Look at that puppy in the window, the one with the waggy tail.  Puppies are very cute and a lot of work.  I’m writing on this topic because we will be picking up an 8 week old puppy this week.  We must now prepare to crate, potty train, and socialize our new addition to our family.  The easiest way to prepare is to make a list and do a little research.  All dogs should be crate trained and it is not cruel.

Dogs naturally like to lay under coffee tables and beds. The reason why is they like to have a dark quiet place to relax, similar to a den.  I prefer the plastic crates because they provide the best privacy and darkness for the pup.  It’s their safe place where they will not be messed with.  When introducing the crate put treats inside.  Allow the pup to go in and out sniffing and eating the morsels they find.  I also feed my dogs in their crates.  Eating is a very pleasurable experience for the pup.  They will learn to like their crate because it’s safe and good things happen there.  They will protest when its nap time or night time.  Do not let them out if they are fussing.  If you do they learn crying and carrying on get s you to open the door and let them out.  You want to release them when they are quiet in their crate.   They soon learn calm quiet behavior opens the door.  Crate training is also very helpful in potty training.

When you get home with your pup take him/her outdoors where you want them to eliminate.  My command for going potty is, “Take a break”.  You should teach your dog to go on command.  The “take a break” command comes in real handy when you are traveling with your dog.  Take a break means go potty, we are not hunting or playing fetch.  When inside the house use a leash and keep the pup attached to you.  This way they are not permitted to wonder off to relieve themselves in the house.  In addition, it helps with destructive behavior.  If you are attached to the pup they can’t wonder off and chew something that is inappropriate.  The pup needs to go out after a nap, after they drink, eat and play.  Frequent outdoor trips will be necessary at first.  Patience and consistency is key.  When they do squat, pick them up, saying no, and take them directly outdoors and say, “Take a break”.  When house breaking a puppy its best to have someone home to work with the pup.  The training time will take much longer and you will have a stinky messy area if no one is home with the pup during the day.  Puppies can hold it for maybe two hours, not 8.

Feed your pup a quality puppy food.  We feed our pups Taste of the Wild.  All our dogs have done very well on this food.  We feel the Grain Free formulas are easier on our dog’s digestive systems.  There are many fine brands of dog food.  To learn more about nutrition, see my blog post, “Gluten Free for Dogs?”

Once your puppy is home schedule a visit with your veterinarian to check the pups health and to keep up with necessary vaccinations.  I strongly recommend vaccinating your dog.  If you have ever seen a puppy with parvo, you would never question the necessity of vaccinations.  Follow a professional’s advice when it comes to the health of your puppy.

It’s time to start picking up after you.  Shoes, socks, and underwear cannot be left lying on the floor.  Spot will be sure to find them and chew a nice hole in them for you.  When your pup does chew on something inappropriate, take the item away and wiggle something in front of the pup that is appropriate to chew on.  Pet stores have 100’s of chew toys for puppies.  The items are pet safe.  Make sure, whether its treats or toys, that they are made in the United States.  Time after time I read about dogs getting sick or injured from items made in China.  Made in the United States is safe for you pup.

Socialization is so important for a young dog.  We offer puppy pre-school classes where we teach about socialization (environmental and social).  We offer hands on training, teaching the pup to accept handling, so when they are older there won’t be any issues with teeth brushing or nail trimming.  Veterinarians are very thankful when you register for a puppy class.  It makes their jobs so much easier when your pup is an adult dog.  We teach a variety of ways to interrupt unwanted behavior and share advice on potty training.  Each class ends with play time where all the pups get to visit one another and get use to strangers.

Puppies are a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.  We are looking forward to our pup coming home with us.  We already have a name picked out, “Ronin”.    Ronin is a Dutch Shepherd and will be trained in Protection.  He hopes become a police service dog, every dog’s dream.

I am looking forward to raising and training Ronin.  Please stop by and see how Ronin is progressing.  He will be coming to work with me daily.

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