately so he learns to accept anything you need to do with him.

    Your puppy must accept YOU as the leader in your family. Being the leader simply means you are the one who decides what is okay for Puppy to do and what isn’t okay.

    For example…. brushing, bathing, clipping nails, cleaning teeth, giving a pill, putting on a collar or harness.

    These are all times when YOU – not Puppy – have to be the one to decide what is necessary. Puppy should stand quietly for anything you need to do with him.

  • Teach your puppy to respect the other pets in your family. He may not take anything away from another pet. He should “take turns” for treats and attention. No bickering, pestering, pushiness, or jealousy.

Starting at 10 weeks old….

Teach everything from the previous sections, plus…

Training an older puppy

Older puppies are ready to start learning more advanced words after they are obeying basics such as “No.” Don’t jump ahead!

  • Teach your puppy to walk on the leash without pulling. If your pup is currently pulling on the leash, don’t take him for any more walks until you’ve first taught him to stop pulling inside your own home and yard.
  • Teach your puppy to wait at open doors and gates until you give permission to go through.
  • Teach your puppy to come every time you call. For now, that might mean keeping him on a leash in the house and a long cord in the yard, so you can make sure he comes.
  • Teach your puppy to be quiet. Lots of barking makes dogs more excitable. Don’t allow barking at harmless things such as your neighbor or your neighbor’s dog. Certainly your pup can bark to alert you to something, but he should stop barking when told. He should be quiet when left home alone.

Starting at 12 weeks old….

Teach everything from the previous sections, plus…

  • Teach your puppy to Sit and then to stay sitting until you cue him to get up.
  • Teach your puppy to go to his dog bed when told, and to stay there until given permission to get up. This valuable exercise teaches calmness, impulse control, and physical and mental relaxation. Every pup should be able to do it.

Starting at 16 weeks old….

Teach everything from the previous sections, plus…

  • Teach your puppy to go for a structured walk where he stays close beside you and pays close attention to you, instead of being distracted by everything else.
  • Teach your puppy to greet people and other animals politely, or else ignore them. Don’t allow him to act excitably, aggressively, or fearfully toward people or other dogs.

Respectful dogs understand and do what you say

Before they’re 6 months old, my pups know how to do everything in the lists above. They pay close attention to me and do whatever I ask of them.

If you’re unsure about how to teach everything on my lists, it’s all covered in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies (30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy).

Is your pup a little older?

You might be thinking, “But my pup’s already 6 months old… what do I do now?”

Simple. Start at the very beginning, as though your 6 month old pup was only 7 weeks old. Start by establishing the routines that will govern everything in your pup’s life. Start with housebreaking. Start with crate training. Start with “Good” and “No”.

And if your pup is 12 months old? 18 months old? Or even older than that?

Older puppy

When I foster an older puppy, I train him exactly as I would a younger pup – I start at the very beginning, with the basics.

You might think a training schedule would be different for a much older puppy…. but it isn’t.

Whether your puppy is 3 months old, 6 months old, or 18 months old, the order of training should start with the same words and respect training I’ve been talking about.

Namely…. daily routines, praise and correction words, crate training, housebreaking, acceptance of being handled, gentleness, and household rules.

So if your older puppy (or adult dog) is still mouthing on your hands, or barking back at you when you tell him to do something, or if he doesn’t stop whatever he’s doing when you say, “No”, you need to double down on those basics.

Then you can move on to more advanced stuff.

“But how?”  you want to know. “How  do I train my puppy?”

Shiba Inu pup learning to be calm and patient

It’s best to get this right the first time around, because Puppy won’t ever be the same age again.

You get only one chance to teach all the right habits to a “clean slate” puppy. If you try to train your puppy without help, you will probably have to re-do the lessons, only this time with an older puppy with bad habits.

But what kind of help?

You don’t need to sign up for an obedience class or “puppy socialization” class to get help training and socializing your puppy. Those classes can be overwhelming for a puppy. Gentle pups can get over-run by bullies, which can completely ruin your pup’s temperament. And excitable puppies just get more excitable in those classes.

I don’t recommend taking a puppy to any group class. I don’t even take my own pups to such classes. The risk is too great.

Instead, teach your puppy at home. I’ll help you. My puppy training book is called Respect Training for Puppies: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Puppy.

I’ll show you my proven step-by-step training method for teaching your puppy all the words he needs to know, plus consistent household rules and routines, housebreaking, crate training, acceptance of being handled, calmness, gentleness, and general obedience training.

My training method is:

  1. BASED ON LEADERSHIP AND RESPECT, which means you and your family are the leaders in your household and your pup is the follower. Dogs LOVE to be followers when you show them that you’re a confident, consistent leader who makes all the decisions.
  2. BALANCED, which means positive reinforcement (praise and rewards) for good behaviors, and corrections for bad behaviors.I don’t teach or recommend so-called “purely positive” methods that allow misbehaving pups to continue misbehaving, instead of teaching them which behaviors are and are not allowed. “Purely positive” is fine for teaching tricks and high-level competition exercises, but NOT for teaching the solid good behaviors that all family dogs need to know, and NOT for stopping behavior problems such as barking, jumping, chewing, nipping, chasing, etc.

puppy training bookIf you want your puppy to be a good family dog, teach him with a balanced training method based on respect and leadership. It’s the perfect match for how your pup thinks and learns. Check out Respect Training For Puppies.

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