Just like raising kids for parents, puppy owners are surrounded by worries too; whether what they are doing is the right way to raise a good dog?
Although the no-manual cliché exists when it comes to parenting, to raise a puppy however, there is a how-to manual.
It can not be said that every detail about parenting a puppy is completely figured out, still there are few well-devised, commonly accepted strategies for raising puppies.
If you are meeting the needs of your puppy, keeping him healthy and happy, bonding with him and properly training him, your pup will grow up to be a good adult dog.
Do’s and Don’ts of How to Raise a Puppy:
Choosing a Pup:
When looking for a puppy, you can either go for a breeder, or adopt a rescue dog.
An important thing to keep in mind when getting a pup from a breeder is the issue of unpredictability of the timeline.
It depends on when the litters are expected and if there are any specific colors or gender that you would prefer. Though, this can give you plenty of time to get your finances, home and other related things in the anticipation of puppy’s arrival.
That being said, there are people who choose to adopt pups that are bit older and have already been housetrained to some extent—and the transition period for those pups much easier. You can look up for organization offering adoptions in your area.
Good Owner = Good Dog
As the saying goes, there are no bad pups, just owners who are bad!
This is even more relevant in case of puppies. It can be really frustrating in the start because they are little balls of fur who cannot understand what is going on around them, but when they make the journey from an unpredictable puppy to a well-behaved dog, it is truly incredible.
Devising a New Schedule
Raising a puppy well will require you to give him enough time. This will call for tweaking in your schedule, something that can be a bit difficult at first, but it will give worthwhile results later.
Going for Crate Training
A surprisingly vast majority of dog owners say that the committing to crate training was something they were grateful for.
It was not only for sleep but also to save the apartment from getting nibbled by the curious pup. Dogs like to have a space for themselves, it comes from their nature as den animals.
Just make sure that the space is a positive place for the pup and do not use it as a punishment. Avoid bugging the puppy when it is napping in the confines of its ‘space’. Line the crate with towels and soft fabrics and make sure there are toys in there for your puppy to chew and snuggle with.
You can also add an activity space next to the crate so that the puppy can stretch its legs chasing treat balls and other toys.
Addition of NPR can also be a nice touch.
This might be a little difficult when you start but it will make traveling with the puppy in collapsible caret much easier, as it would offer a home-esque feel to your puppy.
Setting Up a Nanny Cam
This option is for the owners who want to monitor activities of their puppy when they are not around. Every time you are not around, and want to check in on how your adorable pup is doing, you are just a click away. It will also show you how punctual of a job your dog walker is doing.
Housetraining in An Apartment
When it comes to housetraining, better avid paper training the puppy.
You will have to train the puppy again to go outside after few months. Just stay away from the dirt and patches of grass, as disease lurks in such spots. You might have to spend some time on this exercise in the beginning, but just like the previously mentioned tips, it will bear fruit later. Stick to one patch of sidewalk for the puppy to do his business.
If you live in an area where winters are rough outside, then get a puppy in summer and you can train it to go outside before the bad weather can set in. You can use products like Bitter Apple Spray to keep your furniture, walls, clothes, rugs and anything the curious mouth of your puppy might want to take a bite of.
Plenty of Slumber at Night
8 to 9 hours of sleep is a must for a pup. Taking the pup to relieve itself before going to sleep and the morning walk can contribute to ensuring this peaceful cycle.
Living Big in the City
If you live in a big city, soon as you start your puppy on normal activities of a city, the better.
Make your puppy familiar with the life in a concrete jungle; the smells, notices, sights, everything. It will become easy for the puppy to adjust and will not startle him or her. Your puppy will become an excellent traveler, whether you are driving, in an Uber or Subway.
Dealing with Puppy Based on Age:
Now that the general ideas have been laid out, now we move to dealing with the puppy based on the age.
The First Seven Weeks
The first few weeks in the life of a puppy are filled with a lot of unfamiliar experiences.
During this period of time, the puppy will start to use all of its senses; the puppy will start to walk, grow its tiny teeth, and will make the transition from consuming fluids to eating solids. It is highly recommended not to prematurely separate puppies from their mothers as the process of weaning will naturally occur in the first few weeks.
- What is the responsibility of a caretaker at this stage of a puppy’s life?
A dedicated caretaker will ensure that the particular neurological stimulation, which includes an intricate environment and wary, yet detailed, socialization for proper development of the puppy and providing necessities for adjustments to living with humans.
Once puppies reach the age of eight weeks or older, then the process can be initiated to place a puppy in his new home with his new family.
This time frame of eight weeks old is widely regarded as the best time for acquiring a new puppy. You will need to act quickly! It is crucial high quality of training and socialization occur during this transitional phase. It is the time period where majority of behavioral traits are formed.
A great place to start raising your puppy the right way is from housetraining. This basic command can easily be taught with repetition and there are just two simple rules:
- You need to avert accidents indoors by confining and close supervision of the puppy.
- Take your pup to visit outside frequently and formulate a regular schedule. You should also reward the puppy for following you and your commands.
There are some puppies who learn where not to relieve themselves early on, while some take time to realize. Usually puppies can be sensibly housetrained by the age of 4 to 6 months. Patience is the key in puppy training.
Three to Four Months
You will find puppies filled with energy during this phase of their young lives. The reason is discomfort of teething that can make your pup restless or “chewy” and the puppy will start growing into his adult coat.
The key here is consistency as your pup goes through this transition phase to make sure he turns into a great dog!
- One Step at a Time
When training a young pup, you need to focus on one skill at a time. Once the pup is well on his way to fully be housetrained, you may proceed to teaching a new skill. Start with training your pup to sit, then move to teaching him lie down, and then later to come and to stay.
Your pup may have started to look like an adult dog, but that puppy energy is most likely still there.
You will thank yourself now, as the socialization, training and other hard work that was done during the first few months on pup’s life, have made the upcoming ones much smoother. Pups like to put their boundaries to test, along with your patience during this time, but keep in mind; love and consistency are the secrets to triumph!
Some puppies mature in one year and some can take more than that. One last advice? Enjoy every day spent with your new ‘Best Friend’!
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