Getting a puppy is very exciting but can be slightly daunting too. The thought of a furry little creature being in your care brings about feelings almost equivalent to having a newborn baby. Although you get to cuddle the puppy, feed it, play with it and teach it new tricks, you still need to care for it as attentively as you would a new baby. These thoughts can be frightening to some, especially considering the number of puppies that are returned to their owners or taken to shelters because the job was too much. But don’t be overwhelmed – your new puppy will bring plenty of joy into your life and can easily adjust to its new home if you do the following:
Prepare a safe space for your puppy
Puppies are very sensitive to sounds, sights and new environments, which is why you need to ensure that your puppy has a comfortable and safe space to call ‘home.’ Just as a newborn baby would have a nursery and cot prepared for them, a puppy also needs to have its own special area and sleep space. This will help the puppy get comfortable in its new home and relieve its anxiety of being separated from its mother.
Assume the role of the mother
Any newborn animal will experience separation anxiety once separated from its mother, so to combat that, have a hot water bottle and ticking clock (to emulate its mother’s heartbeat) near the puppy to create the illusion that its mother and siblings are around. As with newborn babies, puppies have poor eyesight so creating such an impression will help keep them calm and relaxed whilst they settle into their new home.
Give the puppy a name and come up with some house rules
Have a list of rules regarding the puppy – rooms it cannot go into, things it cannot do etc. Remaining consistent with your rules will help the puppy get accustomed to them quickly and will speed up the learning process. Naming your puppy helps create an identity for the dog, and according to experts, choosing a name that has a strong consonant ending will help the puppy abide by the rules more easily. Avoid names that are too long, or that contain more than two syllables.
Teach your puppy some good-dog manners
Biting and nibbling, jumping up, and responding when being called, are three things you need to address with your puppy. Firstly, you need to teach your puppy that biting and nibbling on you is not as cute and fun as it seems. One good way to stop your puppy from doing this is to yelp in pain, thus creating the impression that the puppy is hurting you. It will identify this sound of distress and avoid hurting you in future. Get your puppy some good chew toys to aide with teething and to alleviate boredom. A bored puppy will find something to chew on – usually your beloved shoes! Find out more about healthy chew toys for your dog here.
A puppy that jumps up on you, in an obvious bid for attention and cuddles, can seem cute when they are little – but once your pup is fully-grown, it won’t have quite the same appeal. When your puppy jumps on you, turn around with your back to it and reprimand it in a stern voice. This will teach your puppy that there is no reward of any kind for not jumping up.
Reward your puppy
Reinforce good behaviour and your puppy following a command with rewards - whether it be a positive exclamation, a loving stroke, or a healthy treat.
Now that you are armed with these tips and tricks, all that’s left to do is enjoy introducing your new family member into your home!
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