1. Socialisationdoesn’t just mean introducing your pup to other dogs, but introducing them to ABSOLUTELY EVEREYTHING you want them to take in their stride as adult dogs… traffic, children, animals of all shapes and sizes, the vacuum, the doorbell, the postman and everything else in their environment. This should be done BEFORE they are 12 weeks so if your pup hasn’t had their vaccinations, take them out and about in the car or in your arms to experience the world. Remember to do a few minutes every day


  1. Rewards Dogs don’t work for free!  They will only do what you want if you pay them well!  Payment could be a piece of chicken or cheese, praise and cuddles or a game with their favourite toy


  1. Training Never Ends whatever you teach your pup to do will need constant practice. Whether it’s sitting, waiting, toileting in the garden or coming when you call, don’t ever think you’ve cracked it!  Keep practising every day and keep rewarding them for the behaviour you want


  1. Teach them their Name it may sound obvious but make sure you teach your pup his/her name! Use it often and reward with praise or a tasty treat when they respond, even if it’s only a quick glance at you. Try calling his name when he’s busy with an exciting game.  Will he look at you?  Yes?  Reward with a treat


  1. Keep it Positive Please always use positive, reward-based training.   Quote from the RSPCA ‘Reward-based training is enjoyable for the dog and positively enhances the relationship between the dog and handler. Rewards may be in the form of a food treat, favourite chew toy, or verbal praise such as “good dog!” in a pleasant tone of voice, to be given when the dog performs the ‘good’ behaviour.  Reward-based training also involves generally ignoring any ‘unwanted’ behaviours. In this way, the dog is not rewarded for any unwanted behaviour. If dogs are not rewarded (i.e. receives no attention or treats) for a certain behaviour, then they tend to stop doing it.  Reward-based training is the most humane and effective way of training dogs and addressing any unwanted behaviours. Reward-based training does not involve aversive techniques, physical punishment or the assertion of dominance over the dog’


  1. Get Help don’t try to do it all on your own!  There is plenty of help out there.  Your vet will recommend puppy parties and classes, we have some great dog trainers in Leeds and Bradford offering puppy socialisation and training and your dog walker/carer will provide advice and contacts


  1. Recall if your dog will reliably come back to you when called, every time, wherever you are, you will never have any other problems!!  Your pup is never too young to start practising recall.  Start indoors, calling pup to you and giving loads of praise when they come running .  Once she’s good at this, try it in the garden where there may be more distractions. Once you’ve mastered this, try it in a quiet park or field.  Take a friend with you and let your pup practice running between you, short distances to start with, use an excited voice to call them and loads of praise for success!


  1. Classes Consider classes for your puppy/young dog.  Puppy training, obedience classes or maybe flyball or agility once they are old enough.  It will add interest to your dog’s life and keep their brain and body active.  A great way to meet other dog owners too!


  1. Be Patient however much you love your cute little pup, they can be infuriating at times, biting your fingers, stealing your socks, barking for attention or weeing in the house!  But remember, dogs DO NOT DO NAUGHTY THINGS TO ANNOY US!  Without enough training and constant guidance, they will just do what makes them happy.  So keep training, keep rewarding, keep getting help and keep your patience


  1. Don’t be tempted to overdo the exercise with your young pup! Your 4 month old cocker may SEEM like he needs to run for an hour to wear him out but please don’t let him.  You could damage his soft bones and unformed joints.  Wear him out with games instead and keep the walks shorter while he’s young. Ask your trainer for suggestions – some brain games at home will tire him as much as a long walk!




  1. Keep it Fun! most importantly, make sure your relationship with your pup is always fun! Keep training them, keep playing with them, be the most exciting thing in their world and become their best friend!