How to Train a Golden Retriever Puppy
A Complete Guide for Beginners
If you have just brought home a new puppy, congratulations! You are about to embark on a wonderful journey of companionship, love and fun. But before you can enjoy all the benefits of having a furry friend, you need to train your puppy to behave well and follow your commands. Training a puppy is not hard, but it does require patience, consistency and positive reinforcement. In this guide, we will cover the basics of how to train a puppy, including:
Tips and tricks for successful puppy trainin
Golden Retriever House Training
House training is the process of teaching your puppy to eliminate outside or in a designated area, and not inside your home. House training is one of the first things you should start working on with your puppy, as it will prevent accidents and messes that can damage your floors and furniture. House training can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on your puppy’s age, breed and personality.
Here are some steps to follow for house training your puppy:
Set up a regular feeding and elimination schedule for your puppy. Feed your puppy at the same times every day, and take him outside to potty right after he wakes up, after he eats or drinks, after he plays or exercises, and before he goes to bed. Avoid giving your puppy food or water within two hours of bedtime, as this can cause him to need to go during the night.
Choose a specific spot outside where you want your puppy to do his business. Take him there every time you go out, and use a cue word like “go potty” or “hurry up” to encourage him. Praise and reward your puppy with treats and affection when he eliminates in the right place.
Supervise your puppy closely when he is inside the house. Keep him in the same room as you, or use a crate or a baby gate to confine him to a small area. Watch for signs that he needs to go, such as sniffing, circling, whining or scratching at the door. If you see any of these signs, take him outside immediately.
If you catch your puppy having an accident inside the house, interrupt him with a loud noise like “no” or “ah-ah”, and take him outside right away. Do not scold or punish your puppy for making a mistake, as this can make him fearful or confused. Instead, focus on rewarding him for doing it right the next time.
Clean up any accidents thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner that removes odors and stains. Do not use ammonia-based products, as they can attract your puppy back to the same spot.
Crate training is the process of teaching your puppy to accept and enjoy being in a crate or a kennel. A crate is a useful tool for house training, as it prevents your puppy from having accidents when you are not around to supervise him. It also provides your puppy with a safe and cozy place of his own, where he can relax and sleep. Crate training can also help with separation anxiety, travel and vet visits.
Here are some steps to follow for crate training your puppy:
Choose a crate that is large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, but not so big that he can use one end as a bathroom and the other as a bedroom. You can use a divider panel to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows.
Make the crate comfortable and inviting for your puppy by putting some soft bedding, toys and treats inside. Leave the door open and let your puppy explore the crate at his own pace. Praise and reward him whenever he goes inside voluntarily.
Start feeding your puppy his meals inside the crate with the door open. Gradually close the door while he is eating, and open it again when he is done. Increase the time that the door stays closed after each meal until he can stay in the crate for 10 minutes without fussing.
Begin leaving your puppy in the crate for short periods of time when you are at home. Put him in the crate with a treat and a toy, and say a cue word like “crate” or “bed”. Leave the room for a few minutes, then return and let him out calmly. Repeat this several times a day, gradually increasing the duration of his stay in the crate.
Start leaving your puppy in the crate when you go out for short errands. Do not make a big fuss when you leave or return, as this can cause anxiety or excitement in your puppy. Keep your absences short at first, no longer than an hour or two, and build up to longer periods gradually.
Do not leave your puppy in the crate for too long at a time. A general rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladder for one hour per month of age, plus one hour (e.g., a 3-month-old puppy can hold it for 4 hours). However, this may vary depending on your puppy’s size, breed and individual needs. Make sure you provide your puppy with enough opportunities to go outside during the day, and do not crate him overnight until he is fully house trained.
Leash training is the process of teaching your puppy to walk nicely on a leash without pulling, lunging or jumping. Leash training is important for your puppy’s safety and manners when you take him out for walks or visits to public places.
Here are some steps to follow for leash training your puppy:
Choose a collar or harness that fits your puppy well and does not cause discomfort or injury. You can use a flat buckle collar, a martingale collar (a type of collar that tightens slightly when pulled), or a front-clip harness (a type of harness that attaches to the chest). Avoid using choke chains, prong collars or back-clip harnesses (a type of harness that attaches to the back), as they can encourage pulling or cause harm to your puppy’s neck.
