SEVEN STEPS TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY PUP
By Pete Eromenok
1. Never leave your puppy unsupervised: You KNOW what will happen! Always leave your pup in a crate or a confined area when supervision is not possible. This will help the pup stay safe, and deter the pup from developing bad habits.
2. Utilize critical stages: During weeks six through eight of your dog’s life is the time when a the pup learns how to interact with other dogs (their litter mates). In weekseight to ten, they learn to socialize with humans.
3. Establish yourself as the pack leader: Your pup is a social, pack animal. By establishing yourself as the “Alpha” dog, or leader of the pack, your pup will respect you, respond to you, bond to you and want to please you. All this will help the pup be a much more happy and confident dog. Don’t be overbearing; a new puppy will learn that you are top dog by the things you do.
4. Mix food with water before serving: Mix your pups dry kibble with water so that it looks like a stew. Allow it to sit for ten minutes before feeding. Kibble can expand up to thirty percent, so let it expand in the bowl… rather than in your pup’s stomach, thus avoiding indigestion and possible behavior problems.
5. Touch conditioning: Touch all areas of your pup’s body, so that it will become conditioned to the feel of your touch, and be comfortable with it. This way when the pup takes a trip to the vet. or groomer, it will be conditioned to lots of touch, making it a joy for them to work with.
6. Housebreaking: this can be accomplished in a week or two, if you watch your pup like a hawk when it is in the house. Learn to read the pup’s body language; this is how it will give you signs that he is getting ready to relieve himself. Whatever a dog is thinking is always exhibited through his body language.
7. Last but not least: Never punish a pup for mistakes, it is very counterproductive, They don’t associate things in the same time frame that people do. If you correct a pup (or a full grown dog) 4 or 5 seconds after the fact, you have lost almost all of the effect of the correction. Be gentle yet firm and consistent.