Archive for May, 2010

Getting Your First Puppy

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Cute, cuddly, sweet little puppies are able to steal the hearts of many in a matter of seconds. However, much like anything else that you love, a puppy is a huge responsibility. It takes lots of time and energy to train, feed, and raise a newborn puppy, and depending on the breed, it may be much more difficult than you anticipate. While parenting manuals are abundant, many could use guidelines on what to expect when you’re expecting a puppy!

Choosing a Puppy

There are thousands of breeds and mixes of canines, each with different personality quirks. If you need to be able to travel a lot with your dog, a Collie or a St. Bernard might not be the best option. Before making any final decisions on what pup to purchase or adopt, make sure you consider your lifestyle. Some dogs do not do well without constant attention, and others just love to be social with other dogs. Be sure to research the many different options before trying to get a dog that will fit in perfectly with your lifestyle. Remember, it is not easy to change dogs; you should plan on changing your lifestyle to fit your dog!

Housebreaking Your Puppy

This is one of the most difficult parts of training a puppy. It is always best to start early, though it will be difficult for a pup younger than 8 weeks to catch on to housebreaking puppy training. As soon as you have trained your puppy, both of your lives will become significantly better. Most types of dogs have to potty at least once every two hours or so. If you do not have the time and patience to devote to housebreaking a puppy, consider hiring someone or asking a neighbor to let him out throughout the day. Otherwise, it will be almost impossible for you to train your puppy appropriately.There are a few tactics to help you in the process if no one will be around to help. Many people try to use a dog litter box as well as pee pads. These can save you from cleaning up a lot of messes, and help teach dogs that there are appropriate places to urinate and defecate. Another great idea is to use a crate whenever you are not home. Not only will it keep the mess in one place, but it will also teach dogs to hold it. As they get older, they tend to avoid tainting the same area where they may eat or sleep, so they will try to hold it until you come home and let them out. Just be sure to take them outside right away so they get used to it!

Training Your Puppy

Let’s face it; puppies are like training wheels for parents. You have to teach them many things about the world, and do it all without the benefit of language. There will be ruined shoes, damaged couches, and stained rugs if you are unable to train and control your dog (and some of those things will happen regardless). The first step is to teach your dog to listen to you. Using a firm voice rather than a loud or angry voice makes a much bigger impact on the dog. If you yell at them, they will probably not associate whatever you are saying with whatever they did wrong. Affection will increase their loyalty, as well as their ability to understand your tones, and listen to your requests and demands.After you have gotten the important obedience training out of the way, you can start with the fun part! Dogs love attention, and they can tell when they have impressed people. Teaching your dog to jump, sit, and rollover is often as rewarding for them as it is for you. Not only do they get plenty of treats, but they also get much desired love and affection. You can see their enjoyment in the wagging of their tail and the energetic excitement. Using a combination of praise and treats is the best way to train your dog.Regardless of the type of dog you get, it is important to make sure that your lifestyle will support it. Many breeds of dogs are very curious and rough, and may not ever acclimate to a small apartment, or overall indoor living. Dogs are often a 15-year commitment, so make sure you have the time, money, energy, and desire to raise your canine; as well as a large dose of love and affection.

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