So everyone enjoys a new furry family member. However, when you are looking at that adorable little puppy you don’t always realize they come with work. New puppies don’t usually come with manners or house trained. More dogs end up at Humane Societies just from lack of manner and socialization.
From day one you should be working on house training your puppy. A crate is a great way to give your puppy a “safe” place to rest and have quiet time. The crate needs to be only large enough for the puppy to stand up in and turn around. You don’t want it to be large enough for the puppy to be able to go to the bathroom and get away from it. We recommend to new owners to keep them in their crate while they are gone. This will help keep the puppy safe and confined. Some puppies experience separation anxiety when their owners are gone and this will keep them confined and keep them away from being destructive. Once the puppy is used to the crate typically this becomes a “safe” and happy place for them to rest. Some dogs prefer to lie down or sleep in their crate as they get older.
You never want to use the crate as punishment! This makes the crate seem like a negative place and the puppy will be more likely to make a mess in their cage and can form a phobia of being crated. To help make this a more enjoyable experience you can keep a special toy or treat for when they go into their crate. Also using a queue word helps, for example: go to your “crate” or “bed”.
Exercise is also a huge part of enjoying your puppy. Most puppies need a pretty significant amount of play time throughout the day. Depriving them of this may create a hyper, or even nippy puppy. By allotting a few hours out of your day for a vigorous walk and play; like chasing a ball, will help wear out your puppy. A properly exercised puppy will be more eager to learn because their attention span will be more attentive to you instead of your surroundings.
Every puppy should know some basic obedience commands. There are several puppy kindergartens or puppy classes that will help you teach these as well as socialize your puppy. By teaching your puppy sit, stay, lie down, drop it and come you and your puppy will have a better bond. Your puppy will know who is the boss and to stop when being told. It does take time and patience but you will enjoy your puppy so much more if you take the time for this.
Socialization is huge! By going to puppy classes your puppy will know how to handle themselves when presented with new people and new dogs. You don’t want to be the person who can’t walk their dog down the street because your dog will pull your arm off and run up to strangers to jump on them. By socializing your puppy you take that anxiety out of the equation and you can have your puppy sit and wait patiently to be greeted by new animals and people.
Getting a new puppy is always a fun experience. I just encourage you to do your research and your work in the beginning. All the hard work will pay to have a great bond with your furry best friend.