This time of the year is known for families adding puppies to their homes. Here are a few tips to get you and your pup off to a good start.
1) House training: If you want your puppy to potty outside then ditch the potty pads and strictly take your pup outside. Potty pads only confuse dogs and they are really made for elderly dogs and xsm-small breeds. Create a schedule and stick with it! Remember, a 2 month old pup can only hold it's bladder for 2 hours, a 3 month old pup can hold it for 3 hours, etc.
2) Crate training: It is not cruel to crate train your dog. Crate training creates the den effect which teaches the dog the crate is a safe place. Plus it is super helpful during the chewing phase. While you are gone crating your dog can protect your dog from swallowing something harmful.
3) Socializing: I cannot stress enough how important it is to socialize your dog! It is important puppies are exposed to a variety of sounds, smells, environments, people, and other animals.
4) Vaccines: Parvo is scary and you never know where it could be. You could even get it at your vet. Our vet prefers us to carry our pups inside and not let them walk in the grass. It's important to not take your puppy in public until after its third vaccine.
5) Do not free feed! Pups under 6 months should be fed 3x a day. Pups 6 months+ should be fed 2x. Feed according to your dog's weight and food recommendation.
6) Leash Training: Teach your puppy how to use its legs at a young age. Many owners carry their pups and it drives me nuts! They have legs for a reason. Your puppy should be put on a leash at 8 weeks old. The more you use your leash the less fighting you will have.
7) Avoid stuffed animal type toys and raw hide. These are dangerous!
8) Puppy biting is not cute or funny! Start correcting the biting ASAP.
9) Create rules and boundaries on day one and stick to the plan!
10) Begin obedience training asap. Puppies as young as 8 weeks can learn how to sit. Build on commands and behaviors daily!
11) If you need help reach out to a trainer near you!