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Got a sweet, adorable new puppy?
Read on then!
1 - Housebreaking
The first thing in the morning in the most perfect time to teach your dog how to “go potty” outside!
They (hopefully) have been sleeping like a little cuddle bug all night long in their secure crate (aka “home base” for puppy).
Get the leash and hook it on their collar immediately after you open the crate door. You can’t even afford 1 minute of your puppy roaming around the house.
If puppy is allowed to roam, they might go ahead and potty.
If this happens, you just sent a conflicting message to them about where to potty and it will make housebreaking them so much more difficult!
Remember: Every time your puppy comes out of the crate, you must leash and take out to “go potty” .
Your puppy is ready to pee. All you have to do is get them leashed and out the door to an approved potty spot.
Remember: Praise with verbal “good dogs” and small treats when they potty outside.
2 - Taking the Stairs
If your puppy has to navigate stairs to go outside, don’t assume they automatically know how to do it.
Go slow and let your puppy take the next step when they are ready.
Remember: Give a small treat after each successful step. This will ensure they are never frightened of steps.
3 - Teaching Tricks
Okay, before you even think about this, consider one thing.
Does your puppy have a lot of energy? Well, yes, most any puppy does!
Before attempting to teach any new trick to your puppy, let them spend some puppy energy.
Remember: Morning time is the perfect time to play with our pup. Get a nice, tough tug rope and have fun with your pup.
4 - The most basic of commands
Teaching your dog to sit should be the first command you should teach. It will allow you to gain total control over your pup, regardless of the situation.
Start by letting your puppy get familiar with the environment where you are going to teach. I recommend starting in a place they are already familiar with.
Using a small, healthy treat (I love Blue Buffalo’s treats the best!), hold up above their head.
They will naturally look up to it.
Once they do, most puppies will go ahead and sit and look at it. Say “sit” as you see them doing this.
If they don’t automatically sit down, push the treat toward their mouth and even inside their mouth but don’t let go until they sit. They normally will sit at this point.
However, If they do not, gentle press down on their hind end while saying “sit”.
Once in a sitting position, reward with the treat and say “good boy” or “good girl” or “good Lexy”, etc.
Remember: The key to teaching your dog how to sit is consistency. Be consistent with the word you say, the yummy reward, and the verbal praise.
Once your pup is getting good at this, take them to a new location and repeat.
Remember: Let them sniff around first if it’s a new spot so that they can become familiar with the area. Then, work on the sit command.
5 - Meal Time
Your puppy should eat about 3 times a day for the first 5 - 6 months. Their little tummies cannot hold as much and just like a human baby, they are going to become hungry more often.
Be sure to feed them a good, quality dog food with REAL ingredients.
Be a label reader. Don’t trust marketing alone. Anyone can make their dog food sound nutritious but the truth is right there in front of your eyes on the label of ingredients!
Look for more whole foods that you have heard of (real food that is healthy for your puppy) and less big scientific names (preservatives) that you are clueless about.
Remember: Make sure you are following the feeding guidelines on the food.
Too much food is just as bad as not enough or low-quality food. You’re feeding to help your puppy grow strong and happy.
An overweight dog can cause health issues.
I’m a huge believer in Blue Buffalo. You can actually see real ingredients when you look at their food.
There are other quality dog foods out there, no doubt, but this brand just happens to be my personal favorite right now.
6 - Nap Time
Your puppy is likely going to want to nap after playing and eating.
Always provide them a cozy and protected spot for a little shut-eye.
Remember: Providing a consistent and predictable schedule will help your dog feel secure and confident in their surroundings.
A little background noise like a noise machine, music, or tv playing will help your puppy learn to sleep and ignore normal level noises.
This helps you go about your day as normal if your puppy is sleeping close to you.
7 - Redirect, redirect, redirect
Your goal is to always reward the good and IGNORE THE BAD.
This is your challenge as a new puppy owner.
When you see them do something undesirable, immediately redirect them to a productive outlet.
For example, if they are biting on your arm, furniture, shoe, etc., redirect them to a sitting position. After they sit, reward and praise.
Remember: If you are consistent with redirecting, then their “bad” behavior will just fade away and their good behavior will reign supreme!
8 - Really, really get them to listen to you at any time
Does this sound like a dream? Sound too good to be true?
Well, it can happen! But, you have a key role in making this happen.
You MUST be diligent to take your dog to new and different environments. Once there, give them time to explore and sniff around.
After that, work with reviewing already established commands with your puppy.
Treat, reward, and praise.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Remember: With consistent exposure to new environments AND you working with your dog on commands, they will learn to always listen to you when in new, strange environments.
This is called total control over your pup ladies and gentlemen!
An absolute wonderful thing.
And what do you look like?
A master dog trainer!!!
For more puppy tips, check out this video!
Remember, getting a puppy can be fun and challenging at the same time.
Your very first priorities are to focus on teaching your dog how to "go potty" and making sure you reward the good and ignore the bad actions.
Your puppy will naturally want to please you. But it's going to be up to you to have the consistency and patience to redirect them to good behavior when you see naughty behavior.
It's also a great thing to let them play hard either before trying to teach a new trick or before putting them to bed. This will help your puppy focus (in the case of tricks) and settle down and relax (in the case of bedtime).
Remember: Repetition, praise, reward, redirect, and lots of love and attention to your new puppy will win the day and make you a proud puppy parent!
What kind of puppy are you going to get?
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Looking for more puppy help? Check out How to Train Your Puppy Like a Dog Whisperer, 17 Powerful Puppy Hacks You Have to Know, Top 50 Adorable Girl Puppy Names You Need to Know, and Top 50 Kicking Boy Puppy Names You Need to Know!