Surmounting Common Puppy Training Problems: A Comprehensive Guide

As a new pet parent, puppy training problems can be overwhelming, especially when you encounter common training problems. From destructive behaviours to selective hearing and more, training your puppy requires persistence, patience, and a positive attitude. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into these issues and provide actionable solutions to help you and your new puppy overcome them.

Tackling Destructive Behaviours: Puppy Mouthing and Chewing

Puppy mouthing and chewing are common destructive behaviours that new pet parents often face. However, there are ways to address these behaviours. One effective technique is transferring the puppy’s attention to a toy or bone when they start mouthing or chewing on inappropriate objects. Additionally, timeouts and yelping can help deter puppy-mouthing.

To combat destructive chewing, provide your puppy with appropriate chew toys and a crate. When you catch them chewing on inappropriate objects, redirect their attention to a chew toy or bone, and praise them for chewing on the right item.

Selective Hearing: Teaching Basic Commands and Loose Lead Walking

Selective hearing is another prevalent puppy training issue. To keep your puppy focused during training sessions, create an engaging environment and incorporate fun activities. Teach your puppy basic commands like “sit” and “stay” and practice loose lead walking to ensure successful lead walking and eye contact with your pup.

Enlisting the Help of a Qualified Dog Trainer

If you’re struggling with training problems, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a qualified dog trainer. Specialised puppy training packages can be tailored to your pup’s specific needs, helping you overcome various challenges more effectively. A professional dog trainer can also provide you with valuable advice and techniques to help you train your puppy successfully.

Puppy Training Milestones and Tips

Puppy Age (Weeks)MilestoneTraining Tips
8-12Socialization & HousebreakingExpose the puppy to various sights, sounds, and experiences. Begin housebreaking consistently.
12-16Basic CommandsTeach basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Keep sessions short and fun.
16-20Leash TrainingIntroduce your puppy to a collar and leash. Practice loose-leash walking in a controlled area.
20-24Advanced CommandsStart teaching more advanced commands, like “heel,” “leave it,” and “off.”
24+Ongoing TrainingContinue reinforcing good behaviour, socializing, and practising commands in various settings.

This table provides an overview of typical puppy training milestones and tips for different age ranges. Keep in mind that each puppy is unique, and individual progress may vary.

Puppy Misbehaving at 3 Months

Puppies can be a handful, especially at 3 months old when they’re still adjusting to their new environment and learning about the world around them. If your puppy is misbehaving, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent the behaviour from becoming a habit.

One effective way to correct misbehaviour is by redirecting your puppy’s attention to a more appropriate activity. For example, if your puppy is chewing on furniture, redirect their attention to a chew toy. It’s also important to avoid using physical punishment as it can harm the puppy’s trust and confidence in you.

Another approach to correcting misbehaviour is to create a routine that includes plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and positive reinforcement training. A tired and happy puppy is less likely to misbehave than one who is bored and restless.

typical puppy potty training schedule by age:

Age (months)Frequency of Potty BreaksTips
2-3 monthsEvery 1-2 hoursTake your puppy outside to the same spot every time and praise them when they eliminate in the appropriate spot. Supervise your puppy closely when indoors to prevent accidents. Consider crate training to aid in housebreaking.
3-4 monthsEvery 2-3 hoursGradually increase the time between potty breaks as your puppy begins to develop better bladder control. Continue to supervise your puppy closely and reward them for appropriate elimination.
4-6 monthsEvery 3-4 hoursYour puppy should be developing better bladder control at this age. However, continue to provide frequent opportunities for elimination and supervise your puppy closely when indoors. Consider implementing a consistent feeding and watering schedule to aid in housebreaking.
6-8 monthsEvery 4-5 hoursYour puppy should be able to hold their bladder for longer periods at this age. However, continue to provide opportunities for elimination and supervise your puppy when indoors. Reinforce appropriate elimination with praise and rewards.
8+ monthsEvery 6-8 hoursYour puppy should have better bladder control and may be able to go longer periods without a potty break. However, it’s still important to provide opportunities for elimination and supervise your puppy closely when indoors. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful housebreaking.

