I Got puppy for Christmas! Wait, now what do I do?
If you’re one of the thousands of people who received a puppy for Christmas then you’re keenly aware that, while adorable, training a puppy is no easy task. Many people underestimate the responsibility and dedication it takes to raise a young dog, especially once the novelty of the surprise wears off. Sadly, many Christmas pets are rehomed, or taken to the shelter due to behavioral issues (aka: lack of training.) The truth is, the key to raising a well behaved dog is to train and bond with them as a puppy. To help you navigate this new endeavor, we’re offering 5 training and bonding tips.
1. Consistency is Everything.
This is so true when training a puppy. Whatever behavior you’re trying to eliminate, you must be consistent in implementing and correcting it. For example, if you don’t intend on letting them sleep in your bed, jump, or get on the couch when they’re grown you can’t allow for it while they’re small. The best way to make your expectations clear is by being consistent with both positive and negative reinforcement.
Pro-Tip: Our favorite way to correct unwanted behavior is with a squirt bottle, it’s effective yet non-threatening and harmless.
2. Consider Crate Training.
Crate training a puppy is one of the most bond-enriching choices you can make for two reasons: 1. It eliminates the frustration of your puppy ruining things when home alone while 2. Providing them the opportunity to relax in a space all their own. As long as they won’t be confined too long, it’s a wonderful option for working pet parents or anyone with a semi-active social life. Be prepared: they will cry at first, but be consistent… If you give in and take them out, even once, you’ve reinforced that crying will get them released.
Pro-Tip: Make sure the crate is big enough that they can stand up, turn around, and lie down in it comfortably and never use it as punishment – you want them to relax and enjoy their space, not fear it.
3. Toys, Toys and Toys Galore.
Or at least a few of their favorites. You want to be able to distract your puppy away from inappropriate playthings (wall corners, carpet edges, dining room chairs…) with proper toys. Eventually, they’ll understand what’s ok to chew and what isn’t.
4. Puppy Proof.
You may find that you need to train yourself a little in the process to eliminate temptation; put shoes away, try to to hide or block cords the best you can, and put potted plants up for a little while.
Pro-Tip: Consider a chew-deterrent spray for furniture edges.
5. Don’t Forget their Diet.
Setting your puppy’s nutritional foundation isn’t just about their teeth and coat, it also plays into bone health and brain development. Our Freeze Fried Puppy Formula has DHA for brain health, calcium for strong bones, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system – the full package for a growing pup!
Show us your puppies! We’d love to see your Christmas pups on our Facebook page!