Have you just welcomed home a puppy or know someone who has? Check out this week’s Top Tips and Advice from our team here at Devon Dogs.

Tip 1: Ditch the food bowl!

Straight away we want to work on building a great relationship with our puppy, so most of their food is earned directly from us. In fact, you will very quickly find that there really isn’t enough food in the day for your puppy with all the fun and games you can be playing with them! We use all of our daily food in teaching them key life skills through the use of games and promote CONFIDENCE, and ENGAGEMENT and that being around us is FUN and really great things happen! It’s all about growing that relationship with your puppy from the get-go!

Tip 2: Teach your puppy to love going in a play pen or crate

When we aren’t working with, or supervising our pups directly, or very close by, it’s super important to give them a safe place to be – one where they learn to be calm and relaxed and one that they are safe from the world and the world is safe from them too.

Tip 3: Teach your puppy it’s fun to be handled

    • Training your puppy to be really comfortable when being handled whether that’s by you or someone novel to them is a crucial life skill for a number of reasons…
    • If your dog needs to be checked over by a vet
    • Nail trimming, ear cleaning, brushing, grooming, clipping, massage, osteopath, physio, and general day to day maintenance
    • Basic care and welfare, especially if you ever need it for rehabilitation or convalescence for your dog

Tip 4: Puppy biting is normal!

All puppies go through a puppy biting phase, it is often at its worse when puppies are teething. Biting can also be a sign of tiredness too, so ensure you puppy is getting plenty of rest. If you’re in the moment of a frenzied puppy biting episode, either redirect your puppy on to a toy, a chew, a stuffed kong – give your puppy an activity. When redirecting your puppy onto an activity, the key is how you deliver the activity. Remember, you want your puppy to calm down so redirect your puppy on to something in a calm way!

Tip 5: Toilet Training Success

With regards to house training: Be vigilant – watch for the signs they never hide that they need to go there are always the obvious signs, spinning, looking agitated, sniffing, pausing….be vigilant! The younger and smaller the puppy, the smaller the bladder. If they are generally active then they may need to go as often as every 15-30 minutes, not so much when they are sleeping but definitely when they are active. Keep a close eye on them! Don’t leave it to chance and take your puppy out more regularly rather than less and make sure you take them out at different times during the day.

We hope you enjoy these training tips, and just to let you know that we are also offering online classes where you can join us and train your dog from the comfort of your own home. And if you want specific advice on any training issues, check out our Behaviour Consult Calls and Zoom Training Calls. To learn more about how we can help, visit our website, or email us HERE.


Have you just brought home a bundle of puppy joy? Or are you keen to give agility or obedience a go? Or do you have a dog training challenge that you want to crack? Here at Devon Dogs we cover all aspects of dog training. Our puppy and new dog life skills classes offer a holistic approach to getting the basics right, after all getting it right from the start is key. If you wanted to push forward with your training and give agility or obedience a go we welcome everyone no matter your experience level. With our help you will extend your knowledge and passion and strengthen your relationship with your dog. Whether you want to train with us for fun and fitness or find you would like to take your new skills to competition level, our Devon Dogs trainers are able to cater for all levels and aspirations.