If you’ll soon be bringing a little bundle of fluff into your home, or perhaps you are counting down the days till your new puppy arrives, then you should be thinking about how you are going to train the cute little critter.

When it comes to raising a puppy to be well behaved, the more work you put in at the start of their lives, the more benefits you will reap as they get older. Here’s what you need to know about puppy training.

Have Clear Guidelines

Before you start training your puppy, do your research. Look into the benefits of positive rewards based training against harsher methods and decide on some simple training objectives. For example, will you train your puppy to toilet outside right from the start or will you use puppy pee pads? Will you opt for crate training? Will you train with treats, kibble, praise, toys or a mixture? By knowing how you are going to approach your puppy training from the start, there will be less confusion further down the road.

Train the Whole Family

Once you know how you are going to train your dog, it’s important to get everyone in the household on board. Family and friends should be made aware of your training techniques so they can help and not hinder your efforts. So, when you are training your little puppy not to jump up your family members won’t allow them to jump all over them and undo all your hard work.

Socialize, Socialize, Socialize

In addition to training your puppy basic commands and obedience, make sure you take the time to socialize them. This doesn’t just mean getting them used to interacting with other dogs, but also people, children, other pets and even how to behave in different places and situations. You should also make sure they become accustomed to being touched, including the paws and ears – this will make grooming and vet visits much calmer.

Keep Your Cool

Try not to lose your temper if your puppy slips up and makes a mistake. Remember, they are still learning the rules. Puppies are very sensitive and by scolding them you could damage their trust in you. It won’t necessarily stop bad behavior either – next time they are going to chew your shoes they will probably just do it when you aren’t there.

Be consistent with your puppy training and before you know it you’ll have an excellently behaved dog.