Bringing a new puppy into your home is always very exciting and lots of fun, but it can also be a lot of hard work! So here are a few tips to help train your puppy.
Let your older dogs discipline the puppy when needed. The vast majority of older adult dogs are not even vaguely aggressive towards puppies, but know how to a serious warning when a puppy steps out of line. For example when the new pup wants to help the adult dog finish it’s food, a good warning off is quite appropriate. It helps teach the puppy acceptable boundaries and behaviour for it’s place in the pack.
If your puppy growls at you when you go near her food bowl firmly tell her to “leave”, pick up the bowl, put something tasty in it and put it back down again. It’s important to be able to safely take something your dog is eating away from them in case they’ve got hold of something they shouldn’t eat. You showing your control over her food also indicates your dominance as “pack leader”.
Stroke the puppy and hold her collar loosely when she eats so that she gets used to being touched when eating.
Puppies will chew! It’s one of their development phases as they start exploring the big new world, and unfortunately they explore it with their mouths and sharp little teeth! It’s also a way of releasing some of that never-ending supply of puppy energy, and may help sooth sore gums during teething. And they grow really fast so what they can’t reach one day, they can reach the next. Keep things out of the way that you don’t want eaten, as it will take a bit of time to teach them what is allowed and what isn’t. There are products on the market designed to be sprayed on things you don’t want your puppy to eat, but these are not always very effective. Puppies learn quickly that the unpleasant taste doesn’t last very long but the joy of chewing once it is gone is irresistible!
Puppies seem to love cords! So be very careful with electrical cords and cables which might shock them if chewed through. Not to mention replacement costs of whatever the cord was plugged into! While puppies are young it might be a good idea to keep doors to offices that might have a lot of electrical equipment with lots of cords, closed. There are also plastic cord conduits or covers you can use to help keep cords a little safer.
If a puppy grabs something you don’t want them to have, yelling will usually make them run! If you can manage to curb the impulse to shout rather call them with a fun voice, usually they will come to you. Then pet them and talk nicely while you ask for the object back. For example use “thank you” to take something away and if you have something handy to give them as a reward for letting go, give it to them. Otherwise praise them gently for letting you have it.
Be consistent in your training. Puppies brains are like sponges and they can learn very quickly. So spending the first few months of your puppy’s life guiding and training it in the right way will make all the years you will share together much easier.