Puppy Top Tips
Puppy Top Tips
How amazing are puppies? Their eyes, their fur, their smell! It doesn’t take much for me to get puppy broody. I don’t even have to meet the puppy for me to get giddy and jibba jabba for hours about puppies. And don’t let them fool you, they know exactly what they are doing. From the moment you see them you are hooked because of their special mesmerizing powers.
I thought I’d put together some tips and ideas to think about when you bring your new puppy home. So in no particular order…
1. Toys – everyone wants to buy their new puppy toys. Lots of toys. Try to hold back and a select a few, a ball, a tuggy, a teddy. Trust me, you will get chance to buy more. Too many toys can lead to over stimulation. If you cant help yourself, keep the toys in a basket and a box and have a few out at a time. Put them away so your puppy can have some down time.
2. Potty training - Keep your puppy in a smaller area. They see the area of your house as an extension of their territory. The more they have, the more they have to poop, or wee in. kitchen is a good space, because they usually have access to the garden/yard. Getting them out on a regular basis (I always do 20-30 minutes at the beginning) into the garden/yard/on a walk and rewarding the puppy when they wee, or poop is my recommended way forward. They may have relapses, but with lots of praise they do learn where to go to the toilet. Don’t bother with puppy pads; from experience the puppy does learn to go on the mat and don’t understand where to go when the mat isn’t there, or bring you the mat with the wee and the poop attached. They are an unnecessary expense.
3. To crate or not to crate – A crate makes a good bed and a safe space for puppy. Think of it as their den, where they can go to chill out and sleep, along with keeping them safe whilst you are not there. Once again from experience, dogs who are alone and bored (especially those who have separation anxiety or are super clever) create their own entertainment, so being safe in a crate is ideal. But it must be used correctly. It can never be used as a punishment and they can not be left in there for hours on end.
4. Retractable leads – I will not lie, I really HATE these leads. I can however understand why people use them. It’s a perfect idea, you have a dog or puppy, you want them to have more freedom but scared they may run off or get hurt, or their recall isn’t great. Get a retractable and it solves the problem. But it doesn’t. Just a couple of basic issues: You cant grip the handle properly and if your dog was to be startled or excited, they could easily slip from your grasp. Your puppy soon learns the click the lead makes when you release it; if you do it by accident your puppy thinks it is their que to go, go, go! I would always recommend a good harness and a strong leash to attach.
ood – It is absolutely essential we start our puppies off right. Giving your puppy the right food helps their body’s to get the nutrients and minerals needed to grow and change how they should do, and their brains to develop. There are so many options out there, good and bad. Unfortunately, there is more bad than good. Its so easy to manufacture pet foods now, and whilst they follow rules and guidelines, it doesn’t mean the food is any good for our pets. Check the labels, do your research. I know you want the best for your pets.
6. Socialisation – it is imperative a new puppy start to socialise as early as possible. The aim is to create a well behaved and well-mannered dog, who is a happy and anxiety free pet. It is about meeting people, other dogs, and being exposed to sounds and smells and experiences, plus going out for walks in the rain, not just the sunshine. Organising to meet a friend with a well socialised dog is a really good way for your puppy to learn how to be around other dogs. Just try not to do it all this in the same day!
Of course, I have not mentioned puppy proofing your house, giving them time to settle in before everyone comes round to visit, and having a routine. These are all just as important. I have focused on the above as these are the topics, I am asked the most.
Just remember, above all else, have fun with your puppy. They bring us joy and love and happiness. Yes, I know I am biased, but everyone should have a dog in their lives.
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