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Train Your Puppy Like a Pro
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Train Your Puppy Like a Pro

Congrats! Your adorable li’l bundle of fur is finally home. Now it’s time to train your pup like a pro with our essential puppy training techniques and tips for three important topics:

 

How to Housetrain Your Puppy

Most experts suggest potting training a puppy when they’re between 12 and 16 weeks old.

Before you begin, though, set your puppy up for success by giving them a confined space in your house, whether that’s in a crate, a small room with a baby gate or on a tethered leash, so you can keep an eye on them and prevent accidents.

 

Create a Regular Feeding Schedule and Take Away Food Between Meals

Most puppies need to eat three to four times a day, so feed your furry friend delicious,  specially formulated IAMS™ Puppy Food at the same times every day. The food is easy to digest and will help keep your puppy’s potty breaks on a fairly predictable schedule, which is a win-win for both of you.

 

Take Your Puppy Outside Often

We recommend every hour or two at first, depending on your pup’s breed and size. Also take them out right after they wake up in the morning or from a nap, after they eat or drink and after play sessions.

 

Pick Up Your Pup’s Water Bowl before Bedtime

Removing access to water two hours before bed time and scheduling a bathroom break right before bed will help your li’l baby sleep through the night. Most puppies can sleep about seven hours without having to go. But if your puppy does need to go out, be low-key about it. Take them outside, allow them to go and put them right back in their sleeping space.

 

Pick a Potty Spot Outside

By taking your puppy on a leash to the same spot every time, you’re saying to them, “This is where you do your business.” The scent in this spot will encourage them to go. Also, use a consistent phrase like “go potty” as your puppy does their business. Eventually, that’s all you’ll have to say to prompt them.


We recommend using a leash so your puppy knows exactly where they need to go and doesn’t get distracted on the way — which, of course, is what puppies do.

 

Reward Your Puppy Every Time

Give your little pooch lots of praise after they do their business so they learn your expectations. You can also give them a treat, but do it immediately after they go so they associate the treat with the behavior. Going for a walk around the neighborhood is another great way to reward them.

 

How to Keep Your Puppy from Nipping and Biting

While playing with your puppy is fun for both of you, it’s important to teach your puppy that they aren’t allowed to nip at your clothing or bite your skin. Here’s how to do it:

 

Tell Them “Owwww!”

A great technique to nip puppy nipping is to say “ow!” in a loud, high-pitched voice. This gets your puppy’s attention because it mimics the yelp a mother dog and littermates use to say, “Hey, you just hurt me.”

 

Teach Them That Nipping Ends Playtime

Every time your puppy nips or bites you while playing — or any other time for that matter — gently remove yourself from their grip, quietly turn around and walk away. This says to your little guy or girl that biting is not an OK way to play.

 

Put Your Pup in Time-out

If your puppy keeps biting after you say “ow!” or walk away and ignore them, they might be overstimulated or overtired. If so, gently put your puppy in their crate or room for a little while so they can calm down or sleep.

 

Give Your Puppy Something Else to Chew On

If you don’t want your hands, fingers and toes to be chew toys, then always have a puppy chew toy handy. This distracts them from the biting behavior and teaches them what’s acceptable to chew on, especially when they’re teething and gnawing to make their gums feel better.

 

Tire Them Out with Exercise

A tuckered-out pup has less energy to nip and bite, so give them the right amount of physical activity and playtime every day. See how much exercise our experts recommend.

 

Reward Them for Not Biting

Whenever your little friend plays politely and doesn’t bite you or others, don’t forget to praise them, give tons of affection or perhaps offer a tasty treat.

 

How to Teach Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash

No doubt about it: One of the most important things you can do as a new puppy parent is teach your dog how to go on a well-behaved walk with you on a leash. Here’s how to get started:

 

Get Your Puppy Used to a Collar and Leash

Start inside your house by putting on your pup’s collar or harness for short periods when you’re playing with them and giving them treats, like pieces of tasty IAMS™ kibble. After your puppy is comfortable with their collar or harness, attach the leash and let them drag it around

 

Begin with Short Indoor Training Sessions

Start with simple walks around your house. Teach your puppy to walk next to you with a loose leash, praising and encouraging them with small pieces of dry dog food.

 

Take the Lesson Outside

As your pup gets the hang of indoor walking, it’s time to take your leash training outdoors, preferably in your backyard if you have one. Keep your puppy focused during each brief session and encourage them to stay right next to you without pulling, lunging or stopping while they’re on the leash.

 

Go for Your First “Big Walk”

Now’s the time to put your training into action. Start out with a short walk and work hard to keep your pup close by your side. You’ll also need to keep them focused because they’ll be distracted by all the new sights, sounds and smells. Be patient, keep your pace slow and give them plenty of chances to sniff around and do their business.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice really does make perfect. So keep praising and giving your little friend occasional treats until they learn the leash-training routine and become a well-mannered walking partner for life.

Train Your Puppy Like a Pro
Train Your Puppy Like a Pro
Train Your Puppy Like a Pro
Train Your Puppy Like a Pro
  • 4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet
    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet-mob

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    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet

    Switching your dog to a new food takes some planning. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they tend to prefer their current food to a new food. Like us, they become accustomed to a food and might not be thrilled about a new routine. These useful dog-feeding tips will help you keep your dog satisfied.

     

     

    4 Tips to Successfully Transition Your Dog to a New Food

    1. Introduce the new food gradually.

    When easing your dog into a change in diet, think “slow and steady.” Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. Here’s a sample feeding schedule:

    • Day 1: 25% new food, 75% current food
    • Day 2: 50% new food, 50% current food
    • Day 3: 75% new food, 25% current food

     

    At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Don’t worry — a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.

     

     

    2. Watch your body language.

    Bringing a new food into your home, pouring it into your dog’s bowl and declaring that he should eat it might cause your dog to go on a hunger strike. This is not the time to show who’s boss. It’s better to introduce the new food by using a pleasant tone of voice and gently encouraging him to try the new food.

     

     

    3. Don't give in to demands.

    Persistence is key! For the first two days of the food transition, don’t give your dog treats or table scraps. Dogs train us as much as we train them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more difficult to make a nutritious dietary change.

     

     

    4. Be patient when switching from wet food to dry food.

    Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from a moist food to a dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix in a little warm water. You might even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you mix the food with water, be sure to throw away the uneaten portion after 20 minutes to prevent spoilage. The same rule applies for canned and pouch food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean him onto completely dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions outlined above.

    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet
    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet
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