Seven Super Tips for Puppy Owners

After a tough year of losing several of my adult dogs to old age, and cancer, I’m firmly back in the mad house with three puppies.

I never ever condone having puppies together, anyone that had done it knows how much work it is.

Puppies need training for a life time and it’s tough to find time for them if you don’t prioritise it from the start.

Get it right at the start and it all falls into place as they grow older.

Here are some words of wisdom from a puppy hoarder! Its never easy bringing a puppy up, but you can make it a joy rather than a chore.

1. Be patient.

All my dog owners expect their little bundles of chaos to suddenly “get it”. Be that recall, lead walking, or manners around the house. Puppies aren’t pre programmed to settle, or be calm. You have to teach that, and it takes time.

2. Are you being clear?

Many people think puppies are born with dictionaries in their head. That they actually understand the meaning of the words we say. Sorry to say they don’t, they mostly hear “blah blah blah treaty blah blah”. Be clear in what you want them to do, lure the behaviour and once they’ve actually done it a few times, then add a command. Do not say SIT 100% times and expect them to get it.

3. Don’t resist the crate.

Introduced properly, and in a way that makes them that is positive to the puppy, they are your greatest ally. An ally in toilet training, over tired biting, travel sickness, house manners and chewing. Honestly, get it right and you’ll never look back!

4. Don’t skimp on the treats.

So many people say “I want to wean the treats off now, they should just do it for me”….. right. I understand that, but your 14 week old puppy doesn’t. Use the food, and get those behaviours locked in before bridging to work without them. I don’t work without being paid, so why do you expect your puppy to work without payment it want?

5. Kong life savers!

A well stuffed Kong can be your saviour in the home, in the car, in cafe and for your hands. Puppies want to chew, so give them the right things to chew on! A kong in a cafe is my secret to building an excellent settle in new places.

6. Teach an off switch

It might seem the most obvious thing in the world, but it’s all to easy to get into a habit of playing with the puppy call day and letting it sleep all night. It’ll never learn to turn off in your presence if you don’t teach it to. Teaching a learned settle is one of the most important things I teach my puppies. It’s all taught around normal nap times, and I just encourage a sleep with a comfy bed, a chew and me being settled with them. Usually reading a book. It becomes a lovely bonding time. The puppies soon learn, if we’re calm they should be calm and will settle into a calm routine.

7. Enjoy them.

Puppies are only puppies for a few months, enjoy it. Play with them, build bonds. Make mistakes and learn from them. It shouldn’t be all stress having a puppy, they should make you laugh and smile. Remember that when they’ve eaten the shoes you’ve left out.

Raising a puppy is much easier with help. Ask when needed, and listen to it. It can save your relationship.

Kathryn Jones

Training your puppy doesn’t need to be complicated

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