How to Train a Harrier Dog Puppy

Bringing a new puppy home is always exciting! Harrier puppies are energetic, friendly, and eager to please. With proper training and socialization from a young age, they make wonderful family companions. Here are some tips for successfully introducing your Harrier puppy to your home:

Choose a safe, confined area like a crate or small room to keep the puppy when you can't directly supervise. Puppies are naturally inclined to chew and have accidents until properly house trained. Limiting access prevents bad behaviors and keeps the puppy secure. Provide toys and chews to occupy them when crated.

Puppy proof your home by removing dangers and valuables. Harriers are curious and energetic, which can lead to accidents and destruction. Put away loose cables, toxic plants, medications, and anything you don't want chewed. Install baby gates to restrict access to some areas.

Establish a routine immediately for feeding, play, training, and elimination. Puppies thrive on structure and it aids house training. Take the puppy out upon waking, after eating, after playing, and every 1-2 hours at first. Praise and reward when they go in the right spot.

Introduce the pup to all family members, pets, and your home gradually. Too many new things at once can be overwhelming. Make introductions calm and positive. Supervise all interactions with children and pets initially.

Be patient and consistent. Puppies will have accidents and naughty moments as they learn. Stick to the routine and reinforce good behaviors, the puppy will catch on! These first few weeks set the foundation for training.

House Training Your Harrier Puppy

House training is one of the most important things to work on with a new Harrier puppy. Harriers are fairly easy to housebreak with consistency and positive reinforcement. Here are some house training tips:

  • Set a schedule. Take puppy out first thing in morning, after naps, playtime, meals, and every 1-2 hours. Praise and treat for outdoor potties. The schedule develops a natural rhythm.

  • Choose a bathroom spot outside and take puppy there every time on a leash. Always go to the same spot initially. Use a command like "go potty." Give treats when they go in the right place.

  • Look for signs puppy needs to go – circling, sniffing, squatting. If seen, immediately take them out to their potty spot and praise when finished. This teaches them to communicate need.

  • Supervise constantly when puppy is loose in the home. Limit access if you can't watch them. Confine to a crate or pen when you're unable to supervise. Puppies should not be loose unattended.

  • If you catch the puppy in the act of an accident inside, interrupt with a firm "no." Then immediately take them outside to their potty spot to reinforce where to go. Clean all accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to remove odor.

  • Use crates strategically. Dogs naturally avoid soiling in their crate. Crates can be used to reinforce good potty habits when you can't supervise directly.

  • Prevent mistakes when unsupervised. Close doors, use baby gates, and consider tethering puppy to you with a leash when loose at first. The more good habits you reinforce, the quicker they'll be trained.

  • Be positive and consistent. Never punish for accidents. It can frighten the puppy and delay training. Firm praise for outdoor potties will get the message across better. Patience and consistency are key!

Crate Training Your Harrier

Crate training is highly beneficial for Harrier puppies. When introduced positively, crates become a cozy sanctuary for rest and alone time. Crate training aids housebreaking and gives you peace of mind when you can't supervise your pup. Follow these tips for crate success:

  • Choose the right size crate. Large enough for puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Not too big they can potty in one corner. Consider an adjustable divider to size up as they grow. Place the crate in a central living area.

  • Make it cozy and positive. Add a blanket, chew toys, and treats. Feed meals inside and praise when puppy enters voluntarily. Play crate games and randomly give treats to build a positive association.

  • Use the crate strategically. When you're away, unable to supervise, at bedtime, and any time you can't actively engage puppy. Vary durations – don't only crate when leaving. This prevents negative associations.

  • Prevent long crating periods. Puppies under 6 months shouldn't be crated over 2-3 hours. Schedule sitters, dog walkers, or consider doggie daycare for longer work days. Puppies need socialization, training, and appropriate exercise daily.

  • Ignore whines and barks. Only let puppy out when quiet to reinforce calm behavior. Expect some fussing at first until they accept the crate as their den space.

  • Make it rewarding. Provide stuffed Kongs, safe chew toys, and treats randomly and when crating. You want puppy to have positive feelings when entering the crate.

  • Maintain consistency. Stick to the crate schedule. It teaches a routine and builds bladder control. Use the crate at bedtime from day one. Dogs take comfort sleeping in their crate.

Follow these guidelines and your Harrier will take to their crate with ease. Proper crate training creates a lifetime skill that benefits you and your dog.

Socializing Your Harrier Puppy

The most critical time for puppy socialization is between 3 weeks and 4 months old. Exposing Harrier puppies to new places, people, dogs, and experiences during this period is vital to raising a confident, friendly dog. Follow these tips:

  • Enroll in a positive-reinforcement puppy kindergarten class. Structured classes provide safe, supervised socialization and training during the prime period. Choose classes using reward-based methods.

  • Arrange controlled play sessions with vaccinated, gentle adult dogs that are puppy-savvy. Positive play teaches good manners and bite inhibition. Avoid dog parks and introducing off-leash until older.

