03 Mar Bringing the New Puppy Home
Bringing a puppy into the household is often a very exciting time for everyone in the family. The puppy is this adorable little ball of fur that just wants to nuzzle with you and sleep in your arms. Usually they are about eight weeks old and still like to sleep a lot during the day. As you see I said during the day! Often it will take about a week or two until they will sleep through the night. Meaning they will go to bed around 11:00 p.m. and awake around 5-5:30a.m. So if you are a person that needs more than six hours of sleep you may need to bring in help for the evenings.
Housebreaking should start immeadiately. Don’t just let your puppy outside to eliminate by themselves. You must go with them. The key to housetraining a puppy is to actually put “going potty” on cue. It will take about 75-100 times of saying your “potty” cue at the right moment for your dog to understand what it is you are asking. You must also associate the way you want your puppy to let you know that they have to go potty. Many people will just take their dogs outside to go to the bathroom and the dog never learns how to alert them that they have to go. They have done great going outside, but they are relying on you to take them out, not have them let you know they have to go outside. The easiest way to do this is to generate a routine. You go out the same door, go to the same spot, say the same things, all the time. So as you are going out the door, say “potty outside”, then when you get to the spot you want your dog to use, say it again “potty outside”. Make sure you reward your dog with praise and treats when they do go “potty outside”. Say this everytime and your pup will quickly no what you are wanting.
As pup gets a few weeks older, his sleeping will be less and his curiousity will be peaking. This is the time to take advantage of the many things you can teach your dog. Expose your pup to twelve different types of people; men, women, kids, seniors, people wearing glasses, hats, big people, small people, as much as you can. Have your puppy eat out of twelve different containers; boxes, bowls, paper, off of tinfoil, anything you can think of. Twelve different places, twelve different things, like an umbrella, a garden hose, or a bucket. Expose them to twelve different sounds. A great sound to start with your pup is the doorbell. Get them used to it now, so later they are not barking their brains out every time it rings.
Teach your dog one of the most important things first, and that is attention. Use a marker such as a clicker or a word. Place your dog on a leash in a non distractive enviorment. Every time the dog looks your way or makes eye contact with you mark their behavior and treat them. Don’t ask for their attention, just wait for them. This teaches the dog when they check in with you good things happen like treats! Once your dog is doing this very well, do the same with their name. Say their name once, when they look at you, mark and treat. You will be surprised how quickly and how positive they will react to you. This is the basis for teaching all other commands.