New Puppy - Top Tips
1. When you first bring your new puppy home try not to overpamper it, particularly on the first night. Don\'t go rushing in every time he whimpers or whines. If you do, your puppy will think that crying brings attention.
2. Remember bonding with your puppy the first couple days are very important. Just play around and get to know each other well.
3. Puppies have to go to the toilet a lot more often than adult dogs so make frequent trips outside. Also, when going outdoors, go to a particular area of your garden and wait for the puppy to do his "business" before playing in other spots. This will help in general housebreaking and also make cleaning up a lot easier.
4. Always remain outside with your puppy until it does its business. Stay alongside him/her, and be sure to praise it when it eliminates. You may even want to occasionally give a small treat.
5. If you notice your puppy starting to eliminate indoors, make a quick, loud sound to interrupt it, and then take it outside. Remember, no scolding or rebuking.
6. When your puppy messes indoors make sure you clean the spot as thoroughly as possible. A thorough cleaning is important because it will help reduce the chance of the puppy using the same spot in the future.
7. As frequently as possible, and particularly if your puppy is not completely housebroken, clean up puppy poo while it is still fresh. This provides the opportunity to check for parasites or possible foreign materials. If you notice these, blood, mucous or an extremely foul odour, take your puppy and a stool sample to the vets as soon as possible.
8. When you are training your puppy, make sure there aren\'t any distractions such as a lot of people or other animals around. It will make it difficult for your puppy to focus.
9. If your puppy is at least 8 weeks old you may want to consider beginning crate training at this time. The crate should be large enough for the puppy to turn around in, but not so large that it can make a separate spot in a corner to do its business.
10. Put an article of your clothing in the crate with him. Your scent should help relax him and make him feel more comfortable.
11. Teach your dog as many specific commands for as many independent situations as possible. Your dog can remember a lot of words and both your lives will be considerably easier the more often your dog truly understands exactly what you expect from him.
12. Avoid overly general commands like "no" as often as you can. It\'s difficult for your dog to understand what you want from them when you use this type of general terminology. The dog just understands that you are displeased and can have huge misconceptions as to why you are actually upset.
13. Puppies are sensitive to your emotions. If you are upset or having a bad day, do not introduce new commands or objects. For example, if you\'ve had a bad day at the office and start introducing your puppy to loud noises, the pup may easily interpret the stress emanating from you to mean that loud equates to scary. Wait until you are in "neutral" and can be patient and encouraging.
14. Make sure you congratulate your puppy and praise him for doing good but correct him when he messes up. Make sure that he feels praise and gets treats for his good behaviour.
15. Dogs can be uncomfortable with a limitless range of different situations. Forcing your dog into a situation they aren\'t comfortable with can lead to fearful aggression, growling and even serious attacks.
16. Training a puppy takes a lot of time and constant repetition. You may have to say and do something consistently for a very long time before your puppy catches on.
17. Puppies learn better when you don\'t try to teach too much at one time. Make the sessions short and always end on a good note. Make sure the training is fun for the puppy and he will learn faster and will be more eager to please. If the pup is having difficulty with one exercise, end on a good note and try again another day.
18. Make sure all household members agree on the rules for the new puppy. From the minute your puppy joins the family, everyone should be using the same command, enforcing the same boundaries and rewarding positive behaviour. If one person allows the dog on the sofa and another reprimands the animal for this behaviour you will confuse the dog and can even teach him to manipulate and take advantage of certain family members.
19. Be careful what you do around your puppy. Digging up weeds from your flower bed may be a chore for you but your puppy may find it\'s a great way to learn about digging holes.
20. Feed your puppy the same kind of food every day. Unlike humans, a dog\'s digestive system cannot handle changes in food. It can cause an upset stomach.
21. When switching to a new food, gradually get him used to the new food by mixing portions of both foods until you slowly phase the old food out. Your puppy may experience tummy problems if his food is suddenly changed.
22. Don\'t be alarmed if your puppy\'s appetite changes. It is normal for your puppy to lose his appetite or experience digestive upset occasionally. If your puppy\'s upset stomach becomes severe or last longer than a day or two, contact your vet.
23. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors you will need to keep on top of deworming them. This is as easy as giving them a pill to eat, or sprinkling some liquid on their food. This can be picked up at your local pet shop.
24. Wash your dogs ears ever week, or even more often. Keeping his ears clean will prevent ear infections, ear mites and a host of other potential problems.
25. If your puppy exhibits periodic behaviours or symptoms, begin a diary. List the day, time, symptom, what happened a few days before, etc. From skipping meals to occasional scratching, your diary can provide important information and clues to your vet.
26. Keep your puppy occupied. A bored dog can be a destructive dog. Toys are important to stimulate a puppy\'s brain activity. Choose items that won\'t confuse your puppy. Chew toys that look like shoes are not a good idea!
27. A well-exercised and worn out puppy is one less likely to get into trouble. Take lots of walks, and let your dog see the world. When you\'re ready for bed, your puppy will be too and that helps everyone sleep.
28. Puppies are little balls of energy. However, they also need plenty of rest. Don\'t set your expectations too high. Let your puppy have plenty of "down time".
29. Children and puppies can be the best of friends or the dog can learn to hate children. Supervise your children when they play with your puppy. Ensure your children never tease or torment the pup. When the puppy has had enough play, give it space and a quiet place to sleep.
30. Just remember that your dog doesn\'t think like you, they have different behavioural patterns and instincts. You may very well be training your dog not to do something that they are instinctively programmed to do like jumping, barking and digging.