The kids are over the moon we just got a new puppy! As you will come to find out on my blog I am a huge animal lover, but dogs are my absolute favorite. I completely agree with the saying “Dogs are man’s best friend” (in this case woman’s ). Dogs are so loving, loyal and bring so much joy into a household.
Our new puppy we decided to name Daisy. She’s an Australian Shepherd mix and just adorable! Aussies and Labs are my personal favorite breed of dogs. Their personality’s are so sweet and gentle but they like to be in the mix of things. Which is perfect when having young children, there’s always something going on around here! Currently in our household we have 5 dogs! I know it sounds crazy, but so far it has been mostly smooth sailing. If the rest of our crew wasn’t mostly well-behaved there would be no way we could have brought little Daisy home.
So lets get into the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years!
The first and most important tip is TIME! It sounds simple doesn’t it? So many people jump into getting a puppy and don’t realize the time and effort it takes having a puppy. If you can’t put in the time while the pup is still young you will most likely run into problems later on down the road. When your first potty training a puppy take them out every 30 minutes even if they don’t go every time. It gives the pup time to adjust to new surroundings and understand that they need to potty in their new yard.
Crate training: I think that its especially important for your pup to have a safe place in your home that is completely theirs. Bringing a new puppy home they are learning so much about their new families, other pets, smells and sounds. It can become overwhelming for them. If you choose to try crating your pup, you want to start this out as soon as you bring them home. Older dogs are going to become to upset being crated if they aren’t already used to it. In my opinion, crate training has also helped with the potty training as well. Most dogs unless its an emergency will not potty where they sleep. For our dogs crates are used for only sleep times, puppies need breaks/naps just like newborn babies. Also, when going to pick out your new crate make sure the crate is large enough they can stand up and turn around in. If the crate has to much free room it could lead to some potty training issues.
Schedule: This could tie into Time section above, but in the first few months of having your puppy home making a schedule is so important! And no I don’t mean every potty break needs to be wrote down on the calendar! The most important times of the day are: when they first go out in the morning, the last time before bed they go out and what times will you be feeding them. This seems like pretty easy stuff until Saturday morning rolls around and we don’t want to get up at 5 am to let them out! Hey things happen, but the closer you follow a schedule the less mess you should have and a much easier pup!
Breed Research: One of the number one problems people have when they bring a new puppy home is they had no idea what to expect as far as breed personalities. While every dog has its own individual personality there are certain characteristics that breeds have. For example, all hound breeds howl excessively. You wouldn’t want to get a hound pup if your living in the middle of a city or an apartment, the neighbors will NOT BE HAPPY at all! All dogs need exercise but certain breeds need a lot more then average. There is a whole group of dog breeds that are working dogs, without a job to do they can become very destructive! My best advice is research, research, research!!! Find a breed that’s a perfect fit for your family.
Who’s in Charge Here?: In every household there is someone in charge, in the dog world this is known as the “Alpha”. While there are many articles about alpha training out there, it can be hard to know where to draw the line. When you bring a puppy home they will test their boundaries, similar to a toddler child. Puppies will get into anything and everything to see where their human is going to draw the line. In my experience in the first few months of bringing a puppy home the most important methods are correcting and distraction! Maybe your new pup has decided the couch is a tasty snack. First step correcting, verbally telling your pup NO. If you have decided to crate train this would be a good time to put your pup on alittle time out. While some people use newspapers to scold dogs or worse methods . I think its important to remember your dog is learning from you, be patient! Consistent physical means of correcting will result in a dog that is scared of you or possible behavioral issues down the road. The next step is distraction, on occasion puppies will use negative behavior to get your attention. They know chewing on the couch or getting up on the counter will get a response from you. When you see your dog going towards the negative behavior, get their attention: call their name (be as excited as you can be), offer them toys, take them for a walk, pet them. Dogs responsive so much better to positive reward side of training then the negative. Most importantly stay consistent, reward your dog for good behavior and stick with correcting bad behavior after every occurrence.