Training your new puppy

A few things for the novice owner to think about.

The trouble with a new puppy is that more often than not, from the moment they come home we are completely besotted, totally drawn in by the severe "aaahhhh syndrome" and if not careful doomed to a life of potential problems! Take heed, rejoice in the delights of a new 'baby dog' but remember that puppies need to learn boundaries from a very early age especially if a large or giant breed... one of our biggest responsibilities as an owner is to ensure we bring up a well-mannered dog rather than allowing him or her to turn into a 'yob'.

If I had a pound for every time I've been told "I thought he'd get better as he got older..." Frequently, though,left to their own devices, dogs with unruly behaviour only get more proficient at doing things their way, not yours.

Start in the home

Decide exactly where your puppy is going to live and how much of your home he'll have access to, will it just be the kitchen and downstairs or do you mind the dog upstairs?

Are you going to use a crate as the dogs 'den' or allow the puppy to be 'free-range'?

Try to establish a fairly stable routine of feeding, sleeping, going out etc... naturally this will alter somewhat as the dog gets older but dogs thrive on routine, it helps them to feel secure and confident.

Never lose sight of the obvious, however you learn things initially (rightly or wrongly) that's what sticks and it's hard to change a pattern of behaviour... it's exactly the same scenario with your puppy.

Socialising and coping with 'life'.

Training your pup to be sociable, confident and obedient is absolutely crucial to everyone's future well-being and enjoyment. Start this process as early as you can taking care not to overwhelm him or her with too much of the outside world in one go. Seek out a reputable class where the puppy will learn how to mix with other people and dogs and to be handled by strangers, all attributes to be encouraged throughout your dogs life.

'A Trained Dog is a Happy Dog'

It's true! When a dog knows what's expected and how to 'fit in' they feel relaxed, happy and secure so investing time and know-how in the formulative months of their life will payoff a zillion times over, don't leave it to chance!

Best wishes until next time,

Julie Burke

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