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Puppy training 101's

There are plenty of traing videos and experts out there.. I thought I'd address a few bits n pieces that seem to be missed a lot

Every Day

Brush hand over all parts including underarm, groin, inside ears. Get your pup used to being touched everywhere and get to know all his lumps n bumps.

Learn to take his temp each week and record it so you have a consistent record and he gets used to being restrained for the procedure.

There are good videos on the internet to show how to check pulse. Learn what is normal for your pup and how it changes with excitement level and age.

Say "Teeth" and lift his lips then praise. Gradually hold his lips up longer each time and start opening his mouth, saying "teeth" each time. Don't make it an ordeal but by the time he's 3 months old he should no longer fidget and pull away. Gradually work up to actually being able to hold his mouth open sufficiently to see his back molars.

Ears, Toenails and Vets

These are the ones, consistently, owners ignore until an inescapable incident occurs.


Every day, from the day your pup comes home, rub ears, lift ears, move your finger (or a tissue) gently around inside the ear flap.

Once a fortnight or so, from around 4 or 5 months, do a small squirt into one ear of Gentle Ear Cleaner (alternate ears).

Rub gently until foam begins then clean excess with tissue.

From 8 or 9 months, clean once a month or so and rub vigorously (squash/massage the base of ear until squishing can be heard.

(My dogs are all fanatical swimmers in summer and inevitably one will develop a yeast infection requiring daily cleansing and/or drops which they all accept as just another one of Those Things!)


Even if your pup stands and therefore runs, balanced and square, it is always worth getting them used to nail clipping or filing.

There may come a time when a split nail requires attention and the dog that allows and accepts treatment is pure joy to the vet and owner alike.

In the same way as ears; daily and weekly touching, praise, filing will lead to a compliant adult.


Vets come under the same heading as Socialisation.

Take your pup to the vet's (several different ones if available) as often as possible for a "look around", weigh and pats from as many staff as time permits.

Food Protection

I use this method with all my dogs and they all eventually bring their bones to me to "share" or protect them whilst eating.

I start with teaching "drop it" for toys. Then for bones. The food protection instinct is very strong so protect your hands at all times and never allow your pup to bite you.

Grab neck scruff well so you have the control. Ask for "drop it" . Gently pull on bone to disengage teeth. This part can take 3 minutes but is worth the persist. The object here is to get the bone and IMMEDIATELY hand back to pup. Leave 5 or 6 minutes (walk away) then return and repeat.

Do NOT hold bone even for 10 seconds! You want your pup to see that you are in control but present no threat.

By 3 or 4 months your pup should think nothing of relinquishing any object on command. Eventually he should start bringing his bones to eat near you (his Safe zone).

At a point when I feel the reciprocated respect, I start rubbing my head along his neck (face turned away) . The first time he growls, (and he WILL growl) sit up, tell him "drop it" and take/release bone. Then repeat

Head to Neck rubbing. Tell him to settle and keep repeating till he pays no mind.

By 12 months, i can walk up, ask for the bone/toy/object and my dogs release without procrastination.

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