Before we get into the best puppy advice and the worst puppy advice, I’d like to congratulate you on your new addition! Getting a puppy is like adding a human baby to your family. When deciding on the perfect companion, you did your research about specific breed bought books on what is best for training a puppy and that is something to be proud of! You have everything ready for your puppy, but need to know what to do in terms of socialization and exercise; deciding on hiring a doggie babysitter and sending your puppy to doggie daycare are decisions weighing on you. And let’s not forget whether to crate train your puppy or not.
The anticipation has grown and you have been eagerly awaiting this day and it finally arrived! You think you know what to do, but do you know the pros and cons of everything? Let’s dive into the good and the bad puppy advice so you can develop a plan to properly train your puppy.
Best Puppy Advice & Worst Puppy Advice
Properly training your puppy is subjective. While some dog owners believe a properly trained puppy means having a friendly dog who is potty trained to go outside, for others it goes much further and includes many more elements of training. I hope you will read through the puppy advice to avoid some common mistakes when training a puppy.
Crate training a puppy is essential to training and keeping them safe through their younger years. Not only does the crate training aid in potty training your puppy and reducing accidents in your home, it also keeps your puppy safe from eating objects that are harmful to them. Read about the do’s and don’ts of crate training so that you understand that crate training is synonymous with puppy training.
Crate Training Don’ts
Don’t feel sorry about putting your dog in a crate. Remember, the crate keeps them safe from their puppy chewing tendencies! If your dog whimpers, whines, or barks when you close the crate door, stay strong. Do not take him out of the crate. Doing this will reinforce your puppy’s naughty, noisy behavior. In addition, if you talk to him to try to soothe him, he learns that when he gets loud, he gets attention from you. And finally, if you let him out, he learns that acting crazy gets him what he wants – freedom! This will cause problems not only with your crate training – it can extend to other areas of life with your dog. The next thing you know, he’ll be barking to get you to feed him, pet him, let him inside or outside, etc.
Don’t feel sorry for your dog. You are a great pet owner. And your dog has a great life filled with a nice home, good food, lots of attention, and endless love. Crate training is part of your endless love for keeping your puppy safe. Make his crate comfortable and enjoyable and he will recognize the crate as a safe space to rest.
Crate Training Do’s
The first part of crate training do’s is to prepare your crate for your puppy. Meaning, make their crate comfy and turning the wire enclosure into a cozy home. This includes a warm blanket, a snuggly bed, or a piece of clothing that smells like you.
Making your dog’s an enjoyable space will ease their anxiety. Feed your dogs their meals in the crate and also provide them yummy treats each time they go in. Additionally, allowing your dog to go in and out of their crate while you are home can get them used to taking naps in there. Praise your dog for going in – the power of praise is truly amazing, when it comes to your dog! For additional crate training tips, check out, How To Properly Crate Train A Dog.
Doggie daycare is similar to daycare for children. You drop off your dog in the morning and while they are there, your dog will get to play and run around with other dogs. At the end of the day, you will pick up your very tired dog!
Doggie daycare provides dogs the ability to run free in a safe and secure area. Additionally, dogs get to socialize with their doggie friends. It sounds like doggie daycare is a must try for dogs, especially puppies. Puppies have lots of energy and like to interact with other dogs after all. However, there are pros and cons to doggie daycares, especially when it comes to training a puppy.
Doggie Daycare Don’ts
Why would someone recommend against this since dogs are pack animals and need to be social? For one thing, doggie daycare is not structured. A puppy is learning how to do everything (think human baby for a second). They need to get used to wearing a collar, used to walking on a leash, used to peeing/pooping outside. The list goes on and on.
Doggie daycare is a great place for dogs to expend energy and play. Your puppy would have a great time, however, when training a puppy, they need consistency and structure. Therefore, a doggie daycare is not the best place to learn potty training, leash walking, etc.
Doggie Daycare Do’s
Doggie daycare isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, your dog could really benefit by running around and releasing cooped up energy. Additionally, having your dog around other dogs is extremely important for their mental well being.
Once you get your puppy trained on the basics, it would be a good time to get them enrolled in some doggie daycare one or two days a week. It would be best to keep up with the leash training and hire a dog walker, if you don’t have one already. A balance between free play time with structured walks would be a great idea for a growing puppy.
Having a doggie babysitter on hand is something many dog owners find necessary. A doggie babysitter can also be referred to as a dog walker or pet sitter. Whatever way you refer to them as, this pet care professional provides value to both you and your puppy.
Doggie Babysitter Don’ts
I’m sure you’re thinking you need someone to watch your puppy while you are at work. You can’t imagine leaving them alone. Did you know if your puppy gets used to having someone around all the time, it can lead to separation anxiety? You have a puppy now, but as your puppy grows into a mature dog, they will be used to all the attention they received as a baby. They won’t be able to handle being alone. This can lead to excessive barking, whining, and destruction.
In addition to separation anxiety, having a doggie babysitter can be expensive. Having a puppy is expensive enough with all the gear, food, toys, and veterinary expenses. Do you really want to add on the cost of an au pair for your puppy?
Doggie Babysitter Do’s
Having help with your dog is normal. You are a busy person and cannot be around your dog all the time. Therefore, you do need to hire a dog professional to help you (and your dog) from time to time. There is nothing wrong with this at all. In fact, it makes you human : )
Rather than hiring a doggie babysitter for extended amounts of time, consider hiring a local dog walking service to break up your dog’s day. You could choose a single walk each day or multiple walks, depending on how long you plan to be out of the house on a particular day. A good dog walking company will work with you to create a dog walking plan that will be best for you and for your puppy.
Handling Your Puppy
As you venture out on a walk with your puppy, they might not be gung-ho about leaving your property. Think about your puppy as a baby. Everything is brand new to them like a collar, leash, new home, and yard. They aren’t quite sure what the outside world is and they aren’t quite sure if they want to go there! As a result, they might walk a few steps and then put on the brakes in protest. Here are some pointers for what to do and what not to do when handling your puppy.
Handling Your Puppy Do’s
When your puppy protests walking (because it will happen!), encourage them to keep walking. You can encourage them with treats, by petting them, or words of encouragement. Make sure to keep the walk enjoyable and reward them for doing a great job. The last thing you want right now is to make this stressful because they might be even more hesitant to walk moving forward. Get more tips about training your dog to walk well on a leash.
Handling Your Puppy Don’ts
If they continue to protest the walk and refuse to move forward, please do not pick them up. Rather, make your dog go through the process of walking on their own. If they realize that stopping allows them to be picked up, guess what? They will remember that and continue to do that! Dogs are animals of habit and you don’t want to establish bad habits. Be confident and hold your ground. Make the walk enjoyable and fun. Remind them of what you expect from them and reward them accordingly.
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