Puppies. They are super cute, cuddly, playful and everyone wants one. But now that you’ve gotten your new puppy home, you realize this may be more work than you realized.
Puppies in reality are a lot of work and they take a lot of patience and commitment on your part. They bite, scratch, chew, poop and pee everywhere and are just misbehaved in general, but that’s the fun in having a puppy, right? You may wonder what in the world you’ve gotten yourself into, so here are some tips that can help you survive your puppy’s antics.
1. CRATE TRAIN YOUR PUPPY – Crate training is very helpful for house training and keeping your puppy and house safe when you can’t watch them.
2. GET ON A ROUTINE – Routines are important for any age dog. Establishing set times that your puppy will eat, play, and go outside helps a lot with house training.
3. USE BABY GATES – Baby gates are great because they keep your puppy out of rooms you don’t want them to destroy, like your living room with all that nice carpet perfect for peeing on and chewing.
4. SUPERVISE YOUR PUPPY – Don’t let them run wild. They are basically like a human child and you need to watch them. Otherwise they are going to do something you probably won’t like. When you can’t watch them, crate them.
5. ESTABLISH A POTTY SPOT – This is the place in your yard or wherever you choose that you take your puppy every single time you want them to relieve themselves. Taking them to the exact same spot every time encourages them to go there and not in your house. And don’t forget to praise!
6. GET YOUR PUPPY USED TO HANDLING – This one’s important, especially when it comes to their mouth, ears, and feet. Touching your puppy all over gets them used to being touched. Checking an adult dog’s teeth or trimming their nails is AWFUL when they hate to be touched in those places, so start early!
7. SOCIALIZE YOUR PUPPY – Let your puppy meet other animals and people frequently. Take them out to see the world. It will make your life difficult to have your puppy grow up to be fearful of new people, places or other animals.
8. USE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, NOT PUNISHMENT – Never use harsh punishment when your puppy does something bad, which may be frequently. Instead, firmly say “NO” and distract them with something else. For example, if you catch them chewing on your shoes, say “NO” and then give them one of their toys to chew on. Or if you catch them peeing on the floor, say “NO” and then take them straight outside to their Potty Spot, let them finish if they need to, then praise them. Punishment never helps any situation and will only make your puppy fearful of you.
9. DO NOT FREE FEED YOUR PUPPY – This applies to adult dogs, too. Instead of giving your puppy a big bowl of food to eat until they explode, give them 2-3 meals per day. Once they get older, make it 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner. Feeding meals also helps you know when your dog isn't feeling well; if they don't eat you know something's wrong.
10. SCHEDULE A VET VISIT WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK OR TWO – This is important because your puppy will need several vet visits to get their necessary vaccinations. It’s also important because if an emergency were to happen, your puppy is already registered with the vet.
11. PROVIDE LOTS OF TOYS – Puppies chew. It’s what they do. So, if you don’t want them chewing on your carpet or shoes, get them a variety of chew toys and bones. When you do get them toys and bones, always remember that bigger is better in this case. Small toys and bones that seem like the right size are choking hazards.
12. LEASH TRAIN YOUR PUPPY – Starting leash training early will only improve your walks later. Use treats and your best happy voice to encourage your puppy to walk on the leash.
13. TAKE YOUR PUPPY FOR CAR RIDES – To help your puppy not be fearful of cars and reduce car sickness, take them for a ride around the block every now and then. Use praise and treats to make it a fun experience!
14. TAKE A PUPPY TRAINING CLASS – Enrolling your puppy in a training class is a good way to bond with your puppy. You’ll build trust and your pup will learn some manners, too!
15. START ALL OF THESE TIPS NOW! – It’s never too early for your puppy to start learning and experiencing life! The first few months of their life are crucial!
For more information on house training read "House Training Tips"
For more information on crate training read "Crate Training Tips"
For more information on picking a good food for your puppy read "Dog/Cat Food: Does the Brand Matter?"