How to teach your puppy routines

“Whenever I want to laugh, I read a wonderful book, ‘Children’s Letters to God.’
You can open it anywhere. One I read recently said, ‘Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy’.”

Maya Angelou

Key Takeaway: A routine helps in creating familiarity for your puppy. Familiarity helps in making your puppy feel safe and secure. Also, the puppy will know what is expected of it and when.

Puppies are definitely merry little creatures. However, while training a puppy it really does help to have a routine in place for making your puppy feel secure.
Creating a routine for your puppy will not only let your puppy know the rules. It will also help him understand what you want and don’t want him to do.
Remember that when you are getting a puppy home, it is a big change for the puppy as well.

You are taking the puppy away from everything that is familiar to him and placing him in an environment that is very strange to him. Even the most confident of pups would get scared. Having a schedule helps in providing some form of familiarity to the puppy. It also helps in minimizing any surprises and thereby reduces any stress the pup might feel.

House Rules

Before you take a puppy home, make sure that everyone in the household agrees to certain rules. The puppy will only get confused if there is no consistency. If one person lets the puppy jump onto the sofa and if the other gets angry at the puppy for doing the same, this will just confuse him. For learning, puppies will need consistency. Changing the rules constantly will just confuse your pup and interfere with his ability to learn. Decide beforehand if the puppy should be allowed onto the furniture and the place where he gets to sleep. Whether or not he would have a crate, you get to decide the basic rules. Once you have decided these rules, make sure that everyone in the household agrees to these.

Potty Routine

It will be easier for the puppy to know what’s expected of him when there’s a familiar routine. You should select a location that is not only easy accessible, but can be cleaned easily as well for potty training.

Make sure that everyone in the household is aware of where the puppy needs to “go”. Pets tend to get confused if you shift their bathroom. If you stick to one particular area, then the smell and the location will let the puppy know what’s expected.

You will need to schedule proper potty breaks for your puppy. It is ideally the first thing in the morning, once after lunch, once in the evening and right before going to bed at night.

The number of breaks that your puppy will need to go to will reduce with age. As the puppy matures, the puppy will gain control over his bladder. However, in the beginning make sure that you are sticking to a schedule if you want to avoid any “accidents” in the house. Take him out for a walk as much as possible, especially after every meal when he is not trained yet.

Meal Schedule

You will need to make a schedule for your puppy’s meals and also decide on a location. You should decide whether or not the puppy would be allowed to get any treats from the table. Everyone in the household should agree about these things.

You wouldn’t want to decide on something only to later on notice that children have been sneaking in food to the puppy. Getting your puppy any treats from the table would not only spoil your puppy’s training, but it is bad for the puppy as well. It would also lead to begging as well as stealing food from the table!

Make sure that no one is teasing the puppy with food. Children tend to do this and they shouldn’t. It wouldn’t be fair to the puppy if you keep insisting that he should eat from his bowl while others sneak him food. Maybe you can come to a compromise. Family members can probably decide to give a few scraps to the puppy, then in such a case, they should place them in his bowl after he finishes his regular meal. You can also make use of these for his training sessions.

Exercise Routine

A puppy that’s tired is extremely well behaved. Depending on your puppy’s stamina and the way he plays, you can schedule his playtimes. Exercise will not only keep your puppy healthy, but it will also help in wearing him out. When puppies play, it also helps them in bonding with you. Make use of this playtime for teaching some basic obedience commands.

Take five minutes every day and have a quick recap of all the lessons that the puppy already knows. You can also teach him some new ones.

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