You have a new member of your family, a tiny furry four-legged creature that is full of unconditional love and that will be with you for years to come. But that new puppy can wreak havoc on your home, garden, and relationships with friends and neighbours if not properly trained. For the sake of a happy home and a contented puppy, training is a necessity. The right approach, combined with some professional dog obedience training, will ensure that your new family member will fit right in.
Introducing a puppy to your home is an exciting and happy time, it can also bring a lot of changes for your home and family, especially if it’s your first dog, you may need to move furniture around and make your home more dog-friendly, or maybe change your routine to make sure you are available to exercise, train and feed your new dog. Out of all the dogs I have owned three of them I got as puppies, each one was different in their personalities, but I found that generally the way I trained them was pretty much the same, so today I just want to share some tips for bringing home a new pup.
1. A Puppy Is Like A Baby
First and foremost puppies are cute and cuddly. They melt your heart with their big eyes and just one look will have you giving into them every time. But, in doing so you will likely end up with a spoiled puppy that when a full grown adult could cause you problems, rather than the loyal best friend you were hoping for.
Just like children, you will need to watch over your puppy. They love to explore and they are likely to get into things that they shouldn’t. This could result in them being injured or even poisoned if they eat something that they shouldn’t of that they find left around. Puppies use their mouths to explore everything around them, so if something has an interesting taste or texture, they are likely to chew on it or eat it. So things like electrical cords, cupboards where cleaning products or your own food is stored, should be locked and kept out of reach.
So, what can you do if you can’t be there all the time to watch your puppy? Make barriers to stop them from going into areas that you don’t want them to be in, baby gates are perfect to block off certain rooms or the stairs. I have baby gates in some of the doorways of my house I rarely close them now but they are still there if I should need to, but in the early days of having a puppy I found them to be one of the best purchases I made.
When you first bring home a new puppy, everyone will want to make a fuss of them hold them and play with them, but remember this is all new your pup, they have likely been taken away from their Mother and siblings, and you are a stranger to them, I set up an area for my puppy, kind of like their own den with their bed and some toys where they could go to feel safe and when they were ready they could say hello to the family. A good idea is to have a welcoming area for your pup where you spend time, so they can see you and come to you in their own time, in past experience with mine it wasn’t long before curiosity got the better of them and they soon came over for a play.
2. Training a puppy begins from the time they enter your home.
You have a new member of your family, a tiny furry four-legged creature that is full of unconditional love and that will be with you for years to come. But that new puppy can wreak havoc on your home, garden, and relationships with friends and neighbours if not properly trained. For the sake of a happy home and a contented puppy, training is a necessity. The right approach, combined with some professional dog obedience training, will ensure that your new family member will fit right in.Experts will all agree that the first thing a puppy needs to learn is that you are the leader of the pack. Your puppy will have always looked to their mother as their leader, so they will instinctively look for a leader to replace her because dogs are pack animals. If you don’t take on this role, your dog will think that they are the leader, again this can cause you problems down the line.
Training a dog should never be aggressive, Subtle things will tell your puppy that you are the leader, but If you are harsh with your puppy, you will make them afraid of you and they will not form a bond with you
There can only be one leader in the pack; otherwise, chaos would ensue. Your dog needs to understand that you are the leader of the pack. You communicate that to your dog by exerting your leadership, with actions such as taking them for a walk when you get home or by taking a dog obedience training course together. At a young age, you can teach your puppy to sit. Stay etc, when they do always remember to praise them and give a treat, your dog is also learning that you are in charge of the food and if they want food they have to obey you.
3. Consistency is Key
Most dog trainers will tell you that humans are generally at fault when dogs don’t successfully learn commands. That’s because dogs see the world in black and white, whereas humans see the world in shades of grey. For humans, “Come” and “C’mon” mean exactly the same thing; but a dog, on the other hand, may understand “Come” but has no idea what their owner wants when they say, “C’mon.” so whenever you teach your pup a new command, always try to stay consistent with your words and tone of voice.
4. Timing is Everything
The old saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks isn’t true, although it is easier to train a puppy, the main thing to remember is not to force your dog to do anything, but rather encourage them.
Like young children, the attention span of your puppy will be pretty short, so short fun lessons will get the best results. Training your puppy is something you need to do but it shouldn’t be a chore, and finding a trainer, that you and your puppy like with soon get your new family member feeling right at home.
Socialising your puppy from an early age is definitely important, there are a lot of places that have puppy play groups or daycare centres where they can mix with lots of other puppies, different breeds and sizes, is socialising your puppy is important so that when they grow up they are not fearful of other dogs which can cause issues for you when out with your dog in public places. There are plenty of resources online for puppy socialisation and training classes, or you can ask your vet for a recommendation, I will be writing a future blog covering this topic soon.
5. Mutual Respect between you and your puppy Leads to Obedience, and a happy family.
The most happy and healthy human-canine relationship is based on mutual respect. Your dog respects your position as their leader and you respect their needs, and when you have your dog’s respect you wont need to use treats, or toys as a reward.
There are many more tips for bringing home a new puppy that I want to address in upcoming blogs more in depth, toilet training, crate training, and walking on a leash, are a few, but for now if you have just bought home your new puppy, follow the basics, have lots of fun and Lastly, remember that the best techniques for raising your puppy are those that surround compassion, patience and plenty of love.
I have now added a new blog with some basic tips for house training your new puppy you can check it out here.