Your New Puppy

By Rick McConico – Pro Trainer at Old Oak Retrievers

There is nothing more fun than a new puppy in your house. The first few minutes to the end of the first day is nothing but fun and games for your new pup. However, he will begin learning the moment you pick him up from the breeders.

Even though young and tiny, your new buddy will learn like a thirsty sponge, but what do we teach him? Other than getting out and learning about the big new world some of the most important things you can start teaching your puppy are:

• Where do I sleep?
• Where do I go to the bathroom?
• Where is my food and water?
• What is my name?
• Who is in charge here?

The more consistent you and your family are in these rules the easier it will be for your puppy to learn to live by them and also like them.

Every puppy needs their own space, whether it is for sleeping, house breaking or a “time out (either for you or your puppy). A crate works the best for this. Limit his space so he learns to settle down, be quiet and remain clean. Too much space in the crate will allow him the space to be able to make a mess in one area and move to a clean area. A mess allows your pup learn to be dirty in his house and ends up being a hard habit to break. Remember when puppies are awake they will need to go out often and as close to the same area each time as possible.

A puppy can begin learning it’s name as soon as you bring it home. Use small delicious treats and begin by calling the puppy’s new name. At first he will have no idea what you are talking about but when he looks up, turns his head or gives any response in your direction poke the treat in his mouth. It should only take a few times of hearing the new word (his name) and getting a yummy treat poked into his mouth before he will start responding to his name. Once this happens then you can start adding come or here to his name and getting him to come when called. After he is reliable with treats begin substituting the treats with praise every now and again, gradually giving more praise rewards and fewer treats. The beauty of this is that he will gladly come when called since he will never know when it will be a great treat.

Make sure your puppy learns and knows you and any other people in his life are the ones in charge. All games and good times are started and ended by the people.

People also get to “win” much of the time, they are in charge of the food, the treats, the toys or whatever is desirable in puppy’s life.

Yes there is a lot to accomplish with a young puppy. If you do your homework, both you and puppy will be happier for life because he will become a good citizen and there will be order in your lives.

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