Be the Pack Leader
Puppies are naturally hard-wired to follow their pack leader. A pack leader is, by definition, strong, stable, and consistent; traits many new puppy owners forget. Many of our clients are strong leaders in their jobs, but when they come home, they turn to mush with their dogs. Then they come to us puzzled as to why their dog won’t behave.
Puppies sense our confidence levels and will take control if they perceive us as weak. When this happens, bad behaviors, such as excessive barking, chewing, leash-pulling, or anxiety, will develop.
The most important thing you can do is to become your puppy’s pack leader. This role doesn’t begin when your dog is six months old or when he’s bad; it should be maintained throughout the entire dog training experience. For your new puppy to grow into a healthy, balanced dog, you must demonstrate leadership from day one!
Visit the Veterinarian
One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. Plus, your vet can advise on heartworm, flea and tick preventative care. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet.
All dogs become conditioned never to eliminate in their dens. From 2-4 months of age, most pups pick up on the concept of housebreaking quite easily since it is part of their natural programming.
In the early days of housebreaking you want to make sure your puppy has a place to relieve herself where she feels safe; a place that seems and smells familiar. First thing every morning, bring your puppy outside to the same general area. It is important to remain consistent throughout the process so your puppy can learn the habit.
Once your new puppy has successfully gone outside, it is important to reward the good behavior. It doesn’t have to be a big, loud celebration, but simple, quiet approval or a treat gets the message across of a job well done.
Be sure not to punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with her bodily functions. Stay calm and assertive and quietly remove the puppy to the place where you want him to go.
Please find safe ways to exercise your puppy too! As your puppy’s pack leader, you must help them expend their energy in a productive way. For all dogs, this means a daily walk.
Walking in front of your new puppy allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your puppy should be beside or behind you during the walk.
And be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the risk of long-term bone development problems, parvovirus, and other health issues before implementing an exercise routine.
If you need help training your new puppy, or an older dog, email us and the professional trainers at Come and Train It K9 will help you train your pup to be the best she can be.