Send for Help, I Have a Puppy
Whenever someone tells me they want to raise a puppy, I laugh and think, “No you don’t.” Puppies are cute and exhausting. Think toddler who never wears a diaper and is leaking pee and poo everywhere. Raising a puppy is a full time job unto itself. If it’s been about 12 years since you last raised a puppy, remember you are also now 12 years older. A lot can change in 12 years. You may have a selective memory. You may have forgotten about the sleepless nights, house training challenges, and worrying, “What has she put into her mouth again?”
Puppy behavior can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many wonderful resources out there to help!
A lot of dog training facilities offer puppy kindergarten classes and puppy socials. Smaller classes and play groups may be better for your puppy, so inquire about class and play group size. Some puppy classes even have rolling admission so you do not have to wait!
Have a force-free trainer come to your home. A trainer may see things from your puppy’s perspective and help you puppy-proof your home. When we see things in the same place everyday, we tend not to notice them. I recently saw an open sewing basket with thread and needles on the floor of a puppy client’s home. Potential injury thwarted with just one visit.
You’ve probably heard the term socialization. Puppy socialization is not a one-size-fits-all activity. It’s not just about taking them everywhere to expose them to everything. Puppy socialization is about quality interactions that do not contribute to behavior problems later on. You need to recognize when to support your puppy getting closer to novel things as well as when to move away. This is another important reason to contact a force-free trainer. Many force-free trainers, including Behavior United LLC, offer services which combine training along with taking your puppy out for socialization. While your trainer has your puppy out and about, you can get caught up on showering, napping, and maybe even work! Bonus points, your puppy will come home tired!
Congratulations on your new puppy! Living with your puppy may be exasperating at times, but putting in the work now will definitely help them become well-adjusted, well-behaved adult dogs.
Enjoy puppyhood while it lasts, because adolescence is coming. Don’t worry, we have a blog post for that too, called “Did My Dog Just Flip Me Off?!”
Here are a couple more quick reads to get you started along with a puppy shopping list compliments of our force-free colleague Tanzi Leary CPDT-KA, PMCT founder of Dog Crazy Lady.
Life Skills for Puppies by Helen Zulch and Daniel Mills
The Puppy Primer by Dr. Patricia McConnell
For more information on surviving puppyhood, contact us at www.behaviorunited.com .