How to properly raise a puppy [behaviorist advice
How to raise a puppy?How to raise a puppy?
It is hard to imagine a greater joy than the day when the puppy shows up at home. He is sweet, fluffy, cheerful and…
puts the house in a lot of chaos!
She starts to pee wherever she goes, bites our precious furniture and takes our favorite slippers to the lair to throw them with relish. Then we grab our heads and think what the best we have done.
But take it easy! It is enough to prepare well for a new adventure with a puppy and everything will go smoothly. Let's get started!
- Where to get a puppy?
- Get the house ready for the puppy's arrival
- Dogs bed
- Taking care of yourself at home
- Puppy toys
- Home security
- Quarantine and socialization
- Dog kindergarten
- Your dog's safety
- A puppy is not a toy!
Where to get a puppy?Where to get a puppy?
There are so many possibilities at the moment. We can take a puppy from a shelter, usually there are a lot of them there, because shelters are bursting at the seams. Volunteers in shelters, after talking with us, will also help us in choosing a puppy and choosing the right pooch for our home and lifestyle.
There are also many foundations (some "specialize" in puppies) and temporary homes that will be happy to find a permanent home for their charges.
We can also, if we want a specific breed of dog, decide to breed dogs. But here, let's be careful and find out if the place from which we want to take the dog is a real, reputable kennel, where dogs are kept in decent conditions, or maybe a pseudo-kennel, where dogs are kept in scandalous conditions and the only purpose of such a place is to earn money for dogs, without caring for their welfare. It is important not to support such places, because dogs suffer from it.
Before we decide on a puppy of a specific breed, let's learn as much as possible about that breed of dog! This is really important, because many people choose the X breed because they like the appearance of the dog, but are not aware that dogs of this breed require a good job and meet their natural needs, otherwise they may have problems with them. Let's read what the breed was created for, whether it has a hunting instinct, whether it is a working breed, whether it requires a lot of physical effort, or is very moulting, or whether it is a breed that values independence, or rather family life.
The more we learn at the beginning, the fewer surprises await us in our common psio-human life.
Get the house ready for the puppy's arrival
Start working with your puppy…
even before he gets home. The better you prepare in advance, the less work and trouble will be waiting for you later ?
Start with a dog bed. Find a quiet place where your little one can rest and relax. If possible, avoid places in the aisle and corridor, it is better that the lair is a little away from the highest traffic in the house.
Many dogs also like to observe what is going on at home, so it is worth allowing the toddler to orientate himself in his lair. Thanks to this, he will not be surprised when something happens, he will be able to run up to us when he wants to, but also go aside when he feels tired and wants to take a nap.
When buying a lair, remember about quite an obvious thing that we often avoid. Your dog will grow, so it is worth buying a bed "with provisions ", so that the pooch can freely stretch in it, even when he grows up.
If you decide to limit your puppy's space at home, for example by using a large, metal, fold-out playpen, remember that the pooch should not have his "litter box" next to the place where he eats. It's unnatural and uncomfortable for him, so try to separate these spaces.
Create a safe corner for him there, some dogs like it when they have a "base" where all their toys are and which is covered with a blanket from above, making it more secluded and cozy. Test different solutions, each puppy, just like a human, is different and has its own preferences ?
Taking care of yourself at home
In the beginning, your dog will be quarantined, so it will inevitably take care of itself at home. Of course, cleanliness training (for example, in terms of a good trainer or behaviorist) should be introduced as early as possible, but let's agree that it is impossible to avoid mishaps.
There are several solutions here.
One of the more popular ones is spreading newspapers (I do not recommend this, because newspapers get soaked easily) and a mat on the floor to teach the dog to do things in one place. The opponents of the mat claim that the dog learns to do things at home and then it is difficult to switch it to taking care of itself on a walk. In addition, it may like soft surfaces.
I know many cases where the mats served dogs well and kept the house (relative) tidy. What is important in each case is to get rid of the smell of urine from the house, so that the dog does not have the association that home = toilet.
You should certainly not punish your dog for taking care of himself at home. The methods of sticking the nose in the urine are outdated and ineffective. The dog loses confidence in us and tries to deal with us in more secluded places at home, or in extreme cases eats its faeces to hide "evidence of the crime ". With good cleanliness training, the desired behaviors are enhanced, i.e. the dog is praised for taking care of himself during a walk.
Puppy toysPuppy toys
Most of the new, excited "dog parents " run amok buying their sweet ward piles of toys. What is their disappointment when it turns out that the dog finally likes their old, crumpled teddy bear from childhood and does not mind playing with their expensive, shiny, new toys?. Therefore, it is better to buy only a few items and see what suits the dog.
Think of a rubber little toy; remember that the toys are not too big and too hard - the puppy has soft gums and delicate, milk teeth and will not be able to chew on too hard things.
Dogs generally relax to bite and chew, so think about such dog toys. They also love to gut the stuffed animals, like the purebred Jack the Ripper, but here be vigilant if the toddler does not swallow the cotton that is inside.
Each pooch will also enjoy toys that involve sniffing and licking, so you can think about a simple olfactory mat or currently fashionable licking mats.
Also, be careful when buying jerks, dogs love to tear threads out of them, but if you buy a jerk that is too big or too hard, the pooch can quickly get discouraged. Also, do not play too hard with the puppy, because, as I mentioned, they have soft gums and we can accidentally hurt them.
Some puppies are calm and mostly wag their tail or sleep, but there are also Tasmanian devils who can turn our home into a mess in an amazingly short time.
