You fell in love with your little furball the moment you set eyes on it. But your new puppy may be all licks and cuddles at the moment; it takes time and effort to develop into a perfect pup. You’ll need to train it, equipping it with the skills necessary to interact successfully with humans and other animals throughout its life. Here’s how to get your canine companion off to a great start.
Give Your Puppy Some Time
Meredith Stepita, a veterinary behaviorist at UC Davis Veterinary Medicine, advises that puppies should not be weaned from their mothers and littermates until they are eight weeks old. Your puppy will require food, love, and affection from its mother during these first few weeks. It will be busy acquiring social skills and learning to play from siblings.
Littermates teach each other not to bite or play rough excessively, as well as how to tolerate frustration. This is also a time for your puppy to become familiar with new people and learn about pack dominance. These lessons will continue in the comfort of your own home.
Welcome Puppy Home
The first few days are exciting, as everyone gets to know one another and enjoys themselves. While interactions may appear amusing and playful, your puppy is engaged in understanding what to do, whether you know about it or not. If you bring a very young puppy into your home, it will feel vulnerable and will crave security, safety, and routine in addition to love.
Get a Crate
The place of your puppy crate should be secure, comfortable, and quiet. The crate should not be used for time-outs; instead, it should be used as a haven of solitude and security. Puppies having age below six months should not be crated for longer than two or three hours at a time, except during the night. Crates aid in housebreaking. Even tiny puppies dislike soiling their sleeping area.
An important factor in successful crating is the crate’s size. But if the crate is too large, your puppy will quickly learn to relieve himself on one side and sleep on the other. If it’s too small, he may feel cramped.
Only the size of the crate is not critical, but also the acclimation of your puppy. It’s recommended to throw treats into the crate to assist your puppy in associating them with positive reinforcement. Add a command to this behavior, such as “In!” or “Kennel Up!” Puppies as young as five weeks old can comprehend simple commands.
Potty Train Your Pooch
Early house training requires realistic expectations and calmness. Additionally, your diligence is critical. The more time you devote to your pup, the more capable you will be of rewarding and praising it when it eliminates in the correct location.
Your dog desires to please you, but don’t try to reason with him. This is unfair, as dogs do not process information in the same way that humans do. Scheduling regular feedings and potty breaks will aid in his rapid acquiring of this behavior. Never punish your pup for mishaps.
Teach Good Citizenship
The first sixteen weeks of a dog’s life are a critical period of development, during which socialization abilities can be obtained in earnest. This is the time to socialize your puppy with people of all shapes and sizes, as well as with other pets like cats and dogs.
You are carrying treats with you to distribute to individuals who will then distribute them to your puppy. This helps your dog associate positive things with all types of people and prevents him from becoming aggressive.
Combat Resource Guarding
Puppies may develop a sense of dominance over their food bowls, toys, or favorite people. Working with your puppy to eliminate protecting behaviors protects everyone, including your puppy. When your puppy is small, begin training it to associate you and other family members with pleasant things whenever you approach the guarded object. Typically, this is accomplished by offering him treats as you come. Always take precautions when children are near your puppy’s food or favorite toy.
Encourage Bite Inhibition
One of the most critical lessons is to teach puppies is not to bite. Behavioral issues such as biting are the primary reason animals are relinquished to shelters or euthanized.
Establishing your position as pack leader teaches your puppy that he must earn your respect and obedience to stop this behavior.
Provide Plenty of Exercises
Puppy development requires novel experiences. Contribute to your puppy’s mental stimulation by providing puzzle toys and appropriate playthings, as well as ample outdoor exercise. Boredom increases a dog’s tendency for aggressive or inappropriate behavior.
Your dog must understand his place in your home, but this can be accomplished only through consistency and a firm, loving hand. Only then will your puppy mature and develop into the best dog possible.