Have you ever thought... is my new puppy right for me? Or... is my puppy even trainable?
As soon as you bring your pup home, you can't help but notice their annoying puppy behavior like whining every 5 minutes, biting your hands, jumping on the couch, chewing up the furniture, and pooping on your floors.
Trying to maintain a balance between your professional career, your personal life, and being a new puppy parent can get a little overwhelming.
Hopefully, you can find some help with these tips.
- Get a crate. It makes house training incredibly easy.
- Let your puppy sleep in the same room with you for the first few nights. Since a new environment is new for your puppy too, it'll reassure them if you put the crate next to your bed.
- Baby gates are your friend. Use them to block him from rooms you don't want them in.
- Always keep your new puppy within eye sight! If you cannot watch them, put your puppy in their crate.
- Set up a small puppy "space" for when you can’t supervise. Pick a small area in your kitchen or living room and block it completely with baby gates.
- Pick a potty spot. Unless you want to pick up your puppy's mess from all over your back yard, it's a good idea to block off a spot for them to use.
- Set a daily routine. House training is easier if your puppy knows what to expect each day.
- Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do your research and always consult with your veterinarian before following internet advice.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page. Discuss the puppy rules with your whole family. Figure out who will do what and when. Pick one set of training cues and stick with them.
- Don’t encourage behavior that you’ll regret when they get big. Jumping up is cute when they weigh 10 pounds. It won’t be cute when they're 90 pounds.
- Get your pup used to handling from day one. Handling their feet, nails, tail, ears, mouth, teeth, and belly with love will be much appreciated by the vet.
- Start grooming early on. For the same reason as above.
- Let your puppy meet at least two new (friendly and gentle) people every day.
- Take your puppy to the pet store. This is great socialization opportunity.
- SLOWLY introduce your new puppy to new things. Introduce new experiences slowly and never let your puppy get overwhelmed. People in funny hats. Remote control cars. Kids playing. Agility equipment. Balloons. Cats. Car rides. Invite your friends and family to meet your new puppy... one at a time.
- Reward good behavior, don’t wait for bad behavior. Reward the puppy when you see them doing something you like. Don’t wait until they're misbehaving to give them attention.
- Avoid the dog park. In addition to putting your under-vaccinated puppy at risk for disease, most dogs at the dog park are quite rude by canine standards. A couple bad experiences could ruin your puppy’s opinion of their own species.
- Feed 2-3 small meals per day. Don’t leave food out for them to graze on.
- Pick up anything you don’t want destroyed. If it’s on the floor, it WILL be chewed. This is also a potential hazard... you don't them to choke on anything and especially don't want anything to get tangled in their tummy... pet surgeries are pricey.
- Get your puppy microchipped. It’s your best chance at being reunited with your dog if they ever get lost. You can get this done for around $25 at your vet or local shelter.
- Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. For example, teach your puppy to sit when greeting people. Don’t just yell at them for jumping on them. Unless you teach them what you want, they won't know.
- Watch your puppy’s poops. We know it may sound gross but it could save your puppy’s life. If you notice anything like diarrhea or blood, take your puppy to the vet ASAP.
- Provide appropriate toys. Don't get anything too small as this could be a potential choking hazard :-(