If you’ve never had a dog before, then you’re in for a treat. But, there are some requirements to raise a dog right, creating the best possible chances to end up with a great boy instead of just a good one. If you’re just now picking up your first pup, read on and find out some helpful things you need to know before you start raising a canine.
1. Try Crate Training
Many people think of crate training in the wrong way, which leads them to have an uninformed opinion of it. Crate training actually uses a dog’s instincts for good, rather than simply as a disciplinary measure.
A dog’s crate becomes its den in the end. You should never use the crate as a punishment, instead, it should be considered the dog’s home. It can make things much easier for everyone in the house when done properly.
A dog that is crate trained is one which feels secure and can be confined for the night with no issues. Learn from some experts, but strongly consider crate training, especially in homes with more than one person.
Even if you don’t use a crate, puppy gates are an excellent way to ensure that your dog knows where they can and can’t go.
2. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
If you received your dog as a pup, then it’s on you to socialize them. The first four months of a dog’s life are some of the most important, especially when it comes to how they’ll behave around people and animals in the future.
Take them with you, introduce them to new people and animals. You can even try handing people treats to give to your dog, creating an association between people and treats in their minds. Forming these positive associations creates a dog which is a joy to be around for everyone, failing to do so can lead to a grumpy or skittish canine. In the worst cases, they can even become aggressive.
It’s a necessary part of raising a great puppy. The more they get to interact, the friendlier they’ll be in the future.
3. Give Them Exercise
Dogs need exercise, just like we do. Without it, they’re prone to anxiety problems and obesity. Neither of those is a good outcome, for either of you.
At the very least, you need to be able to commit to a daily walk with your new canine companion. Some playtime in the backyard is also a good idea.
As a general rule, you’ll find that working breeds like Border Collies need a lot of exercise and stimulation. It’s best to put them in a position where they can get it easily, but you need to stay involved as well.
If you have kids then let them play with the dog as well, once you’ve explained the rules to them. Just make sure that the dog can go relax when it gets tired.
4. Housebreak Your Pup
Housebreaking training isn’t overly difficult. You just have to be able to think like a dog, meaning that you can’t sit there and try to talk them through it.
The best way to handle potty training is to use positive reinforcement, like treats, and combine it with a schedule. Puppies, in particular, are prone to using the restroom almost immediately after eating. You really only need to wait ten minutes or so after feeding before taking them out.
Don’t get mad and use negative reinforcement. Dogs have trouble with it and often they’ve been caught after they’ve had an accident. They won’t make the proper association.
This is the most frustrating part of raising a puppy for many people. But stick through it and you’ll get there in no time!
5. No Biting!
It’s adorable when a puppy chews on you.
It’s also one of the easiest ways to make sure that you have serious problems down the line. Anytime a dog decides to use its teeth on you or someone else they need to know that it’s not acceptable.
A firm “No!” and holding their mouth closed for a bit usually gets the point across. Most pups will pick it up after only a few tries. From there, you just need to make sure that others who interact with your dog don’t find it amusing to let them chew or nip.
This is one of the most important pieces of training that your pup can get. Even smaller breeds can cause damage when they bite as adults… and that kind of behavior begins when they’re puppies.
6. Dog-proof the House
When you bring a puppy home, you may end up surprised at the amount of trouble they get into. If they can figure out a way to mess with most things… they will.
Many of these behaviors are correctable, but you’re better off trying to control the damage before it starts. That means using gates to limit access to items, putting away anything dangerous for them to chew on, and even raising potted plants to avoid canine catastrophe.
Go through your house before you bring the dog home, you can thank us later.
Bringing a dog into your home, especially for the first time, is a life-changing event. It takes a lot of work and responsibility to bring your pup up to be a good boy or girl. That said, it’s not as hard as some people think. Follow the above tips and keep researching and you’re in good hands to begin a new life with your canine!