7 tips for new puppy owners

There is nothing quite like a new puppy. A few weeks after you bring your puppy home though the kids are not as interested and your puppy becomes very mobile, and if you’re not careful they can become very destructive. That’s why I have put together a list of 7 steps that can greatly help you with your new puppy.

1. Good management skills: Puppies can get into trouble very quickly. A new puppy owner needs watch her puppy all of the time. When you can not keep an eye on your puppy, it is a good idea to use some type of confinement. I like to use crates. A crate is a great way to manage your puppy’s behavior when you are not home. As a former animal control officer, I have seen many young dogs that have been injured when left on their own. Almost all dogs at some point in their lives will be exposed to a crate. An overnight stay at the Vet’s office, a grooming appointment, or if you have to travel will all require your dog to go into a crate. It is much better to teach your new puppy to love her crate than it is an adult dog.

2. Start training early: For many years dog owners have been told that they could not start training their puppies until they were six months old. This is just simply untrue. A good reward based puppy class is the most important thing that you can do for your young puppy. Your puppy will become well socialized and many behavior problems can be prevented before they ever start.

3. Socialization: You can never over-socialize your puppy. The first four months of your puppy’s life are the most impressionable. To become a confident and stable dog, a young puppy needs to be exposed to many different people, dogs, places, sounds and scents. Bringing your puppy in for grooming is a great way to introduce him/her to new environments, sounds, smells and people.

4. Puppy proof the house: Anything that you value should be put away until after the puppy stage. Also, keep a close eye on you puppy around electrical wires. Puppies love to chew on wires. A crate is a great way to keep your puppy safe when you can’t be right there to watch her.

5. Going to the vet’s office: Drop by the vet’s office when you don’t have an appointment. Most veterinarians will allow this but give them a quick call before you come by. When you get to the vets, give your puppy some treats and have the office staff give some treats also. For the rest of your dog’s life going to the vet will not be a chore. You can also do this at a grooming shop.

6. Consistency: Have a game plan for everyone in the house to follow. Bad habits develop and many dogs become confused when half the family allows the puppy onto the furniture and the other half scolds the puppy for being on the furniture. Consistency is very important in training your young puppy or dog.

7. Take lots of pictures: You will be amazed at how fast your puppy grows and changes. You will be thankful down the road for those pictures.