It’s now after Christmas and all the gifts have been opened. Aunt Myrtle’s sweater has been returned. All the decorations have been put away and your family has grown by one. You have a cute puppy running around the house. What to do with this bundle of fur?
Puppies are a lot of work. They can be as much work as a newborn baby. As with any young creature, you need to love them and be patient. Puppies do not come into this world trained. That is your job as the parent.
Housebreaking is a task that takes work. The first step is deciding whether to train them to the outside or to housebreaking pads. Some dogs can learn both techniques but most dogs do better when one or the other is chosen. Either way, you need to take the puppy to the designated area after they have eaten, drank, slept, played, or if you have not been outside in a while.
If all goes according to plan, the bundle of joy will do their business correctly. Now is the time to reward them. The best reward is verbal praise. Get excited! If you are excited, they will want to do this over and over. If you must give a treat, do this immediately after they do their business. Do not come inside and give the treat. You have just rewarded them for coming indoors. All praise and treats must be done immediately.
Accidents will happen. If you catch the puppy in the act of going to the bathroom in the wrong place, give a sharp and quick scolding sound, pick them up, and go to the appropriate place to finish. You must then praise or treat them immediately. If you scold them for an accident that you found after the fact, they will think the object is bad, not the action. They will then attempt to hide their accidents. If you do not catch them in the act, just clean up the mess and try again later.
Part of housebreaking is keeping them near you. If you do not monitor them, they can sneak away and do whatever. If they are near you, you can notice the sniffing or looking for a place to go to the bathroom. Keep a close eye on them. They can get into trouble very easily.
Caring for a puppy is the housebreaking, feeding, providing of fresh water, and of course, veterinary care. Puppies need a series of vaccines to protect them against a variety of diseases. Some diseases are incurable and others can kill them. Vaccines and preventative care starts when the puppy is about 6 weeks old.
Your veterinarian can talk to you about the schedule and vaccines that are necessary. We live in Georgia and we have many problems that can be deadly, but they can also be prevented. Please talk to your veterinarian about what is recommended.
Lastly, we need to take care of exercise. This entails exercising the body and the brain. Puppies that are bored can be very destructive. Simple commands give them problems to solve. This will entertain the mind. Adding to this, you can include physical exercise to entertain the body. Give them variety and they will not become bored.
Think of every puppy as the smart kid in the class. If they become bored, they become disruptive or destructive. Do not assume that since they have toys they will be entertained. A dog that has too many toys can be just as bored as if they had none. Use the toys to play with them. Having a puppy is an active process. They do not take care of themselves.
All this seems like work, and it is. However, it is also a ton of fun. Enjoy the new addition to your house and care for them as if they were your children.