Congratulations on your new puppy! This is an exciting time for you, but you have a lot of work to do to be sure your puppy grows into a loyal, well-behaved, and caring dog. Here are four tips to get your started.
(1) Be Prepared. Before bringing your new puppy home, you will want to be sure to shop for all needed supplies. (Visit Best Buddy Dog Trainer Handout Library for a complete shopping list.) Items include food, feeding materials, leashes, collars, training gear, toys, hygienic products, and a crate/traveler. Be sure you prepare your home before your puppy’s arrival. This includes creating a confinement area, which is where your puppy will stay when you are away.
(2) Make Introductions. When you arrive home with your puppy, the first thing you should do is take him/her for a short walk and bathroom break. Upon returning, introduce your pup to their confinement area. Give them a toy and allow them to stay alone for about 5 minutes. It’s important to establish “alone” time now. Keep in mind that your puppy will need time to adjust to other members of the family. Take it easy and don’t overwhelm your new friend.
(3) Start Training. It’s never too soon to start training your little puppy. Practicing good habits like not coming to your puppy every time he barks or howls will help you in the long run. If he barks or howls wait about 10 seconds after he is completely quiet before responding. Crate training and establishing routines for feeding and bedtime are also important cornerstones for your puppy.
(4) Prevent Mistakes. Your new puppy is going to want to explore his new world. This is expected, but there are ways to help prevent bad habits like excessive barking, chewing, and biting. If you catch your puppy chewing on your shoes, take them away and replace them with a chew toy. You must train your puppy on what is okay to chew on from the beginning. If your puppy is barking excessively, try giving him more mental stimulation and taking him on longer walks to prevent it. As you work on developing a well-mannered pet, keep in mind aggression is never the way to go. Your dog longs for your attention. If you want to train your dog effectively, you will need to learn when to give or not to give affection and praise.
Getting a puppy is a life-changing experience. You have no doubt brought home a friend for life! For more tips on getting started with your new puppy, visit the Best Buddy Dog Trainer Handout Library. See worksheet “Getting Started.”