How To Raise A Puppy
Tips on raising a puppy and how you can make him or her into a lovable family pet.
So you just brought home a brand new puppy. Now you're wondering, "How should I train this little dog so that he is a lovable family pet?" I have gone through the same thing before, and believe me, what you do with your puppy at an early age will determine the way the dog acts in the future. I have raised two black labs, who if you are not familiar with the breed, are notorious chewers. This article will deal with the do's and dont's of raising your puppy. We will discuss things like chewing, house training, play time, and other topics.
The most important thing you can do for your puppy is something very simple, but a lot of people don't do this: Spend A LOT of time with him or her. Dogs are very sociable animals and they want attention and love. The more time you spend with your puppy, the more lovable and sociable he or she will be when they grow up. Also, expose your puppy to as many new experiences as possible. Puppies are very curious animals and they want to get into everything. Take your puppy around the house with you. If you have other pets, let the puppy become familiar with them and vice versa. We currently have two dogs, four cats and a parrot. Our puppy (he's 7 months old right now) has been exposed to all of them since he was brought home, and consequently, he loves all of them. He lets the cats rub up against him and loves to play with them. And the other dog in the house is his best friend! Make sure you take the puppy to every room of the house and let him or her become familiar with everything in that room. This will all help to make your puppy both lovable and sociable.
Next, we will deal with house training. There are a few different ways that you can house train your puppy. One way, and usually the most popular, is crate training. This involves getting a cage or crate for the dog, and putting him or her in the crate at night to sleep in. A good rule of thumb is that dogs will not go to the bathroom where they sleep, so this will encourage the puppy to hold it in until he or she is let outside. Another method of house training is paper training. This is where you confine the dog to one room, usually a room with tile, not carpet, and place newspaper all over the floor. Gradually, you pick up the newspaper until there is just one square of it on the ground and you want to make the puppy go on that square and not the tile. Eace time you pick up paper, and the puppy goes on the smaller amount of paper, give the puppy a lot of praise so they will know they did the right thing. Eventually, the puppy will learn to hold it in until they are let outside. Finally, the most important thing you can know about house training, is that when you take the dog outside, and it goes to the bathroom, GIVE IT A LOT OF PRAISE!!!! This way, the puppy will associate going to the bathroom outside with something positive and will know that going outside is a good thing.
Chewing is another topic that you will inevitably have to deal with. The simple fact is that dogs love to chew. As they lose their baby teeth and start to grow in their adult teeth, just like human babies, they have a strong desire to chew and put things in their mouths. This is very natural, and almost all dogs do it. The key is to make sure that your dog knows what they can and can't chew. Make sure your puppy has lots of toys to chew on. Not household toys, but store bought toys. If you give the puppy an old sock or old shoe to chew on, they will think that they can chew on ANY sock or shoe and that is exactly what they will do. You need to give them dog toys to play with. Things like teething rings, nylabones, tug toys, tennis balls, frisbees and bones. Ask your vet for suggestions on certain toys and what would be best for your dog.
Finally, let's discuss disciplining your dog. Whenever the puppy does something good or right, GIVE THEM A LOT OF PRAISE. Puppies need to know when they do something right and telling them "good boy" or giving them a lot of love lets them know that the activity they have just done is good and will positively reinforce the behavior. Likewise, when they do something wrong, like going to the bathroom in the house, they need to be scolded. I've found that the best method is using a piece of rolled up newspaper to smack the puppy's behind. The purpose of this is varied. First of all, you should never hit a dog in the face because it can cause a lot of physical damage as well as emotional damage. Second, if you hit the dog with a newspaper, it's not really physically hurting him, but the loud smack of the paper scares him or her and they will learn to fear that noise, not the pain. Lastly, using newspaper will teach the dog to fear the newspaper and not you. If the dog fears you, he or she will never be able to learn anything from you.
I hope that this brief article has helped answer some questions and will help you in raising your new puppy. Remember, puppies are wonderful animals and they can be very loving family pets. What you do during the early stages of your puppy's life will determine how he or she will act as an adult. So enjoy your new puppy, give it lots of love and attention, and good luck.