Puppy Training FAQ

We’ve been training puppies for over 20 years, and often we hear similar questions when a new puppy joins their furever family. Below, we have answered our most frequently asked puppy questions.

How do I stop my puppy from biting me and my house?

The first step to address chewing and playbiting is to have 8-10 appropriately textured toys that will differentiate your skin and other household items from their toys. We recommend hard-textured toys like nylabones, kongs, whole deer antlers, and benebones. Always have a wide variety of toys around to play with your puppy. The next step is to not allow free access in the house. We recommend either tethering the puppy to a sturdy piece of furniture or blocking off the room. This will prevent the puppy from running out of your eyesight and chewing on something inappropriate. We discuss puppy biting in more detail in our article here.

How do I socialize my puppy when they are not fully vaccinated?

To start, puppies are free to interact with people and other fully vaccinated dogs. Playdates are a great way to socialize your puppy with other dogs. In addition, you can bring your puppy to stores like Lowe’s, Petsmart, or HomeGoods, and you can put them in a shopping cart instead of walking on the ground. At restaurants and coffee shops, you can put a towel down where your puppy lays. Remember that most parasites are transferred from wild animals or unvaccinated dogs, so try to avoid nature trails and dog parks. Throughout the socialization process, it is important that your puppy is having a good time. Bring kibble or treats to give the puppy anytime they look nervous or scared. Check out more tips on socializing a puppy in our article here.

Do puppies need to potty in the night?

Puppies two months and older can sleep eight hours overnight on average. This means you don’t need to wake your puppy up in the middle of the night to potty! A common mistake owners make is taking the puppy out every few hours in the night, like they would a newborn. However this is just teaching your puppy’s bladder that it will be emptied in the middle of the night, which can create problems as they get older.

When should I book my first veterinary visit?

The adoption center or breeder will give you a better understanding of when the puppy’s next set of vaccinations are due. Most of the time, though, you want to take your puppy to the vet a day or two after bringing them home, so the veterinarian can do a puppy wellness check in addition to scheduling their core vaccinations.

When should I start training my puppy?

For puppies, younger than 4 months, we recommend starting with puppy manners. Housebreaking, playbiting, and chewing are common problems that you want to address right away. Socialization should also be the biggest focus at this age. When a puppy finishes their vaccinations or around 4 months old, they can start more formal obedience training. The puppy is old enough to hold their attention through an hour training session and you can start training at a variety of settings in public, like parks or stores.

Does my puppy need to be groomed?

Yes! All puppies need to have nail trims. Have you seen those claws?! Long-haired and wire-haired breeds also do tend to need more fur grooming than their short-haired counterparts. However, the fur on puppies is often not very dense and should be easy to brush. Regardless of breed, you want to prepare your puppy for nail trims, brushing, teeth cleaning, occasional baths, and vet examinations. We go over more tips on preparing your puppy for the groomer and vet in our article here.