Here we are, another year beginning with a new batch of resolutions we most likely will not see through! I have resolved to not set resolutions, a tradition I began many years ago. Instead I try to improve myself on a daily basis. Whether it be a simple smile when I am not in the best of moods, or parking in the back of the shopping lot to get those extra steps in. Self-improvement should be small steps, simple tasks that you hardly notice but add up to big changes.
The same applies to dog training. It is a self-improvement of the dog, small steps to guide them in the proper direction that if done properly they don’t even notice they are being trained. It is so much easier to start when they are puppies, way before any of those bad habits can even form. So cute, so adorable until it starts barking non-stop, chewing up those $100 shoes or eating the brand new sofa! Peeing and pooping, biting, and the endless amount of energy can be too much to handle and off to the shelter they go. I try to intervene before that happens, keep as many puppies in their new homes as possible. Here are a few tips to help with some of the most common issues that come with this bundle of joy:
** Potty Training. Most important for proper potty training is maintaining a schedule. Do NOT free feed them, feed them the proper amount of food at the same time each day. If you put them on a schedule you can predict when they will be having their bowel movements and better control them. Try and keep them from having full run of the house. Confine them to an area where you can keep an eye on them and catch them before they begin the habit of using your house as their toilet.
** Chewing/nipping. All puppies chew and nip, it is just like a baby when they are teething. Have some safe chew toys around that you can give them to help keep them from chewing on everything else. Try and keep away from toys that are made of fabrics similar to your pillows, furniture or kids toys – the puppy will not be able to tell the difference from his fabric toys or your child’s teddy bear. Give them hard rubber toys, they have teething toys that you can freeze also. If the puppy begins chewing on an item you prefer they don’t eat, tell them no and give them an acceptable alternative.
Have a lot of patience, but also keep the new puppy in a controlled environment. If you control the space and amount of “trouble” they can get into, then you can prevent some bad habits from forming and eliminate some of the headaches and frustrations associated with your new bundle of fur. Put up X-pens, puppy gates, give them a space of their own with their toys and comforts so they aren’t always being scolded, yelled at and believe their name is actually NO STOP or BAD DOG!