I was just finishing up a Home Dog Training session in Flowery Branch with a new client and Balboa, his two year old Boxer. Balboa’s problem was that he just couldn’t focus and had all of the “Boxer energy”. After I taught my client how to maintain Balboa’s attention and how and when to drain his misplaced energy, things were great. Well, I was walking back to the car when his neighbor came across the street to ask me a question. He had seen the Dog Training signs on the side of my car and had been waiting for me to appear. It seemed that the family had just brought home their new Christmas puppy and they already had their hands full. He said that his puppy looked so well behaved and playful at the breeders. He didn’t understand why things weren’t the same when they brought him home. There were so many books and articles online and he was wondering if I could share some quick tips for him and his family.
First time puppy owners often completely underestimate the responsibility and effort a new puppy will require. The puppy was great at the pet store, you see other people with puppies that are having a ton of fun, and they are always well behaved and cute on TV shows. These are all the fun times. Guess what, real life is not always what it seems.
If you have a new puppy, you need to read and take heed to what we are about to say:
- Feed your puppy a high quality dog food. The rule of thumb is that anything you buy at a super market is not high quality. Read the side of the dog food bag to determine the appropriate amount to feed and do not over feed. Put the food and water down for the meal and then pick both up at the end of the meal. Leave a little bit of water down between meals as determined by your Veterinarian. We recommend a very high quality food called Life’s Abundance. To find out more and order it, please click Really Good Puppy Food.
- Be sure that he has a good food and water bowl, a well made collar (no choke chains or prong collars), and a strong leash with no little bangles on it he could pull off and swallow. If your puppy has a small neck, we recommend that you don’t use a collar but use a harness. The Easy Walk Harness is an excellent choice.
- His toys should be things such as Kong Toys, plush toys, or fetch toys. Do not give him tug of war toys or toys that make that high pitched squeaks. This will only encourage bad behavior.
- Start his crate training immediately. We think that crates are cruel because we think they are “jails”. This is completely wrong. A crate when properly introduced, becomes your puppy’s place of safety and refuge. Your puppy will be happy and relaxed in his crate. He also won’t want to poop in his crate This means that the use of a crate will lower potty mistakes in the house.
- Puppies need lots of play time. Make sure that you get him out often for a lot of fun, active play. All puppies are different and they will tell you when they are tired and ready to come back inside. Hold off on jogging or running with him until your Vet has told you that he has developed sufficiently for those types of activities.
- Your puppy is very curious and his mouth is one way of exploring. If your puppy is biting your nipping you, try spraying Bitter Apple on what he is biting. This unpleasant, completely safe taste can stop his nipping and chewing. Be sure to have an appropriate toy to offer him in place of his nipping.
- NEVER HIT YOUR PUPPY WHEN HE IS MISBEHAVING. He will probably become aggressive and mistrust you as he grows older. Instead, you must teach your dog the appropriate behavior through canine communication, respect, and focus. In this way, you are building a bond of respect and leadership with him.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help. We have our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts listed at Dog Training Help Center Flowery Branch Georgia.