1. Do your research into dog trainers, look for results not convenience! Book well in advance to you getting your puppy.
Training is essential!
Set money aside for it!
Dogs and humans are completely different.
The worst cases I go to are from owners who humanise their dogs and give affection at the wrong times.
If you don’t train your dog, they will train themselves to do what they want, which is usually the behaviours you do not want.
2. Crate train your dog. Many humans think this is cruel, when in fact dogs are naturally den animals and prefer the small spaces. Do not get a crate too big for your dog (this will be your natural instinct) however dog can freak out if the crate is too big! You can buy dividers change the size of your dogs crate as they grow.
Crates help with toilet training, Avoiding separation anxiety, structure, thresholds and gives them their own space to chill.
3. Do your research into the breed you are getting. Do not get a dog purely on looks!
Do not get a dog with higher energy levels than you!
If your idea of fun is sitting in front of the tv watching Netflix then get a breed with a very low energy level.
If your idea of having fun is hiking, then get a breed with a higher energy level but never more than yours.
If the dog gets pent up energy this will often lead to behavioural issues.
4. Do your research for a breeder well in advance!
Do not get a puppy without doing your research on the breeder.
Genetics have a big part to play with our dogs and temperament is more important than looks!
Make sure you don’t buy a puppy from a breeder if the parents have behavioural issues. Make sure you see them outside of their home, around other people and dogs (take them for a walk) if there are issues look elsewhere no matter how cute the dogs are.
5. Skip the dog bowl and treats just use your dogs food and hand feed instead.
Train your dog at meal times 2-5 mins per session.
Dogs will much rather work for their food rather than eating out of a boring bowl.
It is also a great opportunity to teach commands and behaviours.
6. “My puppy is biting me” Get used to it. Mentally and physically stimulate your dog through training and play. If they are getting to nippy, pop them in the crate as they will probably be over tired.
7. Do not allow your puppy to get away with behaviours such as following you everywhere. Jumping up, jumping on furniture without being invited, begging for food, barking for attention. It may seem cute when they are tiny but believe they will not grow out of these behaviours they will only grow into them!
How do you get a calm dog?? Give affection to a calm state of mind. Seems simple right? Because it is!
However most people give affection to excited or anxious states of mind which only Reinforces that behaviour. You get what you pet!
8. Stranger Danger! Socialisation does not mean allowing your dog to run over and meet strange dogs and people. This is a rude behaviour and can actually have the opposite affect, as it can lead to reactivity and potentially aggression overtime due to the built up frustration. It can also get them into trouble off another dog if they rudely run over and invade their space.
Only allow your dog to meet family and friends and their dogs.
If you teach your dog they are allowed to approach any dog and person they see, they will try to approach every dog and person they see!
If your teach your dog to ignore strange dogs and people and keep them engaged on you. They will learn to ignore other dogs and people. Avoid parks and daycares (unless they are on lead parks and structured daycares).
9. Recall is a must! Get a long line and practice practice practice!
Everyone says to me that their dog is “amazing at recall until they get distracted.”
This means their dog is awful at recall because the whole point of it, is to shout them back around distractions.
Keep your dog on the long line and start in low levels of distractions, such as your house and garden. Slowly build up to an empty field and higher built up areas.
Your dog running off is incredibly dangerous, they could run over to an aggressive dog, a person with allergies, a terrified child, into the road! This is what the long line is for. They do not come off that until their recall is 100% around distractions.
If you can’t bet your life on your dog coming back first time every time. They should not be off the lead.
10. Most importantly…. Enjoy your new puppy! They are hard work but totally worth it if you put the work in at the start. Feel free to tag me in videos of your pups progress on Instagram @dog_pawfection