If you’ve just brought home a new puppy, you are likely very excited, but also have a number of questions. How do I care for my pup? How much work will it be to train and housebreak him?
While the process of acclimating your new dog to your home will be a long one, we have put together 3 key day one tips to help you get started.
Choose the Right Name
It is imperative to choose the right name for your dog and to respect it. Pick a name you love, obviously, but you should also choose a name that will be helpful during training. Consider a short name that ends with a strong consonant. Dog names like “Ginger” and “Jasper” are popular for this reason. Short names with emphasis at the end naturally draw a dog’s attention.
If your pup is coming from a breeder, he may already have a name, which you can change and shorten. If your pooch is coming from an abusive home, a new name can also represent a fresh start. Just stick to similar sounding syllables, and your pup will eventually respond to the new name, as dogs are incredibly adaptable.
Discipline with Positive Reinforcement
One of the first things to instill into your new pooch is the ability to come when called. Teaching him to heel and come to you when called is one of the most important skills to master early, as it reinforces your alpha status which will make all future training easier.
Also be sure to reward your puppy’s good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use treats, praise, toys, whatever your dog likes. Let him know when’s he’s getting it right, and he will want to continue to please you. Of course, never reward negative behaviour, as it will only confuse him, thwarting your efforts at training.
You’ll need to discourage your dog from biting or nipping at you, but instead of scolding your pup, a great way to discourage this type of behaviour is to pretend that you’re in a great deal of pain when he bites or nips you. This will surprise your dog into stopping the behaviour.
It’s important to end training sessions on a positive vibe — leave your dog with lots of praise or play time. This guarantees that your dog will be excited to resume training again.
How to Housebreak Your Pup
There are so many housebreaking aids out there that it may become a challenge simply choosing the right one. If you’re looking for a pee-pad (a patch of organic grass that serves as an outdoor space indoors, which will save your carpets and furniture from unsightly messes), find one that is functional and also pleasing for your pet to use.
One thing to ask yourself, are your puppy training pads compostable to help you lower your carbon footprint? A brand like Pooch Patch can help you with your puppy potty-training efforts with 100% natural grass, leak-proof, totally compostable pee pads.
You’ve just got your puppy home, and that means the hard work truly begins. But if you follow our three steps listed above, you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful new relationship.