Thinking about buying a new dog

Thinking about buying a new dog?

Bouncing all over the place can discourage visitors who don’t wish to be mauled by your bad-mannered pet. Going to the bathroom in the house soon ruins carpets and stains wood floors. It also destroys the good feelings you once had for this adorable puppy.

WHEN TO START

The simple answer is to start as soon as you get home. Any behavior that you don’t want to see in your adult dog should not be allowed or excused in your puppy. Assuming that the dog is at least 8-10 weeks old, it is ready for rudimentary lessons.

Younger puppies need the interaction and nurturing of their mother and litter mates for the first eight weeks to ensure healthy emotional adjustment later. Just remember that patience and consistency is the rule here.

Your puppy does not have the physical or mental ability to master every skill or behavior immediately. Much like a human baby, it needs as much loving interaction and socialization as possible and frequently repeated short lessons that reinforce acceptable behavior.

It is also important that every person in your household agrees to support the house rules so that consistency is maintained and your puppy is not confused about what it is and is not allowed to do.

WHERE TO START

Housebreaking your puppy as soon as possible will make everyone’s life easier, and crate training is considered the easiest method. Dogs instinctively want to keep their “den” or sleeping area clean, so your puppy will try to avoid going to the bathroom there.

Large dog breeds seem to catch on to going outside easier because of the physical distance from their crate. Small dog breeds sometimes acquaint going into the next room as accomplishing the same purpose. You may need to carry them outside until they get the point.

The secret to housebreaking your dog is to set it up for repeated success rather than to focus on punishing mistakes. However, two hours is about as long as a young dog can go without needing to relieve itself, and some dogs can’t last that long when first bought home.

Puppies need to urinate immediately upon waking from a nap, a few minutes after eating or drinking, and after playing. Lead or carry your dog to the approved area outdoors and allow it to smell earlier deposits. It will soon get the message that this is where it should be going to the bathroom. Always reward success with lavish praise.

Basic Obedience  involves teaching your 3-to-6-month-old puppy simple commands that will keep it safe and make life more enjoyable for both of you. Training focuses on catching your puppy being good and rewarding it with clicker sounds, food or generous praise.

Teaching the commands to walk on leash, come, sit, stay and lie down are essential basics, but you and your dog can learn many other fun activities as well. Every community has obedience classes for those who feel a little expert help would be welcome.

Training and caring for a puppy is a big responsibility, but the rewards are well worth the initial investment of time and patience. Treated properly, your dog will become an invaluable companion and family member and will offer you its unconditional love for years to come.

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