Bringing Home a Puppy
Puppy training isn’t easy. How do you mentally prepare for it?
S o you’re getting a puppy! Bringing a dog into the house is always exciting — the puppy breath, the puppy teeth, those fluffy ears…Puppies are just plain adorable. But how do you prepare to train your new family member?
1.Write a list
When bringing a puppy into the house you should sit down and write a “Do’s and Do not’s” list, especially if you’ve never had a dog before. Imagine the puppy has grown into a full-sized dog and think about what behaviors you do want and what behaviors you do not want. Does he get on the furniture? Wait at a door? Walk on leash? Think of dogs that you like — why do you like them? Or dogs you don’t like — is it because they jump or bite?
Visualizing what behaviors you’d like to see in your dog will make it easier to start training and stick with it.
2. Be Ready to Start Training Immediately
You’ve picked up your cute, fluffy puppy. What now? Well, look back over your list and start training. Puppies learn quickly and are easy to train. If you wait to train and implement the house rules until your fluffy friend has grown up, it’ll be much harder and overly stressful on you and your dog. Take 5–10 minutes a couple of times everyday for an intentional training session. Give lots of treats and hugs, run through old commands, and start teaching new ones.
But keep in mind, training isn’t just for the confines of a session.
Every moment is a teaching moment. Surprise your puppy with a quick ‘sit and down’ round and then love on him for it. Teach her to wait at the door every time you go through one. When you drop food on the floor, practice “leave it!”. You don’t have to limit training to just sessions.
4. Don’t train when you’re frustrated.
If you are feeling annoyed, frustrated, or angry with your dog, take a break. Dogs pick up on your emotions and will react negatively to an annoyed trainer. So instead, take a break and breathe. Come back to training once you feel calm and focused. Your puppy will learn better that way and you will feel happier.
Training with a level-head fosters success and builds a better relationship with you and your pup.
3. Remember, It’s a Puppy.
Remember, this new family member is a puppy. Young and bouncy, your new four-legged friend has a short attention span and can be very forgetful. There will be lots of messes, lots of mistakes. Take a deep breath and look at that cute face. You’ve got this. It’s worth it. Don’t give up!