Getting Your Dog off on the Right Paw
January 2 2014
At Bark Busters, we train and help virtually any dog - old or young, little or big and any breed. We believe that there is no behavior that can't be changed. However, starting your training when a dog is a puppy can help prevent nuisance behaviors before they begin! Here are some tips that can help if you are welcoming a puppy to his/her new home.
- Many puppies like the security of a crate, providing your dog with a safety zone while you are busy or away. It's also a great tool when housebreaking because it is unusual for a puppy to defecate where he sleeps. It is best NOT to let a puppy sleep with you because this can create problems later.
- If your puppy has problems sleeping at night, put a clock in his bed. The tick tock emulates the mother's heartbeat and can sometimes soothe an anxious puppy.
- Baby gates can be a good training tool to "block off" areas that are off limits to your puppy.
- Puppies are known to chew so it's best to remove any hazards such as power chords or small items that can be easily ingested. Never use old shoes or socks as chew toys. A puppy can't tell the difference between old and new so you may end up losing your favorite pair. Also, remember that certain garage items (such as antifreeze) can be toxic and killers. Just like child-proofing your house for an infant that is learning to walk, you have to puppy proof your home.
- Get your puppy a pet ID tag and microchip in case he runs away.
- In the first 24 - 48 hours in his new home, your puppy may have some acclimation issues such as housebreaking. Be patient and don't yell at him. He needs to get a little more comfortable in his surroundings.
- It is important to put your puppy on a schedule right from the start, particularly for bathroom breaks (every two - three hours), eating and sleeping. In the beginning, he/she may sleep a lot. Take advantage of nap time!
- Remember to exercise your puppy daily.
- Call all of the family together and establish your ground rules right from the start. Make sure everyone sticks to the rules to avoid confusion for your puppy.