So you got a new puppy?
1.) Be consistent. Yes, everyone says this, but it is 100% true! Start working with Fido from day one, and don’t let behaviors slide, or you will create confusion.
2.) Be patient. Puppies take a long time (about 2 yrs) to mature. They will go through phases of housetraining, fear periods, and figuring out what is acceptable. They will test limits many times, but just keep at it, you won’t be sorry!
3.) Socialize. I don’t just mean exposing Fido to different animals, people, places, etc. He should have a positive experience with those animals, people, and places, too! Good experiences as a pup = a confident adult dog. Work through scary situations to leave on a positive note, and your pup will learn to trust you. Fido’s Market loves to help socialize!
4. Housetraining. Fido can “hold it” approximately however many months he is up to 7 hours. (Ex: 4 months = 4 hours). If you can’t supervise, keep him in a puppy safe area such as an x-pen or gated laundry room. Create a potty schedule, and stick to it! Reward him generously for each success and allow some freedom in the house. Interrupt any accidents and immediately take your puppy outside. If you missed an accident, work on reading Fido’s signs, and edit your potty schedule. Remember that your pup likely needs to go after eating or a big drink, rough play, or upon awakening from a nap.
5.) Wear them out! Not so much physically, but mentally. Puzzles, frozen toppls, short walks in a new place, puppy safe chews, car rides, teaching tricks or obedience, and setting up play dates are some wonderful ideas! A tired pup is not only happy, but stays out of trouble.
***It is important to note that puppies should NOT get too much exercise. Not only can this cause over stimulation, but puppies joints are not fully developed until approximately 18 months of age. Too much stress on underdeveloped joints can lead to injury, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc. No forced running, biking, agility, intense games of fetch, or other extreme sport should be introduced until after that age unless you want to risk your pup’s health. Even then, they need to be conditioned to do those activities. Use common sense when it comes to working your pup.***
Hopefully, these tips will make you feel more at ease about working with your puppy. If you need help with Fido, feel free to contact us for the names of some wonderful trainers.
Until next time!!