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Your New Puppy

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Puppies are cheeky and joy-filled bundles of fluff, but may just turn your whole world upside down and push you to your limit. There may be times when you think “Oh no, what have I done?!” This is completely normal. Take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and reanalyse. Puppies are hard work!

Hopefully you are aware that your new puppy will bite you, chew anything, toilet everywhere, keep you awake, throw themselves off high surfaces and cause chaos. All these are all normal behaviours to expect from your puppy until they are settled and trained.

The time it takes to train your puppy can vary depending on age, breed and genetics. From you, it takes a combination of management techniques, practice and consistency. Remember your pup is always learning even if you are not in 'training mode'.


Management

- Set your puppy up for success! Remove/prevent access to anything you don’t want them to chew on or play with. If they are unsupervised, confine them to a crate, pen or room where they cannot get into mischief.

- Ditch the bowl. Your puppy will be having lots of small meals a day so we should use this opportunity to provide your puppy with a food activity toy. Not only will these stimulate their brains and keep them occupied, but it will ease teething pain and teach them to chew on and seek out suitable objects.

-Your young puppy requires approximately 18 hours of sleep during a 24 hr period. Similarly to children, they may not do this themselves so we need to provide them with 'nap times'. A tired puppy is grouchy, bitey and less likely to make good decisions.

-Don't be tempted to over exercise your puppy, not only can this cause long term damage to their growing bones but they can become easily over stimulated and struggle to settle. If you want to tire your pup out, get them using their brains or noses.


Practice

-All or none training is simple, easy and extremely effective. Simply praise and reward any behaviour you like, to increase the likelihood of your pup displaying that behaviour again. This allows you to pay attention to the good, rather than focusing on and giving attention to the ‘bad’. Puppies do what works to gain access to rewards such as; attention, food, play and stimulation.

-Especially important for toilet training. Provide as many opportunities as possible for your pup to go to the toilet in the designated area. Especially after waking up, eating and playing. Never scold them for having an accident, they will only learn to hide from you. They are still learning to identify when they need the toilet and how to ask.

-Quality over quantity. Socialisation is learning to relate appropriately to people and other animals. It involves having as many pleasant encounters as possible and becoming used to a wide range of events, environments and situations. Dogs do not have to meet other people and dogs to be actively socialised. We want puppies to experience as many positive interactions as possible with things that will be relevant to them as an adult.

-Fun, little and often. When working on specific training skills, it is important to only do a few repetitions at a time and reward your puppy for progress. This will mean your puppy will be left wanting to do more and they will be less likely to become frustrated or overstimulated.


Consistency

-Ensure everyone in your home is using the same verbal cues and are following the same house rules for the puppy.

-The more consistent you are with routines and your response to your puppies behaviour, the quicker they will learn.

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