So you have just come home from the shelter with your new puppy and realized you know next to nothing about raising a dog. And let us face it, puppy training classes are expensive, not everyone has the time, and they do not always guarantee results. Luckily for you, we have put together a few tips to help you and your new puppy have the best life possible together!
Socializing your puppy is a very important part of training, as it prepares him for interacting with other dogs and all sorts of environments in which he will thrive. If you do not do this, it can lead to behavioral problems like anxiety, aggression, and excessive barking – and we are pretty sure you do not want that!
Dogs often do better when they have a set daily routine. For example, plan to feed your pup at the same time every day, and then make sure he goes outside right away. This makes housetraining much easier, because he’ll always have a set time to do his business!
This is a pretty obvious point, because we are pretty sure it was already on your priority list to begin with. Get in the habit of feeding your puppy at the same times of the day (as mentioned above), and then take him outside as soon as he’s finished eating. And of course, always reward him with treats and praise when he goes outside!
It can be tempting to get angry when your puppy has an accident in the house or when he chews up your new couch. But remember that scolding or punishing does not do much, and is more likely to scare or confuse him. Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior with treats and praise.
Puppies are ready to learn basic obedience commands as soon as you bring them home. So you can start teaching them things like “sit,” “stay,” and “lie down” to teach them good manners early on. And again, always use positive reinforcement!
Crates are important when you can not supervise your pup or when you just want him out of the way for a few minutes. However, to make him comfortable in the crate, you’ll need a little practice, patience, and positive reinforcement. If you do everything right, the crate might even become his new favorite place in the house! Note: Do not make a habit of leaving him in the crate for extended periods of time!
Chewing is a normal part of being a dog. It’s even good for the dog’s teeth, so you should not discourage him from doing it. Instead, teach him what things are appropriate for chewing. If you see your dog chewing on something he should not, do not scold him, but replace it with an appropriate toy like a bone or a Kong filled with peanut butter.
Some dog breeds need more mental stimulation than others. If you do not give it to them, it can lead to separation anxiety, aggression or other behavioral problems. To avoid this, make sure you always provide your dog with something to play with when you are not around so he’s not left to his own devices. (Note: Did you know that there are now puzzles for dogs)?
It’s important to get your dog used to being alone sometimes, because realistically you can not be there for him 24/7, especially if you work in an office during the day. This means that you should not coddle your pup every time he cries at night, no matter how much it breaks your heart. And, of course, you should give him plenty of love when you get home after a long day at work – after all, he probably thinks you were planning to leave him for good!