Top skills to teach your new puppy

New pups are exciting! These little bundles who want to learn and we can't wait to teach them all sorts of skills and behaviours. The first behaviour most people teach their dogs is "sit" and "wait" , but I'm going to explain why there are bigger fish to fry than stationary skills! Teach your puppy there is value in YOU The world will be full of exciting and potentially scary things. By teaching your puppy that there is a great value in you, looking at you (ideally in the eyes, but for tiny pups we won't be picky!) then this helps maany behaviours in life. A puppy who has value in you will be more likely to recall well, walk with manners onlead, be less distracted when out and will have a behaviour they can do with ease if excited or stressed. How to teach Have a handful of tiny treats ready. Stand up and show your puppy the treats and quickly put them behind your back. Try and resist getting their attention, when they look to you praise and give them one of the tasty treats. Repeat this little and often! Teach your puppy an attention noise As much as your aim should be setting your puppy up for success, there may be times they will be doing behaviours you'd rather not see. Such as jumping on another dog in the home, stealing a slipper or digging the lawn! Our immediate reaction might be to get cross, but this will create more problems later. It can create anxiety or conflict, which can create reactivity or aggression later. Instead, we want a non-confrontational way to stop our pups and redirect them onto something they are allowed to do. This is where the attention noise comes in. We can use this to stop our puppy, and then direct them onto an appropriate chew or game. How to teach Have a handful of treats. Pick a word or noise. We don't want to use their name, it needs to be something unique. "puppy" or a kissy noise or even "biscuits" can work well. Now say your word and noise and give a small tasty treat. Repeat 10 times. Now wait until your puppy isn't looking but knows your training. Now say your attention word/ noise, when they turn to look at you, praise and give them the treat. Repeat this step in lots of different rooms of the house. When your puppy is looking to get into trouble, now make your noise - this stops them so they look to you, treat them for stopping what they were doing, and give them something you'd like them to do. Finding treats in the garden, chewing a chew or playing with a toy. These are just TWO super skills that will help your day to day life with your puppy and get them started on the right paw!

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