So if you have some valuable books or souvenirs on the lower shelves at the height of the dog, it is better to move them to the higher shelves. If, on the other hand, you have wooden legs next to the furniture, they can also become a great object of play and nibbling by the puppy. Better to wrap them with something, block access to them, or spray them with a spray that smells bad for your dog.
For the first few days, keep a close eye on your furry little friend and see what he is targeting. Maybe his teeth are showing excessive interest in the couch cushion, or your party shoes have become a much sought-after prey?
Hide everything and don't count on the dog's mercy for your belongings at this stage. Of course, once you start exercising, that will change, but in the early stages, prevention first of all!
Quarantine and socializationQuarantine and the socialization of a puppy
Until recently, it was believed that a dog that did not have a complete set of vaccinations should be kept at home, without access to the outside world, "lest it grabs something ". But at some point, behaviorists came to the fore who rightly noticed that the initial stage of a dog's development is extremely important and what he learns at the beginning of his canine journey will stay with him forever.
The dog's early socialization period passes around 3 months, which is when we usually end vaccinations.
What does it mean?
That we are missing a very important time when the pooch should learn the world. Therefore, we should try to reconcile these two things - quarantine and the science of the world.
Of course, it is not about exposing the dog to dangers and exposing him to infections before his young body becomes immune, but after the second vaccination, we can slowly introduce him to safe, "clean" places and show him a bit to teach the world.
Of course, let's not fall into the trap of stimulating a dog, let's not expose it to thousands of stimuli, let's not stuff it into a pack of dogs "to get acquainted ", or lead it to lawns where there are potentially many germs, but let's keep the back of our heads that behavioral development is important at this stage and should not be missed.
It's worth working with dogs from an early age. If we manage to find an intimate dog kindergarten, where our pooch can learn useful commands and meet other cool dogs, this is a great solution!
In dog kindergartens, the emphasis is usually on learning the simplest, but very useful commands (don't move, don't bite your hand, come to me, stay, go to the place, sit, etc.).), learning to negotiate different surfaces, getting used to strange noises and socializing with other puppies.
Working with a dog develops his mind, allows him to gain courage in life and teaches him good and balanced contacts with dogs and people. Therefore, everything that our toddler learns now will pay off in the future, so it's worth spending time on it now.
Such a dog kindergarten (or individual training, if our puppy is fearful and does not like working in a group) is a good investment, because it teaches not only the dog, but most of all, how to communicate with our four-legged friend and read signals that sends us.
As with everything, moderation should of course be taken. The puppy must have time outside of study, for play, pranks, sleep and carefree being a puppy just.
Your dog's safetyYour dog's safety
As guardians, we are responsible for the safety of our pooch. What does this mean in practice? From the technical side, our dog should have a chip and a tag for the dog.
From the health side, he should be under the care of a veterinarian, vaccinated and regularly examined.
It is also important to choose the right food for your dog. There are many popular, advertised foods on the market that are supposed to be good for our puppy, but do not believe the marketing tricks. We should always check whether the food is wholesome, what the meat content has, whether it has allergens and in what proportions it should be given to the dog.
If we train with a toddler, let's also watch the flavors that we give him. Usually, they should not exceed 10% of the daily food requirement. And if we give the dog a lot of treats, let's reduce the portion of the basic food a little so that it does not turn into a fatty ball too quickly. Puppies are often "bottomless", so we have to be even more vigilant.
But we should also watch over the safety and comfort of our dog in social situations. It is obvious that it is difficult to resist a cute and funny puppy we see in a pub or on the street.
Everyone wants to approach and stroke our puppy, and children absolutely want to take him in their arms and hug him.
But now let's think. Does our dog really want to be constantly touched and stroked by strangers, or even by us??
It all depends on the dog here. There are puppies who love human contact, are brave, run to everyone on their own and want to greet each other. But there are also puppies that are withdrawn, have behavioral problems, and don't want to be forced into contact at all. But they themselves are not able to communicate it yet.
That is why we, as responsible guardians, should consider where our dog's boundaries are and we should respect them as well as teach others to do so. Thanks to this, the dog will build a deeper bond with us and will know that he can trust us because we do what is best for him.
A puppy is not a toy!A puppy is not a toy!
Fortunately, we are becoming more and more aware of that the puppy is not a toy. But there are still situations when a puppy is a Christmas present or a compulsive purchase.
When problems with it begin and we do not want to spend time working and studying, we give it back to the store like a broken toy. This is obviously cruel and inhumane, and for a dog it is a huge trauma, so I strongly encourage everyone to answer a few questions and make a responsible decision before deciding to invite a puppy home:
- Do we have time to devote it to raising a puppy wisely??
- Will we be able to go for decent walks with him, if it turned out that our child, who wanted a dog, got bored with him??
- Are we ready for possible damage at home?
- Do we bear in mind that this little puppy will stay with us for even several years and will grow old with us??
- Will we be able to financially cope if it turns out that our dog is sickly and in his old age he will be unwell?
There are many questions and the point is not to discourage anyone from this decision, but I strongly encourage you to explore the topic and thoroughly examine your conscience before making a final decision. For our and the pooch's good, of course ?
As you can see, the decision to buy / adopt a puppy requires a moment of reflection, but it is worth finding this time, and then be well prepared to welcome a sweet toddler and work with him, because every minute you put in will pay off with interest. Dogs enjoy the time together, bring great joy to the family and become our friends for many years!
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