Puppies are squishy and cute. They have an irresistible puppy smell. They are instant happiness. On the other hand, puppies need boundaries, constant supervision, they can't concentrate on anything for more than a minute or so, and they need to pee every few hours.
Even if you're prepared, raising a puppy has it's challenges. Here are some helpful tips.
1. Crate train: A lot of people think it's cruel, but there is a reason most trainers recommend crate training. No one is staying push the puppy in and lock the door. Proper crate training allows the pup to feel comfortable in the crate and use it as a quiet space to sleep or chew. A crate should be calming, your dog should want to go into it. Crating a puppy will help you with potty training, time outs, creating a schedule that includes some chew and rest time and managing your puppy over all
2. Rotate: Rotate everyhting. Rotate the toys, treats, chews and training exercises. Puppies can't concentrate on anything too long, so keep them stimulated by rotating out their stimulation.
3. Create a schedule: It's important that your puppy gets into a routine. A schedule of daily needs should be about the same every day. You can vary it up by the exercises you do or the games that you play, but in the first few months, try to stick to your schedule as much as possible. The exact time spent doing any one thing, depends on the dog, and except for meal times and potty breaks, you don't need to schedule the day down to the minute. Some things that you should schedule into your day :
- play: solo and interactive
- bathroom breaks
- alone time/crate time
4. Socialize, socialize, socialize: Take full advantage of the first 4 months of life. You will never get this time back. There is a lot your puppy must learn in this time period to avoid behavioral problems later on in life. This is the time to turn that ball of fluff into a resilient, confidant dog. If you take the time and learn how to do it appropriately, it's fun and easy.
Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with tools that will build the best possible relationship you can have with your dog. It starts early and will last a lifetime!