We get a lot of people coming in asking for help with puppies. I am not a trainer but I thought I would share a few puppy tips based on my personal experience with Copper, my old doggy and then Luna who is my 8 year old puppy.
- When the puppy's acting up and you're getting frustrated don't put them in the kennel, as a punishment, you want the kennel to be their man cave, their safe place. I know it goes against everything you're thinking at the moment, don't put them in the kennel as a punishment.
- To get Luna use to her kennel and create a happy space I feed her in kennel. I do not always shut the door but she knows she needs to get in her kennel to eat her meals.I do always take the food dish out in between meals, so she does not destroy it.
- When you put your dog in the kennel, just leave.Don’t make a big deal about leaving. You do not want to create a separation anxiety situation.You can turn on the radio or TV for comfort.
Puppies Like to Chew:
- Don't give anything too hard yet. I don't give them elk antlers, yes, I know wild dogs puppies eat elk antlers and chew on them and stuff, but I have had customer’s puppies that crack their teeth on them. It's not something that's common, but it is something that can happen, so if we can help it, don't give it.
- We have some shoes made by Fido, which is a Michigan-based company, they're called first puppy shoes, they're really good for puppies to chew.
- Don't leave out valuables and dangerous items, kind of self-evident, but sometimes you just don't think about it.
- I have baby lock’s our cupboard that has a trash and cleaning supplies in it, just so Luna or the cats doesn't get into them.
- If your dog is chewing on something that is inappropriate from them to chew on or dangerous, call their name, clap your hands, make a loud noise, or redirect with another toy, and then when they take the toy, or they lose their attention on the item, then take it away. It's kind of redirecting their attention to something else, because you don't want to lure them away with a treat because in a way you're praising them for chewing on the item.
Puppies are Full of Energy:
- Take them for walks.
- Be careful with running with a puppy, you don't want to run too far, their bodies are still developing, you don't want to cause problems in later life, but take them for walks, do a short run if you want, but nothing too strenuous.
- Do obedience training, maybe even agility training, specialized training, depending on what breed you own.
- Mental stimulation will wear your dog out way faster than any physical labor.
- Remember, for the first 6 months your puppy is rapidly developing and may not always retain information as quick as you would like.Most trainers do not work with puppies until they are 6 months old for development and health reason (vaccinations are completed).It is good to socialize your puppy but be cautions of the environment you are taking your puppy.
If you have more questions or need more ideas on enrichment activities, kennels or ways to help your puppy get their energy out, stop by our store and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.