10 week old Golden retriever pup learning to down under the leg. So fun!

Raising The Perfect Puppy

There is nothing like raising a new puppy! Kabler School For Dogs specializes in raising happy, confident, and well socialized puppies that grow into beautifully trained spirited dogs. David has raised hundreds of puppies into highly trained adults. His approach to raising pups is a mixture of socialization, handling activities, training exercises, and games. His private puppy classes are chock-full of info and will teach you and your new pup extremely useful skills. In the information below you will find helpful tips as you raise your new puppy.


Pups Glacier and Karma making friends.


14 week old Zeppi learning a confidence building down request.

1. Socialize, socialize, socialize. It is incredibly important to introduce puppies to the world around them as early as possible. The young dog needs to encounter as many places, people, and experiences as possible. Use treats when introducing new people, places, or things. If you notice that your pup is frightened of anything, use treats to help them overcome their anxiety. The experiences that young pups have will be carried with them for their whole lives so it is absolutely critical to take the time to properly socialize your best friend. Because young pups are not fully vaccinated it is important to avoid areas where other dogs frequent. I like to visit friends homes, invite friends over to meet the new family member, and take the puppy to places like a shopping mall entrance to meet people and experience the world. Keep outings short and fun. Make sure the young pup isn’t overwhelmed. Always carry a treat pouch on these outings.


Fury accepting treats while socializing with an excited group of children.

2. Establish fun games like retrieve that you can play with your pup for their whole life. To encourage your pup to retrieve you can play a game of fetch with two toys. When your pup retrieves the first stick, you show her the new one in your hand. Your dog will run to you and drop the old stick in anticipation of you throwing the new one. Use a long leash, I like the a good long 30 foot line, to keep your best friend safe while teaching the motivational retrieve.


Boomer chasing his toy during a fun train and play session.

3. Teaching your young pup to use the bathroom outdoors is easy if you follow my puzzle building approach to house training. Each puzzle piece makes a complete picture in your young dogs mind and this communication creates success.

• Use a crate when your pup is unsupervised. The crate should be bed sized, not bedroom sized. I like to rotate my puppy from out and supervised to napping in the crate throughout the day.

• Catch your young dog in the act and rush outside to grass. Give your puppy plenty of soothing gentle praise once on the grass and always praise after a successful bathroom break outdoors. Use a request like “Hurry Up” to begin associating bathroom breaks with this phrase in your dogs mind. Never reprimand your puppy if you miss catching them in the act.


Glacier learning to down under his guardians leg.

• Clean accidents using an enzymatic cleaner. This will remove all trace of smell and prevent your young pup from going back to that same spot.

• Feed and exercise on a set schedule. By feeding and exercising at the same times each day your puppy will begin to develop a bathroom routine.

• In the wild, wolf pups are always supervised by a babysitter wolf. To house train properly, you must provide complete supervision. Use baby gates to keep your pup in the same room with you. Use a leash with a carabiner on the end to tether your dog to your waist. Rotate in and out of their crate throughout the day- provide a stuffed Kong in the crate.

4. Begin training using treats as positive rewards. The requests sit, down, stay, heel, and come can all be taught using treats and positive motivation. Additionally, tricks like turn around, roll over, beg, hup and off, and more are very easy to begin teaching using treats at this young age. Avoid any negative or corrective based training that may inhibit your puppies natural joy and love of life. Keeping everything positive and fun will help your young dog learn faster and be successful.


Karma practicing her sit request during a private pup session.

5. Crate training gives your puppy a safe place to call their own. In the wild, dogs are den animals. A crate mimics the den experience in their mind providing a sense of security. A pack that has a nice warm den is strong and giving your dog this assurance will help reduce anxiety as well. Never use the crate as a punishment and limit your dogs time spent in it to a reasonable amount (generally a max of 2-4 hours for young pups). This is a wonderful time to provide your dog with a stuffed Kong toy and always toss a treat inside the crate accompanied with a voice request like ‘in your house’. If left for longer periods of time, a fenced outdoor dog run or dog walking service should be used. Proper use of a crate can aid in housebreaking and problem behavior prevention. Please see my crate training article in the TIPS section of this website for more thorough information on successfully den training your pup.


Teaching Charlie to love his crate using treat rewards.

6. Handle your pups paws and toenails while providing a steady stream of treat rewards. You can get your pup used to the clippers by touching the nails one at a time while providing treat rewards. When ready to start trimming nails only snip off tiny amounts of toenail- Be sure NOT to cut their quick. A bad experience early on can mean that your puppy will develop a fear of nail trims. Consult with your veterinarian or dog trainer if you are nervous about clipping your puppies nails.


Teaching restraint using plenty of rapid rewards.

7. Teaching your puppy to relax while you hold them on their back will help make them easier to handle for their whole lives. To teach this hold your puppy on their back in your lap for a steady stream of treat rewards. Release them after 10-20 seconds and slowly build your pups time up. Use plenty of treats– you may need an assistant to help you.

By following these guidelines you will be well on your way to raising a canine companion who will be social, well behaved, and a member of your family for their whole life.

Join David for Kabler School For Dogs private puppy classes and be certain you are preventing behavioral problems before they begin. Learn how to properly socialize your new canine addition to unfamiliar people and environments. Make sure that your house training techniques are optimized for faster success. Also learn approaches for redirecting play biting and jumping. All of your questions will also be answered.

• House Training • Proper Socialization • Crate Training • Redirecting Play Biting & Jumping •Reward Based Obedience   Tricks , Games, and Play • Lots More!

David Kabler has been training dogs since he was a boy and founded Kabler School For Dogs in 1995. David is available for lessons at his training studio in Asheville, NC. Call today to schedule your dogs consultation. David will evaluate your pups personality, training needs and, at Kabler School For Dogs our consultations are absolutely free. (828) 337-5792


New puppies bring so much joy!