Quick Tips For The New Puppy Owner
If you have never had a puppy before, you might not know what to expect. Here are some puppy tips that you can use to help you through the process of getting used to your new little fur baby.
- Remember Their Age
A puppy is really just a toddler, so keep this in mind. Just like with a human toddler, they need to be taught what is right and wrong and they will make mistakes. Use positive reinforcement and consistency and they will get the hang of the house rules.
- Provide Lots Of Exercise
Your puppy needs time to play and run around, so give it to them. If you live in an apartment, be sure to take them for plenty of walks, but keep the distance reasonable. If you have a fenced yard, give them plenty of supervised play time. Remember, a tired puppy is less likely to be destructive in your home.
- Limit Their Reach
The last thing that you would want to do is give your new puppy full access to your home. Section off a small section and then gradually increase their space as they get acclimated. This will be particularly helpful with potty training since it will be much easier to keep an eye on your pup.
- Stay Calm
This is one of the most important puppy tips to keep in mind. Your puppy will make mistakes and overreacting will only make things worse. Be calm but assertive when they do something wrong. Correct them and then reward good behavior when they do something right. Remember, your puppy wants to please you, they just do not know any better.
- Attend Training Classes
You might think that you can handle puppy training, but if this is your first dog, you might be over your head. No matter how many puppy tips you read, training from a professional could significantly decrease the time it takes to train your dog. This is particularly useful with dogs like Great Dane puppies that grow fast and can quickly get out of control.
- Crate Training Can Be Useful
A crate can be a very valuable tool in training. It will become a secure place for your dog and can keep them out of trouble if you need to step out for a few hours. Be sure to limit crate time to 3 to 4 hours and if your puppy is reluctant, give them a special toy that they only see at crate time.
- Use A 6 Foot Leash
Avoid retractable leashes when you are training your dog, they are counter productive because they encourage your dog to pull. Stick with a 6 foot leash attached to a harness. Choose a harness that connects on the front because it will further discourage pulling.
- Make Socialization A Priority
You want to expose your dog to as many different situations and other animals as possible. Take them to pet friendly stores like Home Depot so that they can see that other people are not to be feared. Once they have all of their shots, gradually introduce them to the dog park. Start on a slow day and choose a park that separates animals by size. You do not want your small puppy mixing it up with German Shepherds.
- Start Potty Training Right Away
It is never too early to start potty training, so start as soon as you bring your puppy home. Pick one spot that you would like them to use and carry them to this spot once every 1-2 hours. Your puppy will need to go this often at first. Stick to the same spot to avoid confusion as to where they are supposed to go.
- Touch Their Feet & Mouth
Get your dog used to being touched on their feet and mouth. The next time that you have to take them to the vet, it will be a much less stressful time for them. It will also make it easier to do nail trimmings in the future.
- Make Sure Your Kids Have Boundaries
Children will be very excited to have a puppy in the home but this can cause problems. Kids need to know what they can and can not do. No ear and tail pulling and they need to give the puppy time to rest. A new puppy will need around 20 hours a day of sleep, but children rarely realize this.
- Make Sure Your Dog Can Potty On A Leash
If you have a fenced in yard, it is easy to just let your dog out to do their business, but they need to learn how to do it on a leash. When you travel or take your dog to the vet, it will be a valuable skill.