When bringing a new puppy into your home, speed bumps can be expected. With the proper training and setup, the challenge of raising a puppy can be exciting and rewarding. Those little balls of energy may seem daunting, but following these eight key points to conquering puppyhood will help you master the experience and enjoy every minute of it!
1. Puppy-proof Your Home
Before bringing a puppy into your home, you need to remember that your house was designed for you, not them! To them, those stairs look like a mountain, and the living room looks like a football stadium! Similar to the way that new parents make adjustments to their home to protect their babies, it’s important to modify any potential dangers in your house that a new dog might find interesting. Some important safety measure includes:
- Unplugging electrical outlets in your dog’s area
- Moving all food and medicine to safe and secure locations
- Making sure garbage cans are inaccessible to your dog
- Removing choking hazards from coffee tables or open shelves
- Barricading stairs that your dog may be able to reach
- Storing sharp objects in closed or high up locations
2. Create a Good Space for Your Dog
When entering your home, it’s important for your puppy to know what spaces are meant for them. Some rooms should be considered off-limits, and gates should be put up in doorways to keep your dog out. Most importantly, dogs need a space that is their home within your home.
Crates and playpens are the two main choices for this, and both have advantages and disadvantages. Crates provide a place where your puppy feels safe and is for relaxation. Although, it may take some time for them to like their crate. Playpens are spaces where a dog can let out its energy and be free. Often, both a playpen and crate are used in a home. This strategy allows for a dog to distinguish separate spaces for sleeping, playing, and relieving itself.
3. Consistently Use Their Name
Communication between owner and puppy is essential to promote positive behaviors in your dog. But before any training can take place, a puppy has to know when it is being called! Consistently using a puppy’s name will help them distinguish between when you want their attention and when you don’t. Establishing this greeting early on also helps eliminate the natural jumpy-ness in puppies. While they do so lovingly, jumping to get attention is a habit that should be approached at a young age.
4. Begin Basic Obedience Training Early
Once your puppy has settled into their new home, it is important to begin training at a young age. Basic obedience training is important in creating communication and discipline in your dog. This includes the basic dog commands such as sit, down, heel, come, climb, and place. Basic obedience training should occur daily, and our 15 session training program can teach you the techniques that work best for the individual relationship between you and your K-9 companion!
5. Understand Their Point of View
There are common “negative” tropes that get attached to puppies. Many are considered to be overly energetic, and spastic. Sometimes, puppies are wallflowers that are overly shy and limit their interactions with others. It’s important to recognize that any of these personalities are okay! Puppies are young and need time to develop an understanding of their surroundings. Not to mention, bringing a puppy into your house is exposing them to a whole new world of stimulating sensations that they aren’t used to! For puppies that are overly energetic or overly introverted, it’s important to visualize what they must be feeling. Being a puppy can be overwhelming, and it is our job as owners to recognize that.
6. Bite Down on Biting
Every dog owner’s nightmare is having their puppy grow up into a dog that bites. The good news is that with proper training, this is easy to overcome. Puppies use their mouths similarly to how we use our hands- it’s their way of exploring the world. They want to know what tastes good, what objects are fun to play with, and what to stay away from. Much of the time, puppies are trying to be playful when they bite. It’s important to set clear boundaries as to what is and is not a play object. Keeping a toy within reach is helpful for when your puppy begins to bite as you play together.
7. Expect the Unexpected
We’ve all seen those cute, and sometimes ridiculous, dog videos floating around the internet. Dogs are social and love to play, explore, and have fun! Puppies treat every opportunity as a chance to explore and learn about the world around them. As long as they do so safely, let them! Your puppy’s personality maybe a little quirky at times, perhaps they enjoy sleeping upside down as you watch tv, but it’s important to let them enjoy growing up.
8. Enjoy the Process
Just like how your puppy enjoys its time learning, you should enjoy your time teaching them! The connection between humans and K-9 is incredibly special, and it’s what we pride ourselves on creating. It may be difficult at times (you are likely to wonder how your puppy has so much energy in such a little body!), but it is important to have fun while interacting with your dog. That’s what it’s all about
Your Trusted Dog Trainer
Having trouble with your puppy or just don’t know where to start? Wolfen1 offers puppy training, basic obedience training, and in-home dog training with our certified trainers. Want to learn more? Give us a call at (203) 788-6148.