  • Expose puppy to new environments – city streets, pet stores, parks, elevators, cars. Go slowly and make experiences positive with praise and treats. Novel things build confidence.

  • Introduce puppy to many different people – children, elderly, men, people of diverse appearances. Ensure kids know how to approach appropriately. Reward pup for friendly greetings.

  • Hand feed meals and treats while petting and handling puppy frequently. Teach them to enjoy being touched everywhere – paws, ears, tail. Regular handling prevents sensitivity.

  • Use sounds CDs and videos to acclimate puppy to loud noises like fireworks, thunder, appliances. Play at low levels at first to avoid frightening them. Pair with treats.

  • Avoid overloading puppy with too many new experiences. Short, structured exposures work best. Watch for signs of fear or stress like cowering. Don't force interactions.

  • Keep early socialization positive. New things should be paired with praise and rewards. The goal is to build puppy's confidence in handling, environments, and other stimuli.

Proper socialization during this developmental stage will help your Harrier pup grow into a well-adjusted, happy dog. Be sure not to miss this opportunity!

Training and Reinforcing Basic Commands

Harrier puppies thrive when they have structured training to learn basic manners and commands. Training reinforces the behaviors you want from your pup while strengthening your bond. Here are some training tips:

  • Begin training early and do short, frequent sessions – a few minutes several times a day. Puppies have limited attention spans. End on successes to build their confidence.

  • Use reward-based methods like treats, praise, play. Food rewards are very motivating for training puppies. Mark and reward all desired behaviors.

  • Prioritize socialization, name recognition, and potty training first. Then focus on commands like come, sit, stay, down, leave it. Build up distractions and duration slowly.

  • Work on impulse control. Teach puppy to wait politely at doors, for food, for petting. This lays groundwork for more complex training.

  • Only give commands you can enforce. For example, don't recall puppy unless you can ensure they'll come back to you. Set them up for success.

  • Make training fun! Incorporate games and toys to maintain puppy's engagement and motivation. Training sessions should be enjoyed by both of you.

  • Be consistent in your verbal cues, hand signals and what you reinforce. Everyone in the household should use the same commands. Consistency prevents confusion.

  • Gradually shape behaviors by reinforcing small increments of progress. Mark and reward when puppy gets closer to the desired response.

  • Avoid physical corrections or punishment like leash jerks. This damages trust and can cause behavior issues down the road. Reward-based methods work best long-term.

Regular short training sessions will help form good manners, commands, and a strong bond with your Harrier puppy. Keep things positive and enjoy this special stage!

Exercise Needs for Harrier Puppies

As a high energy hunting breed, Harrier puppies need adequate daily exercise to stay physically and mentally fit. Exercise helps avoid problem behaviors and reinforces good habits. Here are some exercise guidelines:

  • From 8-12 weeks, exercise should be mostly free play in the yard with toys, exploring surfaces, and short walks around one block. Avoid forced exercise.

  • Between 3-6 months, build up to 30-60 minutes of activity split into multiple sessions – several short walks, play time in fenced areas, and training games that incorporate physical and mental exercise.

  • Activities can include walking, playing fetch, meeting friendly/vaccinated dogs for play, short hikes on soft surfaces, supervised off leash time in safe areas. Monitor for signs of fatigue.

  • Avoid intense exercise like jogging or repetitive motions like stairs until growth plates have closed, around 12-18 months old. Potty breaks do not count as structured exercise time due to lower intensity.

  • Engage puppy's nose and mind. Scatter feeding, sniff walks, tracking games, and food puzzles provide mental stimulation. This is just as tiring as physical exercise for puppies.

  • Beyond structured activity, allow free play and exploration time indoors and outside. Puppies exercise themselves through natural play and curiosity.

  • Establish an enriching routine. Alternate physical exercise, training, free play, and rest periods throughout the day. Puppies sleep a lot and need their naps!

  • Adapt exercise as puppy grows up. Adult harriers need 60+ minutes daily. Transition from puppy exercise to meeting adult needs after maturity.

The exercise needs of each Harrier puppy can vary. Monitor energy levels and adjust accordingly. Laying this foundation sets up healthy habits into adulthood.

Preventing Problem Behaviors

Harrier puppies are exuberant and energetic by nature. Without proper training and management, problem behaviors can develop. Prevention is key – here are some tips:

  • Provide adequate physical and mental exercise daily to avoid destructive and hyperactive behaviors. Bored Harriers become unruly Harriers.

  • Stick to a consistent schedule and routine. Dogs thrive when they know what to expect day-to-day and don't get too much freedom too soon. This prevents anxiety.

  • Reinforce training and manners consistently. Dogs perform unwanted behaviors because they get rewarded – even with attention. Identify what the puppy gets out of their naughty behaviors.

  • Redirect chewing onto appropriate items. Use praise and treats to reinforce chewing on their own toys instead of inappropriate items. Keep plenty of chews available.

