With this super weather I’ve been out and about a lot recently and seen so many gorgeous puppies with their proud humans. With so many pups around, I thought it was time to write up some puppy tips for starting life with a puppy.
TIPS FOR NEW PUPPY OWNERS
1. LOTS OF HANDLING
A dog is a part of the family, your pup will meet friends, family, strangers and even the postman. More importantly your pup will need to see the vet, take worming pills, be groomed and have baths. Think about preparing your pup for all these interactions and making sure that he/she gets used to it.
My boy Lex is a dream at the vets, with the neighbour’s kids and we can clip his nails easily. However, when it comes to grooming you only need to whisper ‘bath time’ and he bolts for the door. (If you don’t have an anti-bacterial dog bed, you might want to consider more regular baths too).
So, the earlier you can start with all these interactions, the more used to it your pup will be making life down the line a lot easier for you and less stressful for him/her. (To be fair, I just don’t think he’s a water dog – look at that tragic face).
2. TRAIN YOUR PUP’S BRAIN
Day to day you get busy and that means you chuck the kibble in the bowl and let your pup eat. It’s well worth the time to make your pup learn some commands and be rewarded with a meal. Keep him/her busy with some tracking, learning to stimulate the mind and body is special time with your pup and teaches him/her great life skills.
Always remember to measure food, pups need to grow and you don’t want them to be over (or under) fed. Your vet can talk you through the best diet for your dog depending on breed.
3. HOUSE-TRAINING IS NOT POTTY BUSINESS
It’s a heartbreaking fact that many dogs in shelters are there because of behavioural problems. Toilet training is serious business and all it takes is a little time and consistency.
We started out by having very specific times we the toilet – first thing in the morning, after each meal, after play and just before bed. We introduced a command and when he got it right, a little reward. Whilst your pup is very young, you should have a dedicated area for sleep and relax time so that you can keep an eye out. (We had Lex in the scullery area and used puppy training pads initially, worked a treat and he was house-trained in five days!)