This has been a year of changes for all of us, and for many, one of those changes has been expanding the household with a cute and furry friend. Dogs really are an incredible point of light in dark times, and the joy your pup can bring you and your family can be limitless!
Of course, introducing an animal to your home is quite a different prospect than bringing home a new TV or smart speaker system, and the first step to responsible dog ownership is fully recognizing and accepting the responsibility. Especially if this is your first time raising a dog.
Train Yourself to Train Your Pooch
Training a young puppy starts with making sure you have reasonable expectations, solid boundaries, and a disciplined approach. Your dog needs to look to you as a leader, and you need to show the young pup how to interact with the world. Most dogs that show aggressive behaviors in their adulthood were raised by first-time dog owners who weren’t able to interpret and quell those behaviors in puppyhood.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your new friend is new to life, and therefore hasn’t had time to learn the rules yet. Like humans, growing dogs are going to push their boundaries often, and repetition and patience will be your most effective tools.
Remember: Lassie didn’t figure out how to tell everyone that Timmy had fallen in the well again all by herself; she had a trainer who gave her attention and clear direction.
Couch Potatoes Beware
Puppies, as anyone who has ever been around one knows, are fuzzy little balls of inconceivable and perpetual energy. This energy should be encouraged through exercise and exploration, or else it will manifest in undesirable behaviors such as furniture-clawing, shoe-chewing, and aggression. Be sure you are willing and able to take your puppy out several times a day for long walks, and some off-leash running and play time in a safe space is ideal.
The Nose Knows
It has been scientifically proven that dogs are directed entirely by their nose, as you can plainly see when watching a dog “follow its nose”. While some breeds are more scent-driven than others, and it’s important for you, their new family, to give them plenty of opportunities to exercise their olfactory prowess. The doggy brain requires stimulation and smelling lots of smells is a great way for them to connect to the world around them. So, remember those long walks aren’t just about getting your 10,000 steps, it’s also about giving your pup time to “smell the flowers”.
Plenty of Puppy Love to Go Around
We saved the best for last. The most important thing your puppy needs is to feel safe, secure, and loved. This is most likely the easiest and most rewarding aspect of puppy training. All you have to do is regularly give your new bestie some love and affection and they will repay it in spades.
Your dog is your family, and you have to make sure they feel welcome and protected. They will see it as their job to be your protector of course, and that is one of the many reasons the symbiotic relationship between humans and canines has flourished for so many thousands of years. You protect and love them, and they in turn worship and protect you. Plus, is there anything in life more cathartic and uplifting than puppy kisses? Of course not. And right now, what we all need most is a soft, loving puppy nose in our face!
The Calm K9 Can Help!
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you and your pup may need some help from a professional. The Calm K9 runs special board & train programs specifically geared towards puppy training, and we do the most difficult puppy training tasks for you! If you live near Orlando, FL or anywhere in Central Florida, give us a call!