Puppies are completely adorable. Most people agree on that. Having a puppy and watching them grow into adult dogs can be such a rewarding experience. You’re able to have them from the start and watch them walk through each stage of growth. There’s a bond that’s created that will last throughout their whole life.
It’s essential to walk into the puppy stage ready to go and armed with knowledge. This short-lived and precious stage will have its ups and downs – memorable moments and perhaps some that you’d rather forget.
It’s great to keep in mind that the more prepared you are when your new bundle of joy arrives, the better off you’ll be. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep in mind when you’re planning for the arrival of your new furry friend:
The Puppy Phase Goes Fast
Just like with a newborn baby, the early stages go by so quickly. This is important to remember when you’re beginning to lose heart with your new fur baby. In a blink, they will be bigger, and in another blink, fully grown.
Depending on the breed of the dog, the puppy phase can last between 1-2 years. Whether they’re still considered to be a puppy or not also depends on their behaviour, not necessarily age. If you have a dog that will grow to be a bigger size, remember that the phase where they’re small and able to be carried around will be fleeting, so take a lot of pictures. https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-retriever-michigan
Give Them a Cosy Space
It’s important for your puppy to have a nice, cosy place when you bring them home. This will help significantly with them sleeping for longer stretches through the night and also when they nap.
Dogs are naturally den animals, so prefer having a nice space for burrowing. Line their crate with blankets and even place a blanket over the top for a den-like feel.
It’s also a good idea to have a playpen for your puppy. Since they like to chew and get into things, it’s a good idea for them to have a pen with toys available. Lay some cosy blankets on the floor of it, and they can nap in there, as well.
Get Crazy with the Toys
As just mentioned, puppies and chewing go hand in hand. They’re teething, they’re exploring the world, they’re playing, and they could use some guidance in this area.
It’s important to get your dogs safe, fun, age-appropriate toys to satisfy that need to chew and also for them to enjoy. This will help save your furniture and your sanity. If your puppy is heading for your favourite shoes, redirect them to a favourite toy instead to teach them what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to chew.
Just make sure that their toys are specifically for dogs, not for kids. Also, watch those toys with the squeakers inside. Depending on the dog breed and how avid of a chewer they are, your puppy could bite its way to the squeaker and swallow it.
Get Them in a Routine
Just like children, dogs do really well when they can be on a schedule. Getting a regular routine down is helpful with the potty-training process and also helps give you a feel for when they have to use the bathroom. Routines also help your puppy become more regulated and able to understand when things are done around the house.
It’s often recommended to set a timer in the early stages for every two hours to remind yourself to take your puppy outside. This is very helpful in avoiding accidents. Remember to give them a lot of praise when they do go. Make sure to have a routine set for mealtimes, too. It will greatly help your dog’s adjustment to their new environment, and you will feel more confident and comfortable with your new puppy, as well.
Start Training Early
It’s a given that the potty-training process should start early, but how about other kinds of training? “It might not seem like an excitable puppy can focus enough to learn simple training behaviors, but most pups can start mastering the basics at as young as 8 weeks old,” says PetMD https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/when-start-training-puppy.
It’s great to get an early start with puppy training as it builds an excellent foundation for the future. It’s also a good idea to establish yourself as the alpha dog early on. Hold your puppy often to let them know that you’re the boss.
Positive reinforcement techniques are the favoured style of training these days as they reward good behaviour with treats and ignore unwanted behavior. It’s also considered to be a more humane way to train your dog.
Wear Them Out
One thing that’s for sure about puppies is that they are loaded with energy. They are typically go, go, go with naps in between. It’s a great idea to take them out for walks around the yard or the block and play with them, too. Grab their blanket and run around the house with it while they chase you. They burn energy and you burn calories.
Start working with your dog on fetching and get on the floor with them for some rough and tumble playtime. Just watch out for those baby teeth as puppies love to explore and play with their mouths.
A bored puppy is a destructive puppy. If you find your dog roaming around the house or chewing on things, one of their issues may just be boredom. Keep them active as much as you can, and you’ll be happy with their nice, long nap afterwards.
Puppies do take time and attention to get where they need to be, but are completely worth it. Preparing for their arrival in advance will help immensely. Allowing your new furry friend access to a limited area in the house will greatly help in the potty-training process, along with the regular routine.
Over time, you’ll find that you have a new bestie in your life. They grow up so quickly, so enjoy this precious stage while you can.