So You Purchased a New Puppy… Now What?

by Tony Bueler

Congratulations are in order – this will be an exciting time for you and your family – especially the kids. The smiles on your children’s faces when they see their brand new puppy will be hard to beat. Just think of the hours of enjoyment they will bring to each other!

But those first couple of months can be a bit of a challenge. Some training issues that you will need to deal with. These will be no problem, but the earlier you can train your little puppy, the more you will be able to enjoy him/her later on.

For example, those little puppy teeth can be sharp! When puppies play together, they naturally and uninhibitedly bite and mouth each other. This is not a big problem for them since their skin is relatively thick and it causes them no discomfort whatsoever.

But when you are teaching them to socialize with humans, this is not the kind of behavior that is acceptable. And although this kind of biting is cute when the dog is just a few pounds, it ceases to be cute when they are 25 pounds or more. Controlling this ‘biting reflex’ is an important first step in training the little puppy.

Have the puppy socialize with other puppies if at all possible. Puppies will bite each other as they roll and play. But this also happens to be the best way to train the puppy out of their biting habit – especially if they are playing with already socialized pups. The group will mildly punish the puppy that becomes to aggressive while playing and teach them to suppress their biting habit.

The socialization they get with other dogs also teaches the puppy not to be fearful of other dogs and it helps them drain off their excess energy. Puppies that do not get the opportunity to socialize with other dogs also tend to be more hyperactive as they develop fearful and aggressive habits. A dog will tend to react aggressively in a new and unfamiliar environment if they had never been socialized.

A puppy should also be socialized with adults in order to become a member of the household and neighborhood. Introduce your puppy to both children and adults and help them to make the distinction between those who are their owners and between other people.

The ideal time to train your puppy to be socialized is when they are 3 months old or younger- this is when they catch on very fast. This is even more important when dealing with breeds that are typically less passive.

A key way of training your puppy not to bite is to get them to trust you. Never hit your puppy as this will not help them to trust and respect you, It will simply cause them to fear and distrust you – which is not what you want. The confused little puppy won’t really understand why you did this and it will be counterproductive to their training.

And finally, enjoy your puppy, he/she will bring endless enjoyment to you and your family.

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