Congrats on the new addition to your family!
From the moment you pick your puppy up, your puppy will be learning how to fit into your family. If you take care to ensure that you understand what your puppy wants and needs and how your puppy learns and begin training your puppy as early as possible, then you will be able to raise a joyful, well-adjusted and well behaved pup.
How Dogs Learn
Dogs and puppies are very simple creatures actually! There is no ‘right or wrong’ within their minds, there is just ‘safe’ plus ‘not safe’ and learning how to greatest get what they want or need and how to avoid what they don’t want.
It can be quite hard for us humans to not want to attribute motivations to our puppy’s behaviour that are outside of the safe/not safe, want/don’t want mind set, especially when we have been frustrated when a puppy isn’t behaving how we want it to behave. However , every time your puppy does something you wish it didn’t, ask yourself:
– What does he wants?
– What does the lady need?
– Has my pup accidentally learnt doing what I would like isn’t safe?
Once you have the solutions you can apply them to finding an answer. Here are some common issues that new puppy owners encounter with their puppy and what can be done to alleviate this.
Chewing is an extremely natural instinct (or need) for many dogs. Puppies are teething up to 6 months of age, which we all know is a painful process, chewing can relieve this pain. Chewing can also provide a good outlet for a dog that has not gotten the exercise or mental stimulation it needs. So armed with this and your knowledge of how dogs learn, you can work on ways to give your pup a safe outlet for its chewing needs and wants:
Provide your pup with lots of chews, from day one. Make them interesting, pack them with some of your own puppy’s daily food rations, treats like dried liver or chub so that your puppy will want to chew all of them and learn that chew toys secure.
Soak rope toys in drinking water and freeze them. The icey rope will alleviate the distress your puppy has from teething, so your puppy learns that chewing these types of ropes you offer gives all of them much needed pain relief.
Ensure your puppy provides adequate exercise that it needs to ensure that he or she isn’t bored and locating other things to chew.
Stuff kongs with some treats that will not easily be extracted, working on getting them out will provide your puppy with the mental activation that your puppy both wants and needs. You can also do this by ensuring you have a variety of chew toys which you don’t use the same ones continuously.
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We buy Webbox Chub (probably not the most nutritional treat) and set that into kongs with some dried out food and freeze it.
Stag Pubs are also brilliant chews for pups. They are safe (they do not very easily splinter) and very long lasting.
Many objects around the home are not safe for the puppy to chew, these include electric wires, carpet and chair legs and so on. Ensuring that your puppy has the chew up toys it needs and not giving it access to things that aren’t safe is one of the best ways to ensure that your puppy will learn to chew only on the things that secure and good for it. Until your pup has learnt that the best thing to chew is the chews you supply it with, try to remove any kind of objects from your puppy’s reach that it may feel are ‘suitable alternatives’. If you do find your puppy exploring the chewing needs on something you may not want it to, immediately redirect your pup to a freshly stuffed chew. Do not chastise your puppy and ask yourself what your puppy needed or wanted at that time and see if you can use this to ensure it doesn’t happen again.