Most trainers will tell you that puppies don’t make great Christmas gifts for a number of reasons. It’s a busy season and sometimes puppies get left behind in all the merry-making. Nonetheless, perhaps you received or purchased a puppy for Christmas and are now ready to begin the hard but rewarding task of raising a puppy correctly. If this is you, congratulations!
The coming weeks will be the most critical in your dog’s life. Getting off on the right foot may set you up for a lifetime of partnership and enjoyment. Alternatively, it is very easy to create behavior problems which will be more difficult to fix if you don’t know how to handle common puppy behavior problems like inappropriate urination, biting, nipping, chewing, chasing the cat, barking for attention, pulling on the leash, whining when left alone, fearfulness, etc.
If you are a new reader on the dogster Behavior & Training blog, you may have missed some previous entries which can help you get you and your puppy off on the right track together.
First things first – all puppy parents need training. A good trainer will help you learn how to effectively manage your dog’s unwanted behaviors while you train new, desirable behaviors. A good trainer will also give you the tools and skills you need to socialize your puppy appropriately and thoroughly. Check out Training is an Investment – Invest Wisely! for some thoughts to keep in mind when evaluating potential trainers for your new puppy. You will find more tips in Finding the Right Behavior Professional for Your Dog.
For more information on puppy training, check out:
What Great Puppy Training is all About
Plans for Puppy: Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
111 Socialization Opportunities for Puppies
Raising a puppy that loves the vet
Of Pigs’ Ears and Puppy Growls
You can also read the journal of my recent puppy raising experiment in the puppy socialization diaries. I purchased a Saint Bernard puppy this past August and blogged about our progress and adventures as I taught him to have confidence and curiosity in his environment through socialization.
MEETING BASIC NEEDS
Dogs require a substantial investment of time. This is especially true when rearing puppies. Click here to learn about the things puppies need every day.
You may need to go shopping to get puppy raising supplies. Here are some things you may need to consider purchasing on your way to the pet store. If you decide to take your puppy along, she should ride in the cart since her immune system is still developing and she has likely not yet completed her full initial round of vaccinations. Better safe than sorry!
ESTABLISHING A SUCCESSFUL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
There are a number of ways you can help your puppy adjust to her new life in your home more quickly and maximize training success. Click here for tips on how to prepare your home and family for the new arrival.
You may find these tips on introducing your new puppy to resident pets to be helpful. Creating a soothing, welcoming environment will help your puppy and other resident pets make the transition period with reduced stress levels. The transition for all resident pets and there may be bumps in the road. Your trainer should help you learn how to effectively manage these interactions in your household.
If you are looking for resources to help with specific issues, there are lots of great training sites on the web where you can receive great tutorials and support. We’ll talk about some of them later this week!