It’s no secret we’ve got a puppy. His name is Henry and he is a dachshund x jack Russell. He’s now 5 months old and thinks he owns the place but soon became a part of the family. He is very cute and playful. However as much fun he has been he has also been a challenge and if your planning to get a puppy it is a very, very big commitment to make. Make sure you really are ready for the stress that comes with having a puppy and the trouble they can cause before you commit. I’ve had dog’s before but a new puppy can be really demanding and require a lot of hard work. But here’s some tips if you’ve decided the time is right for you!
First of all set a routine. Dogs like children need routine. This means set regular meal times and things such as bed times. If you don’t want to be getting up in the middle of the night with a yelling dog then it’s best not to bring them in the bedroom or go and see them. The first night henry came home I slept downstairs with him so he would sleep. The night after i went to bed in my bed and he cried once I didn’t go down and he gave up after a minute. I haven’t came down since that second night but now goes to bed about 8/9 and wakes when we wake in the morning. we keep this routine key. Even if we are watching a movie he goes out and to bed for night at the same time.
Toys. Have lots and lots of toys. Your puppy will love to play and also learns through toys. Have lots of different types and remember they will rip them to shreds. Kong toys are long lasting and fabulous if your looking for a suggestion.
Lack of Mental stimulation is something that causes puppy’s to misbehave. We got henry a snuffle mat where he can forage for food, slow feeders, puzzles and kongs to hide treats in. The smelling and sniffing calms him down. We also use a licki mat when we go out to entertain him and calm him down. Henry is bursting with energy so this has really helped.
Be on the same page with training. If there’s two of you talk to each other about training and both be strict. It’s caused a few disagreements when someone’s done something different and dog misbehaved because of it.
Get a trainer. Even if you think you know everything get a trainer. We have learnt so much from our trainer such as calming techniques and asked for advice on so many things. We where taught how to train him basically and shown things we where going wrong.
Frozen fruit and veg save your dog’s teeth and also furniture from being chewed on. Henry’s never chewed on anything we own but his toys as we’ve always redirected him he won’t touch anything that’s not his because we’ve always redirected and used commands such as leave it.
Do not use puppy pads for toilet training. I know I’ll sound bizarre here. We used them but our trainer told us to get rid of them. Once we got rid of them he learned within days to go outside all the time. The puppy pads teach the dog it’s okay to go inside and whilst he used them on the odd occasion he saw anything like a rug or Mat he’d wee on it expecting praise. We took him out every half hour to try and praised whenever he used the toilet. He eventually learned to tell us by coming to us and gesturing or running straight to back door and touching it.
Remind visitors that they need to help you out when coming round and not hype dog up. If your dog gets excited like mine and looses bladder control ask them to greet him in garden so he can urinate there. This way your not cleaning your house and visitors. If a guest doesn’t like dog’s don’t force them to be around a dog that can’t control themselves keep them dog calm with you or in their designated area. The dog needs to understand not everyone is a dog person the same as not all dog’s are friendly on walks and not to approach everyone with excitement.
If your a someone with a active social life after the dogs settled in slowly go out for a few hours then work up how long your outhouse. Make staying home safe and happy for them. We leave henry in his crate with his favourite toys food and water and a snack that requires a long time to eat so his mind is elsewhere when we go out. This stops him being stressed and us. If you put a lot of stress on going out and don’t distract the dog with positive rewards the dog may well become distressed especially if your too scared to ever leave the dog alone for very long. The dog may develop separation anxiety from this.
Obviously I’m no expert but all these things have helped me so much when training Henry. We’re still working on his excitement of strangers because he gets way to excited and we’re also working on when he gets to playful and a bit nippy but it’s all a learning process too! But remember dogs are hard work they don’t just sit on your lap all the time as a puppy sadly.