Reader's Digest Asia Pacific
Top-priority life skills for puppies
Life skills for young dogs
USE A CRATE Crate training is a new concept for many, but it’s an effective tool to help your puppy settle into your home, learn a toilet and sleep routine and provide a secure haven. Beagle breeder Diana Lipari suggests teaching puppies to love their crates by giving them treats or feeding them in their crates. “They’ll learn to love their crates and then you can leave them in the crates when you go out, as long as it’s not a really long time.”
BATHROOM RULES Karen Wagner, a German Shepherd dog breeder, recommends teaching your puppy ‘the house rules’ as soon as you get her. Be firm; if your dog doesn’t learn these rules as a puppy, she probably won’t follow them as an adult.
WALK ON A LEASH It may seem obvious, but playful puppies don’t always walk easily on a leash. Practice makes perfect in this case. Training your dog to walk calmly and respectfully on a leash will help you when you socialise and housetrain them.
HOW TO SOCIALISE Theresa Viesto, a Labrador retriever breeder and handler, recommends socialising your puppy as soon as they’re old enough. “Socialising your puppy when he is young will build his confidence, make him friendlier towards strangers and other dogs, and help him learn to remain calm and respectful outside of your house.”
HOW TO SIT Teaching a puppy to sit or lie down may look like a fun trick, but it is actually a very valuable skill. Use the command ‘sit’ to prevent your puppy from jumping on visitors, be respectful during meal times, and as a gateway to teach other useful skills such as ‘stay’ and ‘come’.