Puppy Guide

Our comprehensive guide covers essential aspects of puppy care, from feeding tips to toileting strategies, crate and exercise pen usage, and effective training techniques.

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Puppy Feeding

  • Do: Feed your puppy three small meals of high-quality kibble daily until they reach 12 months.

  • Do: Pre-measure meals and use them as rewards for training throughout the day.

  • Do: Ensure a quiet feeding environment, away from children and other pets.

  • Do: Take into account the amount of food rewards given during training or as enrichment.

  • Do: Withhold food rewards momentarily if your puppy tries to grab them, and wait for calm behaviour.

  • Don’t: Put your hands in your puppy’s bowl or insist they relinquish their food.


Puppy Toileting

    • Do: Take your puppy to the designated toilet area frequently.

    • Do: Feed main meals on a schedule to establish predictable toileting times.

    • Do: Learn to recognise your puppy’s unique signs of needing to toilet.

    • Don’t: Punish your puppy for accidents, as it can create stress and fear.

    • Don’t: Expect your puppy to hold their bladder for extended periods.

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Crate and Exercise Pen

  • Do: Set up an exercise pen and crate, or use baby gates for confinement in a controlled area.

  • Do: Spend time crate training to create a positive association with the crate.

  • Do: Keep your puppy on a leash when outside the exercise pen initially.

  • Don’t: Lock your puppy in the crate every time they enter; vary the confinement method.

  • Don’t: Encourage wild running in the house, as it can lead to accidents or injuries.


Play and Mouthing

  • Do: Ask your trainer for strategies to teach your puppy bite inhibition.

  • Do: Only engage in adult-dog appropriate games to prevent accidental injuries.

  • Do: Rotate at least three different toys to keep your puppy engaged and mentally stimulated.

  • Do: Train your puppy to play gently with toys to promote positive interaction.

  • Don’t: Interact with your puppy when they are biting; redirect to appropriate toys.

  • Don’t: Use household items for toys; provide specifically made dog toys instead.

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Special Tips

  • Do: Ask your trainer for help if you are finding puppy difficult to train.

  • Do: Give yourself adequate time to teach puppy new things and practise often.

  • Do: Keep training sessions brief and always plan to end training on a good note

  • Don’t: Leave behaviour concerns go unaddressed, behaviour will strengthen over time.

  • Don’t: Expect your puppy to know the rules without guidance and training.

“The trainers have been wonderful for our dog, they understand his character and their firm but gentle, reward-based training suits his sensitive personality. He’s gone from being shy to being confident and ever willing to take on new challenges. The trainers are enthusiastic, passionate and have an extensive understanding of dog behaviour. We are really thankful for all their help training our dog.”

Julie (Ocean Grove)


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We have put together a list of handy things to have on hand when you get a puppy or a new dog and a few tips to keep in mind to help them settle in without incident. Please subscribe below if you would like to learn more and receive a monthly subscription.