Tips for New Puppy Owners
Bringing a new puppy into your home is a joyous experience! Caring for your new puppy though can sometimes seem like a daunting task! Setting up your home environment in a way to avoid problems early on will greatly aid in the training and bonding of your new puppy! Using management to prevent problems from occurring will help to alleviate the need for correcting or scolding your puppy thus helping to build a safe and fun relationship.
Socializing your new puppy to people, different environments, other animals and strange objects is a must to give your puppy a full, stress-free life and prevent incidents of fear aggression or fear submission. Exposure to new people and situations should always have a positive association in the mind of the puppy. Using treats, toys and play can help your pup enjoy new environments, people, and animals.
*If your puppy is showing signs of stress during exposure or socialization, it is best to gain a little distance to where the pup is comfortable and then allow the pup to gain the confidence to move forward.
*Let your puppy take it at their speed. Never force your puppy into a situation that he is fearful of. This will only increase his fear.
*When socializing with other dogs, pups of the same age or maturity is a good place to start. Adult dogs with solid temperaments and good dog language skills, that have shown a tolerance for puppies is ideal. Never allow your pup to interact with an “unknown” dog. Unsupervised play parks are not advised.
Crate Training: Housing for your puppy should include a crate. It should be viewed as his bedroom rather than a cage!
*Leave the door open so that the puppy can go in and out at will.
*When you do have to place your pup in the crate be sure to give your pup something pleasurable to do, such as a stuffed Kong or favorite chewie. Start with shorter periods when possible.
*If your puppy is crying or barking in the crate, try to ignore him and only allow him to come out when he has settled down for a minute or so.The crate should be used for short-term confinement. For a young puppy, no longer than an hour or two except at night.
Nipping- OUCH! Sharp puppy teeth hurt!
*When playing with your puppy, try to avoid using your hands as “playthings”. Have something in your hand that is okay for your puppy to bite on.
* If your puppies teeth do make contact with skin or clothing, all interaction and play must end immediately, for several seconds. Turn your back and ignore your puppy or if necessary physically separate yourself through a door or ex-pen. After a few seconds of social and physical isolation, begin playing with your puppy again. You’ll need to repeat this several times to allow your puppy to make the association between, teeth on skin mean end of play, but soon your puppy will realize that if he wants to continue to play, he needs to work hard at not putting teeth on humans!
Housetraining: When housetraining your puppy it is your responsibility to make sure that he gets outside regularly and frequently to eliminate.
*Don’t carry your puppy outside. Let him walk so that he learns the route to the door.
*Take your pup out every hour. You can wait longer as they get older.
*Prime times- when they wake up, after eating, after playing.
Wonder Dogs offers a variety of classes to help you with your puppy. See our class schedule for available options.