5 Tips for Puppy Training!

Thank you Hartz for sponsoring this post. Hartz Dog Pads are America’s #1 brand of dog pads and are available nationwide at Walmart, Amazon and your local grocery store.

If you follow along with our family on our Instagram stories, then you know the we love fostering puppies through Nashville Humane Association. They started the puppy foster program at the end of last year, and in January alone, they had 90 dogs receive foster care before they were ready for the adoption floor- 90! That is so exciting to me! We have been so blessed by these sweet little pups and all of their fuzzy snuggle and puppy breath kisses. The kids have loved the foster process and have become pros at helping me with the pups!

If you are considering getting a family pup, we want to encourage you to adopt- or foster! Give these sweet babies their furever home! I promise, getting a puppy doesn’t have to be as daunting a task as you fear it might be. You get back every bit of what you put into these wonderful animals, they become another family member. I am going to give you my top 5 tips when it comes to puppy training to help make your life a little easier and help you look back on this time with a full heart (and not scary disastrous memories, lol!).

Get Outside!

More importantly, get outside before you’re going somewhere or before your family starts to wind down for the night! I feel like this really helps get your pup on a schedule. The more you can keep them awake during the day, the more likely they are to sleep through the night! For us, we go play outside before dinner time. We run and play soccer and the puppies like to chase us and try to keep up. Then the entire time we prep dinner, pup sleeps at our feet! Then he wakes for dinner and potty and then back to bed we go for the night!

Puppy Eats when We Eat!

We feed the pups twice a day- once when we wake up and do breakfast and again while we eat dinner! This is great practice for new puppy owners because I think it really helps eliminate the issue of begging. Pups are curious and will want to be where you are. I have three kids and those tiny hands drop food constantly. It will only take one taste for them to know where to be during meal time- and that will be a tough habit to break! By feeding them when you sit down to eat, you keep them occupied and focused on their own meal time. After dinner, we take pup right out to potty because they all seem to be ready as soon as they eat that last bite of kibble!

Crate Training is a MUST!

Weather you call it a Kennel or a Crate, this is seriously a non-negotiable! Invest in a kennel, save your sanity! It’s nice for puppies to have a secure space to sleep, and with my three kids- they seem to like a space to hide from the chaos too-ha! Crate training doesn’t have to be terrible! I remember way back when, we adopted a puppy and we had a great little kennel for her and she went through a period of time where she had a horrible upset tummy and y’all, it was a MESS! It made me so wary of fostering puppies all of these years later. But there is  secret to saving your sanity- we started using Hartz Home Protection Quilted Plus Dog Pads and it made fostering these sweet pups so much easier! I wish I had thought to use them in the past! These Hartz Dog Pads have super absorbent quilted pockets and FlashDry® Gel technology that help to quickly in any moisture and they get rid of unpleasant odors!

That’s Norman, he came so close to being our foster fail (meaning we almost adopted him!), doesn’t he make the cutest little puppy model?! These are the Hartz Dog Pads that we were using for Norman’s stay with us! Hartz Dog Pads are America’s #1 brand of dog pads and are proven to outperform against competitors- and they absolutely lived up to that! We use these in the kennel when we leave the house and overnight, because they really are so incredibly absorbent it helps to eliminate a lot of unnecessary mess. I’ve noticed that when the puppies use the pads, they stay away from where they potty, and they stay clean.

All you need to do is pull the pad out and replace it. Before using the pads, when they would potty, it would run all over the kennel making for a messy, unnecessary situation- I’ll save you the visual details, thank me later. But these have totally made fostering these sweet furry babies so much less of a hairdo! If you’re prepping for a new puppies arrival, you can find Hartz Dog Pads  nationwide at Walmart, Chewy.com, Amazon and at your local grocery store!

Puppy Toys!

…and a big variety of them! Soft toys, squeaky toys, hard toys, different types of balls- every puppy likes something different! Puppies love having something to keep them busy AND they love to chew- depending on when you get your pup, they are likely still teething. This is especially important if you have children, teething puppies and Barbie dolls are not a good mix. If you catch pup chewing on something they shouldn’t be, simply take it away and replace it with their toy. Just be sure you still watch your pup while they chew their own toys, things like rope and fabric from soft toys can be hazardous to your fluffy pup!

Positive Reinforcement

I feel like I can not stress this one enough! Puppies love making us happy! Do a happy, high pitched voice and watch those tiny tails wag! When they go potty outside, anytime they potty outside I make them feel SO proud of themselves! If you’re really wanting to make the training process go faster, boil some unseasoned chicken breast and cut it into tiny pieces and keep in the fridge. When pup does something great, slip them a chicken treat and it will cut your training time down substantially! This works for basic command training too, like sit, down, stay etc! If the chicken isn’t something you’re up for, just so much love and excitement to let pup know what they did was GREAT and they will continue to copy that behavior over and over again- just keep up with the positivity and love and excitement! On the other side of that- when pup has an accident, you can reprimand if you catch them in the act, then quickly take pup outside. Soon enough they will understand that potty is for outside or on their Hartz Dog Pads only!

Getting a puppy or fostering a puppy is such a wonderful thing to do for the puppy and for your family. You are gaining love and memories to last a lifetime.If you are fostering a puppy, you are showing these dogs so much love and compassion, you are shaping the behavior traits they will carry with them into becoming adult dogs- you are setting them up for success with their furever family. If you ARE fostering puppies for the first time, I will tell you that taking the puppies back the first time is HARD. It nearly broke my heart the first time, I cried for days! These dogs are really so so special if you care for them with love and kindness. I will tell you if you have fostered them once and had a hard time bringing them back, don’t be discouraged from fostering again- it DOES get easier. By returning these pups, you allow them to find their families and you allow room in your home and in your heart to foster more pups!

*If you don’t have a puppy, and aren’t planning on getting one anytime soon- I would love to encourage you to pick up a pack or two of Hartz Dog Pads to donate to your local animal shelter or humane society! Especially if they have a foster program- the shelters provide supplies to the foster families to care for the pups, and donating supplies is a great way to help make a difference if you’re unable to bring a pup into your home!

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