Seven Super Tips for Puppy Owners

After a tough year of losing several of my adult dogs to old age, and cancer, I’m firmly back in the mad house with three puppies.

I never ever condone having puppies together, anyone that had done it knows how much work it is.

Here are some words of wisdom from a puppy hoarder! Its never easy bringing a puppy up, but you can make it a joy rather than a chore.

1. Be patient.

All my dog owners expect their little bundles of chaos to suddenly “get it”. Be that recall, lead walking, or manners around the house. Puppies aren’t pre programmed to settle, or be calm. You have to teach that, and it takes time.

2. Are you being clear?

Many people think puppies are born with dictionaries in their head. That they actually understand the meaning of the words we say. Sorry to say they don’t, they mostly hear “blah blah blah treaty blah blah”. Be clear in what you want them to do, lure the behaviour and once they’ve actually done it a few times, then add a command. Do not say SIT 100% times and expect them to get it.

3. Don’t resist the crate.

Introduced properly, and in a way that makes them that is positive to the puppy, they are your greatest ally. An ally in toilet training, over tired biting, travel sickness, house manners and chewing. Honestly, get it right and you’ll never look back!

4. Don’t skimp on the treats.

So many people say “I want to wean the treats off now, they should just do it for me”….. right. I understand that, but your 14 week old puppy doesn’t. Use the food, and get those behaviours locked in before bridging to work without them. I don’t work without being paid, so why do you expect your puppy to work without payment it want?

5. Kong life savers!

A well stuffed Kong can be your saviour in the home, in the car, in cafe and for your hands. Puppies want to chew, so give them the right things to chew on! A kong in a cafe is my secret to building an excellent settle in new places.

6. Keep up the training.

Once you’ve built in the basics, keep going back. Don’t just ditch them and expect the puppy to remember it clear as the day you taught it, many things have happened in between. Keep coming back to the foundations and building on them. Do you remember algebra that was drummed into you? No? Why not? Your expecting your puppy to remember the equivalent. Why are you expecting your puppy to be a vault of everything.

7. Enjoy them.

Puppies are only puppies for a few months, enjoy it. Play with them, build bonds. Make mistakes and learn from them. It shouldn’t be all stress having a puppy, they should make you laugh and smile. Remember that when they’ve eaten the shoes you’ve left out.

Raising a puppy is much easier with help. Ask when needed, and listen to it. It can save your relationship.

Kathryn Jones

A Clever Approach to Dog Training and Behaviour

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