Choose a leash that is comfortable for you and your puppy to hold. You can use a standard 4-6 foot leash made of nylon or leather, or a retractable leash that allows you to adjust the length as needed (but be careful not to let it get tangled or snapped). Avoid using chain leashes or long leashes (more than 6 feet), as they can be hard to control or pose a tripping hazard.
Introduce your puppy to his collar/harness and leash gradually by putting them on him at home for short periods of time while giving him treats and praise. Let him get used to wearing them without any pressure or tension on them.
Start teaching your puppy to walk with you on leash by taking him outside in a quiet area with few distractions (e.g., your backyard or driveway). Hold the leash loosely in one hand (preferably on the same side as your dog) and some treats in the other hand (on the opposite side). Walk with your dog at your side (not ahead or behind), keeping his head level with yours (not too high or low). Use treats and praise to lure him along if he hesitates or stops.
Teach your puppy not to pull on leash by stopping whenever he does so (or changing direction if he pulls too hard). Wait until he slackens the leash by coming back towards you (or following you if you turned), then reward him with treats and praise and resume walking.
Teach your dog basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “heel” (to walk close by) and “leave it” (to ignore distractions) while on leash using treats and praise as rewards.
Gradually increase the difficulty level of leash walking by taking your dog to different places with more distractions (e.g., parks,
neighborhoods) while keeping up with positive reinforcement.
Socialization is the process of exposing your puppy to different people, animals, situations and. environments in order to help him develop into a confident, friendly and well-adjusted dog Socialization is crucial for your puppy’s mental and emotional health, as it prevents him from developing fears, anxieties, aggressions or other behavioral problems later in life. Here are some steps to follow for socializing your puppy:
Start socializing your puppy as soon as possible, preferably between 8 and 16 weeks of age, when he is most receptive to new experiences. However, do not expose him to anything that could be dangerous, stressful, or overwhelming for him,
such as loud noises, crowds, or aggressive dogs.
Introduce your puppy to different types of people, such as men, women, children, seniors, people with hats, glasses, beards, uniforms, etc.,
in a calm and positive manner. Let them pet, feed, or play with your pup gently, and reward him with treats and praise for being polite.
Introduce your pup to different kinds of animals, such as other dogs, cats,
Basic Obedience Commands
Basic Obedience Commands
Basic obedience commands are simple words or phrases that you use to communicate with your puppy and teach him good manners. Learning basic obedience commands can also help your puppy with socialization, leash training and problem-solving. Some of the most common and useful basic obedience commands are:
• Sit: This command teaches your puppy to sit down on his hind legs and stay still until you release him. To teach your puppy to sit, hold a treat in front of his nose and move it up and back over his head. As his nose follows the treat, his butt will naturally lower to the ground. As soon as he sits, say “sit” and give him the treat and praise. Repeat this several times until he associates the word with the action. Then, start saying “sit” before you move the treat, and only reward him when he responds correctly.
• Stay: This command teaches your puppy to remain in one place until you release him. To teach your puppy to stay, first make sure he knows how to sit. Then, ask him to sit and show him your palm facing him while saying “stay”. Take a step back and wait for a few seconds. If he stays put, say “yes” or “good” and give him a treat and praise. If he moves, say “no” or “uh-uh” and start over. Gradually increase the distance and duration of the stay command until he can stay for several minutes with you out of sight.
• Come: This command teaches your puppy to come to you when you call him. To teach your puppy to come, put a leash on him and let him wander around a bit. Then, say his name and “come” in a cheerful tone and gently tug on the leash. As soon as he comes to you, reward him with treats and praise. Repeat this several times until he comes without the leash tug. Then, practice the command in different places and situations without the leash, always rewarding him for coming to you.
• Down: This command teaches your puppy to lie down on his belly and stay there until you release him. To teach your puppy to down, hold a treat in front of his nose and move it down to the ground between his paws. As his nose follows the treat, his elbows will naturally bend and touch the ground. As soon as he lies down, say “down” and give him the treat and praise. Repeat this several times until he associates the word with the action. Then, start saying “down” before you move the treat, and only reward him when he responds correctly.
• Leave it: This command teaches your puppy to ignore something that he wants but is not allowed to have, such as food on the table, trash on the street or another dog’s toy. To teach your puppy to leave it, hold a treat in each hand and close your fists. Show one fist to your puppy and say “leave it”. If he tries to get the treat by licking, biting or pawing at your hand, ignore him. If he stops trying and looks at you, say “yes” or “good” and give him the treat from the other hand. Repeat this several times until he learns that leaving it means getting a better reward.