there’s no better time to start training!
Free Downloads for Puppy Owners
- Puppy Growth Stages
- Puppy Socialization Checklist
- Puppy Socialization and Vaccinations
- Puppy Shopping List
- How to Choose a Trainer
- Purdue University’s Recommendations for Puppy Class
Congratulations on your new puppy! Raising a puppy is no small task and new puppy owners often find that they get conflicting information from their friends, family members, and veterinarian. That’s why we’re here, to guide you through the puppy raising process. We can help you with puppy proofing your home, potty-training, chew -toy training, socialization and helping your puppy to become a well-mannered adult dog.
Many people are unprepared for the arrival of their new puppy and are left with a “well, what now?” feeling. Understandably so, bringing home a new puppy is not unlike bringing home a new baby. In fact, that’s exactly what you are doing; only the infant is a canine.
Unfortunately, puppies don’t come with an owner’s manual. What they do come with is a natural ability to eat, drink, sleep, pee, poop and chew. It’s your job to teach your pup what, where and when to do the above mentioned behaviors. What you teach (or neglect to teach) your pup during his first year of life will determine what kind of a dog he grows into. The point is that raising a puppy correctly is a lot of work!
Raising a puppy correctly also takes time. Training should continue on a regular basis until the dog is 2 years old, oh yes, you heard right, 2 years old! There is a reason that the average age of dogs relinquished to shelters and rescues is between 8 and 18 months of age. The local shelters and breed rescues are full of cute, fluffy, little puppies that grew into unruly adolescents because of a lack of early training and socialization.
So let’s talk about early training and socialization. Training your new puppy should begin the moment it arrives home. Start immediately with potty-training and chew-toy training. Put the puppy on a daily schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Manage the environment so your puppy is prevented from practicing incorrect behaviors.
Socialization means exposing your puppy to every type of person, place and thing it’s likely to encounter as an adult dog. Socialization must be a fun and positive experience for your puppy and it must be started within the first 16 weeks of life. Failure to do so is one of the leading causes of behavior problems in dogs.