Puppy Training 101: Your Guide to Averting Chaos
When you first bring your fur baby home, you don’t want to let him out of your arms for even a second. All you want to do is cradle him and go down for a good nap with your new snuggle buddy. But puppies are playful creatures. While they may be good with snuggling during nap time, they’re going to want to have some fun and explore during their waking hours.
Like any new pet parent, you’re going to need to teach Moose the rules of the house. He will need to learn where his potty spot is, how to walk on leash, and get comfortable with his crate training.
Raising a dog isn’t easy; it takes patience, understanding and love. Accidents are going to happen and mistakes are going to be made, but you’ll be in it together.
Agree on How to Train the Puppy
The very first thing you need to do before you even get a puppy is to discuss with your partner, roommates or family how the puppy training will work. Here’s a list of questions in addition to the questions below that you should ask before bringing a new puppy home:
-Do we have the budget for dog food, treats and toys?
-Do we have the budget for an unexpected veterinary bill?
-Will the puppy be allowed on the furniture?
-Where will the puppy sleep?
-What time(s) will the puppy eat?
-Where will the puppy stay when everyone is at work?
Once the household has come to an agreement over the above issues, it’s time to scour the internet to find your newest family addition.
Puppy training guide, Perfect Paws, notes that “security and routine” are what is most important in the puppy’s first few weeks with you in his new home. Having been separated from his mother and litter mates, the puppy’s first week is going to be a little “ruff” on him. Because of this it is important to establish a routine right away. This will help settle your puppy into the fray of the home.
If the puppy starts chewing on a coffee table leg or favors a particular spot on the carpet for potty time, do not let them get away with it. If you do not discipline the puppy for poor behavior, they will not learn that it is wrong.
Discipline does NOT mean using scare tactics or hitting your puppy. It means teaching your puppy to play in another way. Perfect Paws recommends that if you catch the puppy chewing on an item they are not supposed to, firmly tell them no, and show the puppy one of his toys instead. When the puppy picks up the toy to play with, lavish praises upon the dog. This will tell the dog that it’s okay to chew on his toys, and not the furniture—but understand this may take a few times.
According to The Humane Society of the United States, crate training harmonizes with a puppy or dog’s predisposition as a den animal. The crate acts as the dog’s den, protecting him from danger and providing him a comfortable place to sleep. The Humane Society of the United States tells us that there are two important things to remember when crate training our newest furry family member:
-Crate training should happen over a period of time
-Crate training should be associated with something positive
Here are some steps to get you started on your crate training:
Step 1: Introduce the puppy to his new crate. Line the crate with a small dog bed, blankets and toys. This will tell the puppy it’s his space for sleeping and playing.
Step 2: Time the crating periods. Have your puppy take his naps in the crate, and let him out to go the bathroom. This help to create the routine a new puppy needs. When he wakes up, he will wait for you to let him out and to go outside to the bathroom. At night, start by taking your puppy out to the bathroom when he whines to be let out. As the weeks progress, begin to ignore the whining. This will tell the puppy it’s not time to get up or go potty. Dogs do not like soiling where they sleep. This will also help your pup to learn not to go inside the house.
Step 3: Begin to leave the crate door open at night. Your puppy will not need to be crate trained forever. If the puppy stays in his crate all night, even with the door open, you will know that it’s time to replace the crate with his very own monogrammed dog bed. Every dog is different when it comes to this last step. Our puppy took six months before we left the door open for her.
As soon as you bring your puppy home, set up a veterinary appointment with your local vet. Establish a vaccine plan with the vet and set up routine checkups. Update the puppy’s pet ID tag to show that he is updated on all of his shots, and never leave the house without first making sure your puppy is wearing a dog collar. Dog collars are a necessary doggie accessory as it holds your dog’s vaccine records, name and your contact information should the two of you ever be separated. Nothing is more terrifying than being separated from your dog and not knowing where he is.
Puppy training isn’t for the lazy or faint of heart. Every dog deserves an owner who will love and protect them. If you’re ready to take that next step, go for it.
Filed under: Puppies
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