The Importance of Crate Training and Place Training

Crate training is an essential component of puppy training, as it provides your pup with a secure and comfortable space. Crate training aids in behaviour management and housebreaking. It also helps your puppy develop positive associations with their crate, making it a safe and happy place for them.

In addition, place training teaches your puppy to stay in a designated spot, improving their overall obedience. This technique can be beneficial when you need your puppy to stay in one place, such as when visitors arrive or when you’re working from home.

Mastering the Art of Walking: Breaking Down the Walk and Encouraging Correct Behaviour

Teaching your puppy to walk on a leash can be challenging. However, by breaking down the walk into smaller steps and consistently reinforcing correct behaviour, you can achieve a more enjoyable and controlled walking experience for both you and your pup. Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise to encourage good behaviour, and avoid using negative reinforcement methods like pulling or yanking on the leash.

Involving the Whole Family in Puppy Training

Puppy training should be a family affair. Ensure that all members of your household are on the same page when it comes to training techniques and expectations. To make it easier for everyone, create a booking page where family members can leave details about their training progress, allowing for consistent communication and a unified approach.

In Conclusion: Overcoming Common Puppy Training Problems

Puppy training can be challenging, but by incorporating the strategies outlined in

this article, you’ll be well on your way to raising a well-behaved, happy, and healthy dog. Remember, it’s essential to tailor your approach to your pup’s unique needs and don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a qualified dog trainer if you’re struggling with any aspect of puppy training. Happy training!

Final Thoughts

Raising a puppy can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to overcoming common puppy training problems and raising a well-behaved, happy, and healthy dog. Remember to be patient, persistent, and positive in your approach to training, and always keep your puppy’s unique needs in mind. With time, effort, and the right techniques, you’ll have a loyal and loving companion for years to come.


What is the hardest age to train a puppy?

The most challenging age to train a puppy is typically between 4 and 6 months when they’re experiencing adolescence. During this period, puppies may become more independent and stubborn, making it harder to teach new commands or behaviours.

What to do with a hard-to-train puppy?

For a hard-to-train puppy, try breaking down tasks into smaller steps, using positive reinforcement, and remaining consistent. If you’re still having difficulties, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or enrolling your puppy in a training class.

Is it normal for puppies to be hard to train?

Yes, it is normal for puppies to be hard to train, as they have short attention spans and are still learning about the world around them. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are crucial for successful training.

What are the 5 golden rules of dog training?

The 5 golden rules of dog training are:

  1. Be consistent with commands and rules.
  2. Use positive reinforcement, like treats and praise.
  3. Keep training sessions short and engaging.
  4. Be patient and persistent.
  5. Socialize your dog early and often.

How many weeks does a puppy get easier?

Puppies generally become easier to train and manage after they reach 6 months of age. However, each puppy is different, and some may take longer to mature and become more responsive to training.

How do you discipline a puppy that won’t listen?

Instead of punishing a puppy that won’t listen, focus on reinforcing good behaviour through positive reinforcement. Ignoring or redirecting undesirable behaviour and rewarding good behaviour will help teach your puppy what is expected of them.

What to do when a puppy ignores a command?

If your puppy ignores a command, try getting their attention with a treat or toy, then repeat the command. Make sure you’re using clear and consistent commands and rewarding your puppy when they respond correctly.

Why does my puppy ignore my commands?

Puppies may ignore commands due to distractions, confusion, or a lack of motivation. Ensuring your training environment is free of distractions, using consistent commands, and motivating your puppy with treats or praise can help improve their responsiveness.

How do you break bad behaviour in a puppy?

Breaking bad behaviour in a puppy involves consistent redirection, positive reinforcement, and patience. Identify the undesirable behaviour, redirect your puppy to an appropriate alternative, and reward them when they engage in the desired behaviour.

further reading dog training

Further Reading on the subject

  1. The American Kennel Club (AKC) – Puppy Training
  2. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
  3. International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)

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