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"Essential Tips for Raising a Well-Behaved Puppy: A Guide for New Pet Parents"

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

Introduction: Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting and joyful experience. However, it also comes with the responsibility of raising and training your furry friend to be a well-behaved and obedient companion. To help you navigate this journey successfully, we have written a basic set of "Essential Tips for Raising a Well-Behaved Puppy: A Guide for New Pet Parents" that will set a strong foundation for your puppy's behavior. By following these guidelines, you can establish a positive and loving relationship with your new pup that will last a lifetime.

  1. Providing a Safe Space: If both you and your partner are working during the day, it's important to create a temporary fenced area for your puppy to stay in. Leaving them with the entire yard can be overwhelming and may lead to behavioral problems. Consider purchasing or building lightweight, sturdy panels that can be easily assembled. Create an outdoor area with a water bowl, shelter, toys, and a resting spot containing an article of your unwashed old clothing. This designated space will provide your pup with security and limit their freedom, allowing you to maintain control.

  2. Focus Training: Establishing focus is a key factor in your puppy's obedience training. Start this practice early by incorporating it into meal times. Instead of placing all the food in a bowl, hold a small amount in the palm of your hand at the pup's head level. Allow the puppy to eat from your hand, reinforcing your role as the pack leader. This simple act of feeding your pup directly fosters bonding and helps them develop a strong focus on you. Remember, the more focused your puppy is on you, the easier their training will be.

  3. Zero Tolerance for Barking: Developing a zero-tolerance attitude towards barking is crucial. When your puppy barks, avoid yelling or shouting "shut up." Instead, go outside and encourage the pup to come to you. Reward their response with a treat, holding it in your open palm as you did during feeding time. By consistently associating coming to you with positive reinforcement, you will establish an automatic recall command. This approach also applies to stopping any other unwanted behaviors promptly, ensuring a well-disciplined pup.

  4. Establish Home Rules Early: Before bringing your puppy home, discuss and establish home rules with your family members. One common misconception is that dogs should never be allowed inside the house. However, you can bring your pup indoors while maintaining control over their movements. Create a special spot near the back door where your pup can see you. Attach a mat and lead to that spot, ensuring your pup feels secure and connected to you. Remember, your presence is vital for a young pup's well-being. Additionally, consider allowing your dog to sleep inside at night to enhance the bonding experience.

  5. Invest in a Crate: Investing in a crate is highly recommended for your puppy's comfort and training. Make the crate feel like a safe haven by placing some of your family's unwashed clothes inside. This will provide a sense of security, as the scent will be familiar and comforting. Introduce the crate as your puppy's new home, allowing you to control their movements and ensuring their safety. As your pup grows, you can upgrade to a larger crate made of soft materials or wire for increased comfort and ventilation.

  6. Feed from Your Hand: To establish your role as the pack leader, feed your puppy small amounts of dry food directly from your hand before placing their bowl down. This mimics the natural order in a pack, where the leader provides food for the rest. By feeding your pup this way, you strengthen the family bonding process and make obedience training much easier.

  7. Toilet Training: Toilet training is an important aspect of raising a puppy. While very young pups may need to relieve themselves during the night, they can usually hold it until morning after reaching thirteen or fourteen weeks of age. If your puppy indicates the need to go out, respond calmly and avoid making a fuss. Establish a routine that prevents nighttime disturbances and promotes proper toilet habits.

  8. Teach Children Proper Interaction: If you have young children in your household, it is crucial to educate them about appropriate behavior with the puppy. Encourage them to approach the pup slowly and quietly, avoiding rough games, running, or tug of war. Teach them that the puppy is not a toy but a living being that requires gentle interaction. Always supervise their interactions to prevent overexcitement and potential harm to both the child and the puppy.

Conclusion: Raising a well-behaved puppy requires patience, consistency, and a positive approach. By implementing these essential tips, you can create a strong foundation for your puppy's behavior and build a loving and lifelong bond. Remember, training and nurturing your pup is an ongoing process that requires dedication and effort, but the rewards are immeasurable. Enjoy every moment with your new furry friend, and celebrate their growth and progress along the way.

About the Author:

Val Bonney (Canine behavioural Specialist/International Trainer – Author – Senior Obedience Judge/Member of U.K..Trainers Assoc  - Member of Aust. Trainers Assoc. _ Member of Empire Who's Who.) Bonney's books are available online and downloadable at 'Awarded "Brisbane #1 Dog Trainers as awarded

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