The arrival of a puppy at home is always a reason for great joy, but it will also be full of new moments and stressful situations. At Best for Pets we want to help you prevent the mistakes that are commonly made due to lack of information. Follow these recommendations carefully and get ready to enjoy yourself to the fullest with this new member of the family.
Education in the first months. How to teach and set limits.
Before going into the matter, the main points must be highlighted:
1. The importance of routine and positive reinforcement in daily training.
2. Challenge only when we “caught” him doing something wrong. With a firm NO and never hitting him.
3. Don’t reinforce cute behaviors because he’s a puppy.
4. Socialize with other dogs several times a week.
5. Meet and socialize with children.
6. Make sure that all family members understand what to do and agree with everyone to have the same behavior with the puppy.
Habits, habits, habits
Dogs are routine animals, so the more constant and clear the routine and the interaction that your puppy has with the place and the people with whom he lives, the better his behavior will be.
For example, always make him sleep in the same place, take him for a walk often, better every day, as soon as the vet authorizes you. Get him used to receiving you sitting down and calm when you arrive home so that he feels calm and feed him at the same times.
It may seem very obvious, but your puppy cannot learn to behave if you don’t teach it, therefore, this is a task that you have to do from day one.
Dogs learn through observation and associating an action with a treat, so if your pup does something right, immediately reward him with food, affection, or both. Repeat this patiently as many times as needed. Over time it will no longer be necessary to reward it. The training sessions should be short, about 2 minutes, but you should do 5 or 6 sessions a day.
The moment is everything
The only time you can effectively teach your puppy about an unwanted habit is when you catch him in the act.
For example, if he starts to bite you while playing, interrupt him with a firm “NO” and then ignore him as if he weren’t there or go to a room for a few minutes, never hit him. But don’t challenge him if you find a chewed-up shoe or pee on your carpet, at that point he won’t understand what he did wrong and you’ll only confuse and stress him out. He’ll know you’re challenging him, but he won’t know why. It is our responsibility to be vigilant during your education period.
In a future blog we will delve into how to teach them not to break your things and to urinate in the places you want.
as if he were an adult
Do not accept or reinforce behaviors that seem nice now as puppies, but would be unpleasant as an adult, such as jumping up and barking for attention, pulling on the leash when walking or climbing on beds or armchairs.
From the beginning, teach him to be respectful of people’s intimate space and the environment where he lives and, something very important, is that the whole family is clear about what things are going to be allowed and what others are not. If someone allows him to get on the chair and the other does not, your puppy will be confused and will never understand if it is correct or not.
As soon as the vet lets you, take your pup to meet and play with other dogs, ideally 2-3 times a week. You can achieve this by organizing with other dog owners if you live in a building, or by visiting nearby parks or squares.
By being around adult dogs, your pup will learn to respect the older ones, such as being ‘told’ by an older dog when the younger one crosses the line. And something very important is to make sure that the other dogs are well socialized. A bad experience at his age can traumatize a puppy for life.
Get him used to different people, but don’t let him overdo his displays of affection to the point where it’s awkward. It is also important that he gets used to children, so if there are no children in your house, take him to places where he can meet them.
Understand their nature and their needs
A puppy is a SOCIAL animal with biological, psychological and social needs; It is a carnivore descendant of the wolf and a relative of other canids such as foxes, coyotes, etc. But it is NOT a human baby.
If we study and understand their needs they will not have anxiety or develop behavioral problems.
There are many puppy training courses and even behavioral specialist veterinarians (ethologists) who can help you. If you need information and advice on the best alternatives for your puppy, do not hesitate to contact us. We accompany you every day in the care and growth of your pet!