Puppy training basics

Dog box/comfortable place to sleep.

The first thing you will need is a dog box or somewhere comfortable for him to sleep. Bear in mind that wherever you place this sleeping spot/dog box will be his new area to sleep. Try to leave it where you first place it so that the little guy gets some normality in this big new world he’s been put in. Lots of people have the idea that acquiring a dog box for their new pet is cruel as who wants to sleep in an enclosed area? Your new best friend does that’s who! Dogs are naturally den animals, and as he gets older he will start to use the dog box as a way of getting away from the stresses of the world.

Socialize.

Socializing your puppy is a critical stage that generally happens from four to sixteen weeks of age. The earlier you start the easier it will be for you and your new puppy. Try to introduce your little one to as many new places, people and experiences as possible. Bear in mind to not overdue it however as they’re still young and will tire quickly. What your puppy learns through socializing and the environment around him will shape him for the rest of his life so try not to let new experiences overwhelm him. At a young age its best not to socialize at dog parks and such, the dogs there can often times be aggressive and over playful. This could lead to a bad experience for your pup. Keeping treats on you during this stage of your pups life is also a good idea as you can reward good experiences with tasty treats.

Vet.

Get to know your local vet. A good idea is to give them a call and see when the vaccinations and other important things are due for the breed that you chose. Your vet can assist with dog food choices, the health of your pet and many other important things. It is also a good idea to have your puppy taken to the vet from an early age so that it doesn’t become a traumatic experience later. Think of it as part of his socializing routine. After all, you don’t want to be left lying on the floor when your “puppy” (who’s older and larger now) hears the dreaded V-E-T word and decides he’s getting out of there.

Training.

Simple. The earlier you start the better it will be for both you and your puppy later down the line. The correct training instils discipline and control in your puppy. He’s really cute and innocent now, but wait until he gets older and bigger and realises (or thinks) he knows better than you. The correct training methods and a regular routine will correct this at an early stage. This will also help nip any behavioural problems in the bud before he becomes a teenager and it becomes more difficult to handle.

Supervision.

Your new fur baby is going to need a lot of it. If you can’t watch him on a constant basis consider leaving him in his room or in a fenced off part of the yard where he can’t chew anything he’s not supposed to.

First few nights.

Your puppy’s first few nights are going to be traumatic for him. There’s lots of new sounds, spaces to explore and people to see. Let him sleep in the bedroom with you for those first few nights. All he needs is a little corner with some clean drinking water and some newspaper and he will be just fine. If he barks or howls a little bit remember that this is normal.

Bathroom spot.

House training a puppy isn’t difficult but it isn’t easy either. When it’s time to “go” take your puppy directly to the spot you would prefer they use. This will let him know that this is now his bathroom spot and he will most likely use it for the rest of his life. This does require a lot of supervision in the early stages though. Setting up a routine will also help with this as it will be easier for your puppy to know what to expect from the day.

Routine.

5am get dressed. 6am get to work. 8am huuuuge board meeting with the boss. It’s simple,  to instil some routine with your new puppy its best if you have regular feeding times, come home at regular times and leave for work at regular times. That way your puppy will learn what’s going on and will adjust accordingly. Don’t change your whole lifestyle, just keep the little one in mind during the early stages.

Same page.

If you haven’t already now would be a great time to discuss the little one with the family. I’m not saying phone Al Capone and tell him you got a puppy, just let the family that he will be in contact with know that there’s a little one and to treat him accordingly.

Handling.

Get your puppy used to being touched and fiddled with. Your vet will thank you later! (Early grooming also won’t hurt).

Good bahaviour.

Reward!! You don’t need to throw gold bars at the puppy but pop a treat his way, or pat him and say “good boy”. He will start associating the good thing he did with positive results and will continue doing so with time.

Microchip.

It’s best to get him microchipped so that should he run away at a later stage the vet will be able to find him if someone hands him in.

Poop.

Yes, poop. Keeping an eye on your pups poop is actually one of the best pieces of advice you will ever recieve. If you notice any blood, diarrhoea or other secretions that don’t look like they belong then phone your vet immediately. This could save your puppy’s life! Same goes for vomiting.

Toys.

Don’t buy him a Ferrari, a kong or equally soft toy will do just fine. Try get him interested in tennis balls and such early on. This will help increase play drive and give him something to do. Try to rotate the toys he gets on a regular basis to keep him interested, don’t give him everything at once.

Seperation.

A new word that your puppy does not want to add to his vocabulary. This is however necessary, practising this on a regular basis will help your puppy understand that even though you are leaving you will still come back. This will also help in ensuring that the hullo and goodbye part of the day is no big deal.

Noise.

Your puppy must get used to noise, movement and other irregularities that occur during the day. Leaving the radio on (not blaring) when you go for work or out to the shops is a great way of achieving this.

And lastly..

Photos.

Yes, take lots of photos! Puppyhood goes by so fast, keep the memories. The teenage stage is still coming..