If you decide to get a puppy

Sleeping puppyIf you decide to get a puppy, it’s important to know that puppies require a lot of time, attention, and training. As humans we tend to get excited over physical objects, and it’s fun to buy all the stuff a puppy needs, such as dog bed, bowls, toys, collar, leash, and food. These things are important for the puppy, but your time, consistency, and training are even more important.

When your new puppy arrives, it has just been removed from its mom and litter mates, and this is a big and scary world. He or she is vulnerable and needs security and routine.

Here are some good ideas to make the transition easier.

Schedule an appointment with your vet.

Your new best friend needs vaccinations. It can be dangerous for puppies to meet other dogs before they’re fully vaccinated, and many vets even advice against puppies touching the floor in the vet clinic or going outside before they have all their shots.

Play quietly and gently.

It’s tempting to flood the new puppy with attention and activity, but puppies need a lot of sleep. If he or she looks like it’s nap time, it’s nap time.

Decide who is responsible for what.

Routine is important to puppies. Who is responsible for getting puppy food and remembering when the puppy needs to eat? Housebreaking  a puppy is a lot of work; they need to go out after sleeping, after playing, and after eating, and this needs to happen at once. If you wait ten minutes to finish a phone call or watch the show your puppy is likely to have an accident.

Explain the rules from the start.

Encourage playing with the dog toys. Let the puppy know how good it is when playing with them. If he or she starts chewing on the furniture or other off-limits object, say “Off” and show one of the dog toys. Encourage taking the toy, and give lots of praise when the puppy plays with the right thing.

Never hit a puppy, give harsh reprimands, or scold the puppy for something that happened in the past. Positive and consistent training is the way to go.

Puppies don’t come pre-trained.

Some new puppy parents shout, “Come here, right now” and are upset when the puppy doesn’t get it. He or she has no idea what “come here” means. Enrolling in puppy class is a great idea. Here your furry friend will get socialization and learn how to behave around other dogs, and you will learn how to train your dog.

Puppies aren’t human.

It’s easy to assume they’ll understand our way of thinking, know what’s dangerous, or what’s good or bad. It doesn’t work like that. If you run into problems, ask for help.

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