Puppies Need to Learn What?
Adorable. Huggable. Kissable. Playful. Funny. Do any of these words come to mind when you think about puppies? Of course they do! It’s no surprise that puppies can fill our lives full of love, joy, and happiness. They wield great power to spark smiles and laughs, simply because they are so cute and snuggly. Yet, there is another side to raising a puppy that involves commitment, dedication, and patience – even when they are not making us smile and laugh. The fact that they are puppies means they are young, new to this world, and have a lot to learn.
When you decide to bring a puppy into your home, you are guaranteed to experience the exciting, and the not so exciting, aspects of owning a puppy. While each puppy will come with his or her own personality and learning curve, here are some things you can expect all puppies to have to learn:
- Where to use the bathroom
- When to use the bathroom
- How to walk on a leash
- Where to sleep
- What to chew (and what not to chew)
- What to eat
- When to eat
- The crate is a safe place
- How to interact with people of all ages
- How to interact with other dogs and cats
- That play biting, growling, or rough play with people is not appropriate
- Jumping up on people is not a good behavior
- Brushing teeth can be fun (with pet flavored toothpaste)
- Grooming and nail trims are not scary
Although this list may seem a bit overwhelming, your puppy can learn these things successfully! The important thing to remember is that the sooner you set up a routine and maintain consistency, the sooner you will achieve these goals. For any undesirable behavior, the general approach of stopping the behavior (with a command or loud (but not scary) noise), redirecting to an appropriate behavior, and then praising for the good behavior can go a very long way towards your puppy’s training success. While puppy training might be frustrating at times, you should also remember that each interaction offers an opportunity for you and your puppy to bond further. And after all your hard work during the puppy months, you will see you have helped to create a well behaved and well adjusted adult dog!
Are you considering adopting a puppy? Or perhaps you are right in the middle of trying to figure out how to raise your puppy successfully? Then RSVP for our upcoming 3rd annual Paws and Learn: Puppy Care Fair. The event will be held in our clinic lobby on Tuesday, March 14th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. We will have lots of helpful information, free food, and giveaways. One of our favorite trainers, Marcia Martin from Marcia’s Best Dogs, will be giving a short demonstration, and many of our vendors will be on hand to discuss the importance of preventive care. Don’t forget to bring your puppy too – it’s a great socialization opportuntity!
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS