Saturday, 11 July 2009

Puppy Training Tips for the First Week

Bringing home a puppy and introducing her to your home is very
exciting for everyone. The only one who may be anxious about the
situation will be the puppy. If you handle your puppy properly
when she arrives, she will quickly relax and want to settle into
her new home.

Prior to bringing your new puppy into your home, you should puppy
proof it. Take a look at your home from the puppy's viewpoint.
Does that potted plant sitting in front of the glass door look
tempting? You may want to consider moving it to a higher place.
What about your favorite collection of teddy bears, or magazines
you have in a basket by the sofa? They will most certainly raise
the curiosity of your new puppy. As you move these things out of
your puppy's reach, remember it is only for a short time. Once
your new puppy has learned her place in the family, you can put
your things back where they go. Your life should never be
dictated by your puppy. However, by removing these curiosity
objects from the start, it will allow you to work with your puppy
on the basic training she will need to learn.

It is important to understand that as much as you want your new

puppy to be a part of your family, your puppy is still an animal.
She will take her cues from her environment. If she is allowed
to have free run of the home and access to everything, you are
teaching her that she is in charge. Dogs have instincts. The
main instinct of dogs is to live in a pack. Your new puppy will
assume her new family is her pack. If she picks up the clues that
she is her own boss and she can do what she wants, whenever she
wants, she is being taught she is the leader of her pack. It is
much easier on everyone, including the dog, if she learns from
the moment she enters the home that she is not the leader and
dictator of the family.

One mistake people make is letting their puppy sleep in a utility
room, or kitchen. Dogs are from the wolf family, and really
prefer to have a den all their own. Some people assume placing a
dog in a crate is cruel. On the contrary, if crates are
introduced properly, they will be much loved by the puppy. When
planning for a new puppy, do not go out and buy the biggest crate
you can find for your puppy thinking she will grow into it. This
is the worst mistake owner's make. A crate should be large
enough for your pet to stand up and turn around in. Puppies
usually learn from their mothers to not soil in their bed area.
If the crate is too large, your puppy may designate a portion of
her crate for sleeping, and the other half for soiling. You
should also never place your puppy's food and water in her crate.

When your puppy is first introduced to the crate, do not simply
put her inside and lock the door. This will greatly disturb her.
(You should place the crate in a room in your home where the
family gathers. You should not expect the puppy to walk through
the entire house to the back guest bedroom to nap. By having
the crate in close proximity to the family, the puppy will feel
as if she is still hanging out with her pack, even if she is
inside her crate sleeping.) Place the crate where it will stay,
and simply open the door. You can place a towel in the bottom,
and a chew toy inside if you want. Some puppy's are very curious.
They will simply walk inside. Others may be a little more shy
with the crate. Give your puppy time to warm up to the crate.
Once she does enter the crate, praise her. You may want to give
her crate a name. When she enters the crate, you can repeat the
crates name, and give her a treat.

After your puppy has warmed up to her crate and has entered and
exited it a few times, you can close the door. She may whine and
paw at the door. She may even start yelping and barking. This
is okay. Do not let her out. After about ten minutes, you can
open the door and pick her up. Walk her directly to the area
designated for pottying. You should never let your puppy out of
her crate and allow her to follow you through the house to go
outside. Most puppies will simply squat and go where they
please. Once you are outside, set her down. You would then
encourage her to potty. Choose a couple of words such as, "Go
potty," of "Do your business." She will not have a clue as to
what you are saying, at first. But, after repeated attempts and
with being given a puppy treat and praise, she will learn what
those words mean. Most puppies will need to go out at least every
hour during the first few days to familiarize them with their
potty area. This is a chance for you to catch them doing their
business where they need to. Lavish them with praise.

The first few nights may make you wonder why you even brought the
puppy home. The repeated yelping and whining coming from the
crate can seriously upset many adults who need their sleep. You
should look at your new puppy as the baby in the family. Puppies
less than four months of age may need to go out once during the
night. When she does, pick up your pup and take her to her
designated spot. After she has relieved herself, place her
promptly back into the crate. You should never play with your
puppy during the night time hours. This will only encourage her
to keep the yelping up. After a few days, your puppy will adjust
to the night time patterns of her "pack" and everyone will get
more rest. Most dogs are able to make it through the entire night
without a potty break around 18 weeks.

Some individuals may think it is harsh to scold a puppy. These
individuals may be the same people who have a dog running wild in
their home within a year. Dogs which aren't disciplined can wreck
havoc on a home. You may return to find a shredded couch, chewed
up shoes, and garbage strewn all over the place. If there are
other pets in the home, you should also consider their feelings.
They will most likely be intimidated by such a tyrant, and fights
could commence while you are away.

If you catch your puppy chewing on something she shouldn't, a
firm "no" is usually enough to stop her antics. As with other
forms of training, this may take a few days for her to learn.
This is why you were advised to move precious things away. Some
people have a rolled up newspaper to swat the puppy with if they
refuse to heed a "no." The rolled up newspaper does not hurt. It
is simply loud, and it teaches the dog you are the alpha in the
family, and not her. If she were truly in a dog pack, her alpha
would nip her soundly. So, don't feel as if you are mistreating
her. In fact, most puppies seem to feel more secure when they
know their place.

The most important thing you can do with your puppy besides
introducing a crate immediately, instilling a potty routine, and
teaching her what "no" means, is to build the relationship with
your new puppy. Get on the floor and play with her. The bond
will grow between you and she will love you. This will make your
puppy want to please you and be obedient as well. This goes a
long way when you start teaching her other basic commands such as
"stay" and "come."

1 comment:

  1. I am very enjoyed for this blog. It help me very much to solve some problems. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us. I appreciate it very much! Looking forward to another great blog!

    Kind regards,

    Elayne Taylor
    Dog Training