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Puppy Tips

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Jumping

Under absolutely no circumstance do you give your puppy affection (verbally or physically) when he is jumping at you or some one else. For young pups who just came home (8 weeks) it is easiest to just ignore them until they have all four paws on the ground. Practice proper greetings by leaving the room, or out the door for 30 seconds and re entering the room. Getting your pup to understand  the proper greeting position NOW will save you a lot of effort later. You can also incorporate the sit portion of the come, sit, laydown drill into your greetings. 

 

Please understand that if you do not nip bad habits now, they will escalate and be harder to break later. Along with harder, it will require more pressure. Possibly an amount your not comfortable with giving. Teach good habits now and prevent bad habits!

 

Boundaries

It is VERY important to set boundaries for your puppy. Do not allow him to do anything he will not be allowed to do as an adult. If you don't want your 60-90 pound lab to try and cuddle with you on your couch, don't allow your cuddly 15 pound puppy to cuddle on the couch. 

 

When going in and out of the door, people always go first! Do not allow your pup to just barge through the door as soon as it opens. Even if you are just opening the door to let him out to potty, make him wait, and wait until he is calm. Then let him through the door. This teaches your puppy that it is not ok to enter or exit until you say it's ok. Which comes in handy when the door gets accidentally left open. 

Come, Sit, Laydown For Puppies

Get a handful of your puppys kibble and call him (his name, come or here whichever you plan to use). Continue repeating come/here, and as he gets close to you lower your hand (with one piece of kibble) and give it to him. Give him an enthusiastic good boy! Then get another piece and hold it in front of his nose, lift it up just over his head and say sit. You may have to give a GENTLE push on his rear end with your other hand. When he sits, give him the kibble. Then take another piece and hold it in front of his face. Have him sit, then lower it to the ground, slowly moving it away from him while saying lay down. The goal here is to guide him into the behavior with food, then when he complies give him the treat and a good boy! Once or twice a session is plenty. Don't over do it. This excersize is a way to teach your pup basic things when he is too young for formal obedience. Formal obedience (negative pressure for not complying by means of hard jerks on a leash/choke chain) should NOT start until around 5 to 6 months of age. The age depends greatly on your dogs maturity level. Dogs mature at different rates just like humans. All the "work" with puppy should be fun, so he enjoys learning. If to much discipline is used to early you can make your pup not want to learn. Which is why you must keep it fun, and short.

 

Your puppy having an idea of what these things mean makes the transition to formal obedience much easier. 

Potty Training

It is very important to make sure your puppy gets enough water.. If you work during the day and have to kennel/crate your pup (which I recommend when he can't be watched) he needs free access to water for the evening. Which means every 10-20 minutes he needs to be brought outside to potty! Sometimes it may be more often espescially for young pups. He must be kept where you can see him at all times. Do not let him have free roam of the house. This welcomes him to find a corner to use as a toilet, and you wont know until you smell it, or see it. If you find a spot where he went potty and you don't catch him in the act.. DO NOT SCOLD HIM! He doesn't understand. You have to catch him in the act to reprimand him, or you must clean it up and be mad at yourself for not catching it.

 

When to take your pup out to potty:

When he starts sniffing/wandering around

When he sits at the door

When he wanders out of the room

If he is tossing and turning while sleeping

After he takes a nap

Before he takes a nap

During a play session

After a play session

a munute after he gets a drink

If you see him start to squat

If he is dribbling when he walks

(it is better to take him out before he has an accident!)

 

If your pups urine is dark yellow he needs more water!! If you have an outdoor kennel, and trust no one will walk off with your pup he may be left outside weather permitting. He needs shade, a days worth of water or more in a container he can't tip over, or get stuck in, and somewhere to get out of the rain if it starts to rain. You must be absolutely sure that he can NOT dig out. Bored or anxious pups will dig to occupy their time.