Puppy training can start as soon as your dog enters his new home. In fact, the way you receive the puppy is already a training-starting period, allowing you to set the tone to what is about to come.
One thing to keep in mind is that dogs take their cue from their owners. Hence, the way you behave will affect how the pups behave. This is why quality breeders make a point of asking about a buyer’s emotional and financial ability in taking in a new puppy in their home. That being said, here are some of the things you should keep in mind when preparing to be a firsttime trainer of your little pooch:
Once puppies are weaned from their moms, they stop being protected by their mom’s immune system. Hence, there’s a strong need to start vaccinations and de-worming ASAP to ensure that the pooch is protected from common health problems like parvo. Make sure to ask your seller for the pup’s vaccination records so that you can continue with the process. Routine visits to the vet for injections may continue for the next 3 to 4 months of the pup’s life.
Puppy Diet and Schedule
Most new owners don’t realize this, but puppies can have a hard time adjusting from one diet to another without proper introduction of new food items. If you’re bringing home a puppy from the breeder/pet shop/adoption agency, make sure to ask the people in charge about the pup’s diet and daily routine. Inquire about the food they feed the pooch and purchase the same brand from the store. If you intend to change the puppy’s food brand, you can do so slowly by adding a little bit of the new food to the old one. Being aware of the pup’s original diet and schedule lets you build up on this information and change it to fit your own lifestyle. You’ll be amazed at how the pup’s diet and routine can help with the training program.
Puppies take time as they start getting used to their new surroundings. You might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to the puppy’s cry or having to clean up some “accidents” in the living room floor. Sure, you’ll be able to teach the pup toilet training pretty soon, but that doesn’t mean you are completely safe from having to wipe urine off the carpet. That being said, make sure you have enough time to set aside for the puppy, preferably getting one during vacation or extended leave. Like babies, having a puppy usually means going home directly after office hours to keep the little fur ball company.
Patience is Crucial
Your dog wouldn’t immediately learn how to sit, stay, or even how to tell you if they need to go to the bathroom. Hence, it’s important to hold on to your patience. Some training may require at least a week of teaching before the pup manages to pick it up, and he’s bound to forget what you’ve taught from time to time!
It’s a Family Effort
If you live alone, consistency in teaching your new pup shouldn’t be a problem. If you live with others however, it’s important that your teaching and behavior methods are basically the same. For example, you might determine that letting the pup on the bed is a bad habit, but your significant other may have a different idea. It’s best to talk about these things beforehand, especially if you have children in the household. This way, the pup doesn’t get confused about what the humans want them to do.
Know Your Breed
Breed plays an important role in puppy training. Some breeds learn faster while others require a more stringent approach for training. Later on in this book, we’ll talk about the most common dog breeds and how to best address their training. In the meantime, go online and check the profile of the pup you intend to have. This should include characteristics, energy level, grooming requirements, friendliness with kids/pets, and more.