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Bringing your puppy home for the first time is naturally a happy and exciting occasion, but it can be a little daunting too – there is so much for both you and your puppy to learn! The information contained in here should help you on your way to raising a happy and well trained dog right from the start.


It's not really that hard. Consistency is the key to success. Adult or puppy - you need to set up a "potty" schedule. Regular visits to the area of the garden you wish him to use will increase your pup's success at going where you'd prefer. You'll want to take the puppy or dog out about 20 minutes after eating or drinking, and immediately after waking from a nap and hard play. Be Patient - it takes time for him to understand what you want.  Consistency is the key - take him out often and he will eventually prefer to go to toilet outside.

Give any dog his indoor freedom slowly, starting with short periods and working up to longer times as you gain trust in his ability. A new puppy can hold it for only about 2 hours.  A good rule of thumb is 1 hour per month of a 3 month old puppy is good for about 3 hours.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take him out more often if you can!  Don't wait for the accident - prevent it.


Crate Training A Puppy

Crate training is the best gift you can give your new pet.  There is a misconception that "crates" are cruel. However, it is only humans that associate them with cruelty - a dog doesn't think  that way.  As humans we associate crates with confinement and zoos.  However, to your dog it's his "cave", "den"  or "bedroom".  He feels safe and secure there and a natural place to be.  It's a place he can go to relax and know that he will not be bothered.  He can feel secure since it's a place he can easily defend.  The crate also spares him punishment for getting into trouble when you aren't home and he's too young to know the difference between right and wrong.  Dogs instinctively do not urinate or defecate in their dens - so it is the perfect place for him to rest and wait for your return as he will try to keep from having accidents where he "hangs out" and sleeps.  Mom taught him that by keeping her whelping box very clean!  


More good reasons to use a crate:


  • A crate is convenient when you travel - often hotels will allow crated dogs in rooms when they would never allow loose dogs

  • Crating gives your dog a sense of security when you're gone and can lessen separation anxiety.

  • A crate is a safe way for your dog to travel - it's like a doggie seatbelt.  Many dogs lives have been saved by the crate in an accident.

  • If you have multiple dogs, each can have their own space to collect special toys and it has their personal smell.

  • It's somewhere safe to put the dog when visitors come over that are afraid of dogs - or if the dog doesn't like the company!

  • It's a place a dog with children can get a break from their constant pestering. (Assuming the parents have taught the children good dog skills - to leave the dog alone when it's in the crate).

  • It's great for housebreaking! A crate trained dog often learns quicker and is more reliable in the house.


A trained dog is a happy dog

Housetraining aside, every puppy also needs to be taught good manners and have constructive lessons in basic control and social interaction. This includes:

  • Responding to its name

  • Learning how to greet and behave politely around other people and dogs

  • To come back when called

  • To walk nicely on the lead

  • To sit down and stay on command

  • To allow itself to be groomed and examined by you and your vet


The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the UK’s largest dog training programme, and has been introduced to assist owners in training their dogs to be obedient in every day situations. Its simple but effective dog training techniques encompass all the skills necessary for a happy and rewarding partnership with your dog. There are four levels of the Scheme, namely Puppy Foundation, Silver, Bronze and Gold. Each level is designed to further develop an owner’s understanding of training, while building a dog’s confidence and levels of obedience. All dogs are eligible to take part, whether they are young or old, pedigree or crossbreed.


Over 2000 dog training schools throughout the UK offer Scheme training courses. You can search for your local training club by visiting the Kennel Club’s Find a Club service at or by telephoning the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme on 0844 4633 980.


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