Regardless of the breed, puppies are such gifts to humans. They are adorably cute, cuddly, and stress-relievers for some and it’s no question why people like adopting or purchasing them and taking these cuties home. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready or knows how to properly care for younger dogs and therefore, skips important steps that can greatly affect their development. It’s disappointing but there are dog owners that are not well-knowledgeable on how to raise one and what are the important things to teach a puppy.
If you are a complete newbie on taking care of dogs and is looking into bringing a puppy home, here are the important things to teach a puppy and why you should do it.
Puppy 101: Important Things to Teach a Puppy for Healthy Growth
If you are a new fur parent, you must know that raising a puppy does not only revolve around feeding them, giving them cuddles, and loving them with all your heart. Though these things are also vital and must-dos, there are a lot of factors in between that you need to properly execute so your puppy will grow into this reliable and overall good boy (or girl!).
1. Puppy Socialization
If there could only be one thing you need to teach your puppy, it has to be socialization.
Puppy socialization is the process of taking your dog to see different places and exposing him to other dogs and animals, sights, sounds, and humans, and making sure that he is enjoying and having a good time. This is teaching him a positive association with the world and all other things he’ll encounter as he grows up. Take note, make sure he enjoys it. If your walkies has introduced traumatic or intimidating situations for him, he’ll be horrified the next time you do so.
Puppy socialization should take between 3 to 4 weeks of age until your puppy grows to 13 to 14 weeks. If by chance you had your pup at a later age, like age 7 to 8 weeks, be hopeful that the previous owner or the puppy’s mother had established a socialization foundation. Still, continue to socialize even if it’s a bit late.
In the start, take your puppy to safe places with an environment you had control over, like a small gathering with friends or family, and with controlled groups of children. It’s best to avoid loud and crowded places, like big parties or busy streets. Save that for when your puppy has a hang of things.
2. Prevent Separation Anxiety
Dogs are social animals and love being in the company of others. This is why without proper prevention, dogs often experience separation anxiety or SA. This is especially true with working furparents where they have no choice but to leave their pooches behind for 8 to 10 hours a day.
To avoid having your dog experience SA, start gradually introducing them to “aloneness” when they are still puppies. There are multiple ways to go about this, such as crate or pen training. If you can, plan a schedule where you have a few days off to train your dog. Play with her first until he gets tired and place him in his crate and give them treats or food, while you sit nearby, doing your own thing. Continue with the training and slowly increase your distance and length of time away, until you begin to notice that even though you’ve left the room, your puppy is still relaxed and calm on his own.
3. Housetrain your Puppies
To peacefully live with your dog, housetraining or potty training is essential. This prevents stress and frustration on your part and it helps your dog practice discipline. However, it is one of the most challenging dog training out there. The procedure is fairly simple but it’ll take your dog a few more times to understand and master and this also means patience and effort for the dog owners.
The first step to do is to take your dog to his designated potty spot more often, even when they don’t need to go. This teaches him that his business should be done at this particular spot only. Take him out every hour and as time passes, gradually increase the length of time between bathroom trips.
Though your dog has a certain spot for his business, we also highly recommend that you encourage your dog to eliminate on different surfaces. If their spot at home is on the grass, train them so they can also eliminate on gravel or dirt. If you don’t, your dog will have a hard releasing on occasions where grass isn’t available.
4. Train with Positive Reinforcement
More than 20 years ago, the norm in dog training is inflicting fear and pain to make an obedient dog while trainers who opted for a kinder training using treats were criticized. Now, positive reinforcement came through, proving that a force-free training technique is more effective than force-based methods.
Use your dog’s favorite treats to reinforce the behavior you want them to display. Dogs will associate these behaviors as a way to get treats or toys so they’ll keep doing it. It’s a win for both the dog and furparent so we highly suggest opting for a kinder dog training method.