Tips for managing your new puppy

Teaching Positive Behaviors
Every moment that you spend with your puppy is an opportunity for her to learn, so your actions should give your puppy a consistent message and help her to learn good behaviors. Praise your puppy each time she makes a good decision such as chewing on a toy or relieving herself in the designated area. Supervise your puppy closely and whenever you see her starting to engage in an unwanted action, stop her and redirect her to a positive behavior. Play games that encourage your puppy to respond to commands and to pay attention to you, and avoid games that encourage her to engage in unwanted behaviors.

Before you bring your new puppy home decide where you would like him to relieve himself. As soon as you arrive home take your puppy to this spot and if he uses the spot praise him profusely. When your puppy is in the house supervise him closely and at the first sign that he needs to relieve himself, take him to the spot immediately and praise him when he uses the spot. Try to notice what your puppy’s natural elimination schedule is so that you will be able to anticipate his needs.

Crate Training
The crate gives you a safe place to leave your puppy when you cannot supervise her and gives your puppy a den to call her own. The crate should never be used as punishment. Instead, your puppy should think the crate is a positive place. To help your puppy get used to the crate, feed her in it. Put a favorite treat or toy in the crate so your puppy finds it after going into the crate. This will help to make going into the crate fun.

Puppies who are not adequately socialized can become shy or fearful so it is important that you expose your puppy to all sorts of noises, distractions, people, and other friendly dogs and puppies. The best way to do this is to take your puppy for a social leash walk twice a day regardless of the weather. Socializing a winter puppy may require some extra effort, so take your puppy to shopping centers, veterinary clinics, local pet stores, etc. several times per week purely for social purposes.

Signs of aggression include growling, snapping, or showing teeth. Examples of aggression include growling or snapping over toys or food, or because you pick the puppy up or touch a certain body part such as feet or ears.  Aggression often becomes worse with age so that the young puppy who starts out just growling softly often grows into the older puppy who growls and snaps, who then becomes the young adult who bites. If your puppy is exhibiting aggressive behavior, consult a professional dog trainer.

Obedience Training
Obedience training is beneficial to your puppy because it gives your puppy structure, a job to do, and helps her to fit into your life and into our society. Basic obedience training can help your puppy to understand your expectations and to learn good manners such as how to greet people, how to walk on her leash, and how respond when you call her.  A trained dog is a happy dog. It's never too late to start!

Puppy training tips from Best Behaved Dogs

Read what our clients have to say about Best Behaved Dogs

We called Janet about our Golden Retriever, Dakota, and our concerns regarding the start of some aggressive behaviors.

Her technique was effective and also a lot of fun for Dakota. He thinks it is play time when we practice with him.

We look forward to additional lessons with Janet because what she has taught us so far is working like a charm!

Mary, Oakton VA