6 Steps To Achieving Puppy Perfection
Introducing a new puppy to the family is an exciting, emotional and joyful experience. However in addition to the playing, licking and endless ‘awwwwing,’ new pups can also result in feelings of frustration and helplessness for those that haven’t prepared themselves for the array of challenges that new pooches present. To help your puppy initiation go as smoothly as possible, check out our top six tips for training the perfect pup!
This is something that you are going to want to focus heavily on as habits learnt young can be hard to quash. The key to housetraining success is to establish a tight schedule that you stick to for at least 16 weeks. There are a variety of different ways to housetrain puppies, though whichever you choose it is advisable to stick to a regular feeding routine and remove all food and water after 8pm. This will help synchronise their system and help them understand when it’s time to go and where to do it!
If possible, it’s best to start socialising your new puppy as soon as possible. Whether it’s family, friends, neighbours, strangers or other dogs and pets, this will help your pup get used to other people and animals which will pave the way for a gentle and laid-back nature. Just be sure that any animals you are introducing your new puppy to are safe and properly vaccinated. It’s only after the four month vaccination period that you can start introducing your puppy to unfamiliar canines. Also keep in mind that the eight to 11 week stages are known as the ‘fear imprint’ period so it’s important not to overwhelm or scare your puppy as it could develop lifelong fears.
While it’s important to give your puppy adequate exercise, this should not be overly vigorous until it hits the four to six month stage. This is especially applicable to larger breeds that may seem like they need more exercise yet in reality, too much could be damaging to their rapidly growing bones. Walks, slow jogs and brief park play dates are all great exercise options!
Softly brushing, combing and occasionally bathing your pup will not only keep it clean but will also help you develop a close bond with each other. It will pave the way for good grooming behaviour in the future (particularly important with large breeds!) and also gives you the chance to inspect your puppy for any abnormal lumps, cuts, injuries and ailments.
Experts recommend that you begin by feeding your puppy three times a day, then cutting down to twice a day at around the four month point. You should definitely establish a schedule and discourage food guarding by removing the dish, whether finished or not, after around 10 minutes. Depending on the breed there will be optimised nutritional requirements so be sure to do your research!
As well as the technical stuff mentioned above, one of the most important steps to puppy perfection is to shower it with positive experiences. Desensitising dogs to loud and potentially distressing noises such as doorbells, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and blenders at a young will have a huge impact on what they are like as an adult. Getting them used to cars is also something that every puppy should experience. A reward based system using edible treats and vocal praise is generally the best way to help your puppy learn!
With these handy tips in mind, your new puppy will be well on its way to becoming a beloved, adjusted and well behaved member of your pack!