Puppies Basic Training

Puppies Basic Training


      • Puppies are born with instincts to bite. One of the most important things they learn, as a puppy, is how to control the strength of their bite.
      • Puppies naturally train each other how to bite. When one puppy bites another too hard, the other puppy yelps loudly and stops playing.
      • As a foster parent, you can play this role. Any time a puppy mouths with too much force, yelp loudly. If the puppy stops biting, then praise him/her lavishly. If the puppy continues biting, turn your back on the puppy and walk away. After ten seconds or so, resume play happily.
      • Remember: Mouthing is important! A puppy who is never allowed to mouth will grow up to have a hard bite.
      • Never scold, tap on the nose, or yell no at a puppy who is biting. Bite inhibition is a crucial development for puppies. A puppy who is punished for biting can turn into an adult with unsafe jaws (because they do not know their jaw strength). Simply yell “ouch” when a puppy bites too hard.


We always want to set our puppies up for success, and doing so in the house training process is essential! Puppies should have frequent breaks and be taken outside to the same spot to relieve themselves every 30 – 60 minutes when active (when waking up from a nap, after drinking or eating, and after a play session). A

puppy can hold his/her bladder one hour for each month of age (i.e.: 2 months = 2 hours, 3 months = 3 hours).

Remember these five steps to successful house training:

  1. Prevent accidents
  2. Reward going to the bathroom
  3. Anticipate bathroom needs
  4. Interrupt accidents and avoid punishing
  5. Clean up accidents with enzyme cleaner


Pee Pads: For Puppies Five Weeks and under: place puppies on pee pads immediately after waking up, after eating, and about once an hour. Praise the puppy enthusiastically every time he/she urinates or defecates on the pad. Change the pads frequently, as puppies tend to chew on pee pads.

Crate Training

House training and crate training go hand in hand. A crate can be a great tool to use for your puppy, but it can also be misused. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and stretch out; we will make sure you go home with the correct size, but your puppy may grow. Please let us know if you need a larger crate.

Your foster puppy/dog should have a short term confinement area, such as the crate, and a long term confinement area, such as an

  1. pen or baby gated section of the house or room.

If you are beginning to crate train, feed your puppy in the crate, provide stuffed chew toys only in the crate, and/or play crate games to build a positive association with the crate. Keep sessions short and fun, and have your puppy in the crate for short periods of time when you are home.

Never use a crate as a form of punishment for your foster puppy or dog.


Having toys available for your puppy is vital for their mental health and development. A selection of toys is best such as plush squeak toys, rope toys, stuffed Kongs, and teething toys.


From 3 weeks to 3 months, puppies are biologically primed to learn that new sights, sounds, smells, objects, environments, and people are fun and safe. This is the most crucial and sensitive period in a puppy’s life.

Socialization is not simply exposing a puppy to a variety of people, places, and things, but using positive proactive socialization training. Each new person the puppy meets should be a wonderful experience with treats and toys. Take things slow if your puppy seems fearful of the new person, place, or thing.

Training: Positive Reinforcement

As a foster parent, there will be many situations for you to train your animal. Charleston Animal Society only promotes training using positive reinforcement. Decades of research and scientific study concludes that Positive Reinforcement training is the most humane and effective method of training.

Do not scold or punish bad behavior.

    • When an unwanted behavior is offered/performed re-direct the puppy with a kissy noise or toy. Praise and reward the puppy for stopping the undesired behavior and giving you attention.
    • Punishment can instill fear, which can lead to aggressive behavior.
    • Praise and reward good behavior.
    • When a behavior is immediately followed by a positive out- come, that behavior is strengthened.

Socialization Checklist

Socializing your puppy to these items/actions is as easy as touching your puppy’s paw and giving a treat, having a man with a hat give a treat as he walks by or saying hello and giving affection.

MEN — tall, bearded, variety of ethnicities, younger, older, men with canes/walker, men with hats, etc.
WOMEN — tall, younger, variety of ethnicities, older, with purses, with walker/ canes/crutches, etc.
CHILDREN — behaviorally appropriate – keep puppies on the ground
Laughing, talking loudly, walking, jogging, running, etc.
Vacuums (turned off), mops, brooms, bicycles, skate boards, tricycles, lawnmowers (turned off), etc.
Grass, concrete, stairs, carpet, tile, hardwood, etc.
Nail clippers (not used), feet being touched, ears being touched, tail being touched

Additional Reference Books:

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right

by Dr. Sophia Yin

Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog

by Dr. Kenneth Martin and Debbie Martin

Loyal Dog Breeds: Golden Retriever | West Highland White Terrier | Rough Collie | Great Dane | German Shepherd | Pug Dog | St. Bernard | Pekingese | Havanese | Old English Sheepdog | Great Pyrenees | Labrador Retriever | Miniature Schnauzer | Chihuahua | Beagles Dog | American Cocker Spaniel | Irish Wolfhound | Kuvasz Dog | Akita Dog | Bichon Frise


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