Tips On Raising PuppiesPosted May 21 by Fido
Best Puppy Tips
Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Build it in to your lifestyle. Get up early if need be, go out late for a walk if that’s what fits your schedule best. Just do it! Plan on exercising your puppy vigorously at least three times a day. If your puppy is exhausted and naps quietly after exercise three times a day, you are right on schedule.
Why is this important? When your puppy is happily tired, it won't be focusing on destructive behaviors and boredom-induced behaviors. The puppy will have a good association with lying down and relaxing while in the house after exercise times. That is a strong foundation for more good household behaviors. In the wild, puppies rarely have a dull moment - this is critical to their development, both physical and mental. Puppies that are not getting enough exercise tend to be unruly, bored, destructive and overly vocal - don't set your puppy up for this!
Take your puppy out on a leash often for neighborhood walks. Be careful to avoid other dogs and areas frequently trafficked by dogs too where dog urine and feces can be present, until after the puppy has completed all the needed shots at your veterinarian's office.
Manage your pup's environment.
If your dog never gets into trouble, he won't even know how to do naughty things. Make this a reality by supervising your puppy all the time. When you can't be there, confine the puppy in a safe kennel or playpen where he can't reach electrical cords, your belongings or anything of value.
Your puppy should be welcome in the house any time - with good management you will have no need to scream at your puppy! Do not let your puppy have the run of the house! Even at six months of age, puppies are not really fully housetrained so plan on keeping up on the supervision through the first year.
Use a tie-down to keep your puppy within your view and out of trouble for short sessions while you prepare meals, do housework and socialize with friends and family. Tie-downs are not for use over an extended period, just for when you are there to supervise but you need your hands free.
A tiedown is a two-foot length of coated steel cable that has a clip on one end for the pup's collar. The other end attaches to an eyehook in the floor or wall, or to a very heavy piece of furniture. Give the puppy lots of toys to play with and tasty snacks while on the tie-down. Your pup will learn that the best thing to do is relax, lie down, and play with toys while he's in your home. Don't forget to praise him and give him treats for lying quietly!
Encourage your puppy to bring found objects and toys to you.
Always lavish praise on the puppy for bringing you anything - even a yucky thing. Why? Puppies like to pick up and eat anything they find. You will find your puppy with anything in its mouth from cigarette butts, litter, broken glass, mud and animal droppings. If your pup knows that you would like to know about these things, it's much, much easier to keep him safe if he's not running away from you with that stuff locked in his teeth.
So, teach your puppy that you like to be brought dog toys and anything else - eventually you can cut back on the praise for the yucky things, and the dog will self-select to just play with nice things that you like him to play with. It works!
Another benefit of this is that your puppy will be right on the way to learning "fetch". This skill is one of the best ways to exercise your puppy or adult dog. The sooner your puppy learns to fetch, the better. Even non-retrieving breeds can do it if they are taught how - you'll be glad you did.
Let your puppy have lots of supervised playtime with other puppies.
There are few things more important to your dog's development. Immediately find a playgroup or "puppy class" to involve your puppy in. Contact your veterinarian, boarding kennel, animal regulation office or humane society for tips on who to call. Your puppy will need to have had all its shots already, avoid delaying on doing that - two weeks are needed after the last booster shot for full immunity benefits to kick in, so plan ahead!
Letting your pup play with others of the same age give it so many valuable lessons about how to play and get along. Play is an enormously important stress reliever for your puppy. Playing with other puppies is much better for your pup than playing with adult dogs. Do whatever it takes to join a supervised puppy play group - you both will learn a lot, guaranteed!
Anticipate lots of chewing.
All dogs, regardless of breed, need to chew hard and often when their adult teeth come in. This process starts at 3 months of age and continues through the first year and even longer in large breeds that take more time to mature. Stock up on durable chew toys so you can have plenty of them in any room or area your puppy is allowed in.
The need to chew is strong, so be ready! Don't scold the puppy if he finds something undesirable to chew on - just scold yourself for letting it get within reach! If your puppy really seems to be in pain from teething, soak a heavy washcloth in chicken broth-tinged water, roll up tight and freeze. Your dog will have a great tasting chew toy that will help numb his sore gums, and it's even reusable! Take it away after 20 minutes or so as it starts to thaw. Refreeze and do it again.