  • Manage the environment and supervise, supervise, supervise! Don't give puppy the chance to rehearse bad habits like chewing the couch. Confine or tether when you can't actively engage.

  • Ignore unwanted attention seeking behaviors. Reward calmness and relaxation instead through praise, petting or treats. Puppies learn behaviors that get them what they want.

  • Avoid using punishment like scolding or corrections. This can harm your bond with puppy. Instead, reward wanted behaviors so the good ones become habits.

  • Be patient and persistent. Puppies will make mistakes – that's how they learn! Stay calm and consistent in your training. Progress may be slow but worth the investment.

Implementing structure, training, exercise and management from day one will help prevent many puppy problems before they start. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure!

Biting and Nipping

It's completely normal for Harrier puppies to mouth and nip during play. They learn bite inhibition from their littermates. Since they don't have thisfeedback from other puppies now, you'll need to teach polite mouthing. Here's how:

  • Provide appropriate chew toys whenever puppy gets mouthy during play. Praise and reward them for switching to chewing the toy instead.

  • Say "ouch!" in a high pitched voice when pup nips too hard and immediately end play. Walk away and ignore them for 30-60 seconds. This teaches biting ends fun.

  • Avoid jerking away or physically punishing for biting. This can make them bite harder. The removal of attention is most effective.

  • don't play tug of war or wrestle with your hands. Only play with designated tug toys, so they don't associate hands with biting.

  • If biting continues past the puppy stage, redirect to a toy then leave the room entirely for 2-3 minutes if needed to teach that mouthing humans ends all interaction.

  • Make sure puppy is getting adequate physical and mental exercise. Overtired Harrier puppies are prone to extra nippy behavior. Enforce naps.

  • Praise puppy for licking fingers or being gentle when taking treats. Reinforce soft mouthing and turn biting into a cue for something positive.

  • Avoid scolding, hitting, or sticking fingers down their throat. This can make biting worse by scaring them or revving them up.

  • Be patient! The mouthing phase can last up to 6 months as puppies teethe. Gentle, consistent redirection is the keys to curbing nippy behavior.

With diligence, Harrier puppies can learn to play without painful biting long-term. Stick to the training tactics and they'll get the message.

Dealing With Separation Anxiety

It's common for Harrier puppies to develop separation anxiety as they bond closely to their families. Separation anxiety causes distress behaviors when left alone. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Begin leaving puppy alone in increments from day one, starting with seconds to a minute. Pair with treats and praise. Slowly build alone time duration.

  • Practice low-key departures and arrivals. Avoid fanfare which can reinforce anxiety upon your return. Come and go without much reaction.

  • Provide exercise, potty break and enrichment right before departures so puppy is relaxed. Stuffed, food puzzles are great endorphins.

  • Use calming aids like Adaptil pheromone diffusers or calming music to soothe anxiety when alone initially. Lavender scent can also calm.

  • Crate train puppy so they have a safe space when alone. It should never feel like punishment. Give special chews or toys for the crate only.

  • Ensure puppy has nothing dangerous or valuable to destroy when alone. Prevention avoids reinforcing the behavior. Confine if needed.

  • Vary your routine so puppy doesn't pinpoint obvious departure cues like grabbing keys or putting on shoes. Keep arrivals & exits low-key.

  • Seek guidance from a vet or trainer if separation anxiety persists. Mild anxieties can escalate over time. Early intervention is best.

  • Never punish puppy upon return for anxiety-related destruction. This reinforces their fear. Scolding won't address the underlying cause.

With time, patience and positive associations, your Harrier puppy can gain independence and learn how to relax on their own as they gain confidence. Be consistent in your approach to prevent separation distress.

Leash Training

Harriers love to run and follow their noses. Learning leash manners is essential for going on adventures together. Follow these tips:

  • Introduce the collar and leash inside letting pup drag it around while supervised. Pair with treats so they have a positive association.

  • Next have pup on leash while engaging in play or treats. Move onto doing regular activities leashed like eating or playing with toys.

  • Take puppy outside on leash to potty before attempting walks. Let them explore and acclimate while staying positive.

  • Start with short 5 minute walks close to home in low distraction areas. Bring treats and engage puppy as you walk. Keep sessions short and sweet.

  • Work on loose leash walking by giving treats when puppy walks near your side versus pulling forward. Use command like "let's walk" when training.

  • Stop or change directions when leash gets tight. Reward with treats and praise when leash loosens up again. Moving forward is the reward.

  • Use high value treats or fun squeaky toys to keep puppy engaged with you on walks. Keep their attention on you, not distractions.

  • Be patient and consistent. Leash manners take a lot of repetition, especially for highly distractible scenthound breeds. Keep sessions short and end on successes.

  • If pulling is highly problematic, consider a front-clip harness which automatically turns puppy back towards you if they pull. Never use choke chains or punishment though.

With time and consistency, your Harrier puppy will become a pro leash walker! Patience through the puppy leash antics pays off.

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