Raising a puppy is a challenge for both new and experienced dog owners, but it can also be an exciting, life-changing experience. The goal is to provide your puppy with a safe environment, but there is a fine line between safety and being overprotective.
To help your pup develop into a happy, healthy, well-adjusted adult dog, the American Kennel Club offers a few tips for puppy rearing.
Training. The cute puppy misbehavior will become a lot less cute when she’s older. Make sure you teach your pup good manners when she is young. Teaching the basic commands as a puppy will go a long way throughout her adult years. Training classes can be extremely helpful and lots of fun for you and your new pup.
Don’t play too rough. Puppies love playtime, but it is important that they learn the appropriate level of rough play at a young age. Your puppy needs to learn her manners when it comes to playing with other people as well as other animals. If you let her play too rough when she is a puppy, it could become a bad habit in her adult years.
Limit treats. As much as those puppy-dog eyes make it hard to say no, you should limit the amount of treats you give to your new pup. Treats can alter your growing puppy’s appetite for the better-balanced, more nutritious meals. You also don’t want to spoil her. Puppies learn quickly that by begging, crying and acting out, they can get their way, so it’s best to control this behavior at a young age.
Socialization is vital. It is crucial to make sure your dog is comfortable in all situations. Socializing your puppy is extremely important and should start early on, as it sets the stage for your dog to feel happy and confident throughout her life. Once your puppy is properly vaccinated, it is important to start exposing her to new people, places and situations as soon as you can.
Stay consistent. Decide which furniture or parts of the house are off-limits and be consistent with enforcement. Don’t reprimand your dog for being on the couch one day and then let her up there the next. Make sure to praise your pup when she follows the rules.
Eliminate household dangers. Make sure there aren’t places in your home where your puppy can easily fall or become trapped. Also, don’t keep substances that can sicken her, like the garbage, household cleaners, medications, pesticides and so on, within her reach.