11 puppy raising tips for new puppy parents
It is very important for us as humans to understand that dogs aren’t humans. A lot of their behaviors which are perfectly natural for dogs may not be acceptable to us! Many of the things they would do if they were left alone would either be unacceptable, unhygienic, destructive, or even dangerous to their lives and we’d rather not have them behave like that. House rules and setting boundaries from day 1 makes the puppy raising journey a lot easier.
This also ensures that there is more trust and lesser mistakes instead of more correction and high levels of stress. Another important aspect of setting house rules is to abide by these rules at all times.
You have to ensure that every single member in your family is following these rules at all times because if that doesn’t happen, your dog is going to be left confused not knowing what is acceptable and what isn’t. So indirectly, you are setting rules for your family members, yourself and your dog before the puppy even comes home! Below are a few things you must consider before your dog comes home.
1. Locations in the house where the dog is not allowed
For most Indian households the pooja room and the kitchen are absolute no-go places for dogs (and sometimes even humans!). Also, you must remember that the grandparents or older people at home are not going to be okay stepping into dog pee or poop (at least during those initial days).
Make sure you avoid unnecessary unpleasant experiences for all and draw boundaries for your dog within the house. It is always a great idea to start with a small space and increase the boundaries slowly.
2. Can my dog sleep with me on my bed
Of course, she can! But remember that if your dog is a medium or large breed, it’s going to occupy at least half your bed. Also, she may assume that she is allowed on all the other beds at home. Check with everyone at home before you bring the dog home and cuddle with him all night.
You may want to train your puppy from day one to be off furniture and then probably work on a “Sofa” or “Bed” command whenever you want to snuggle with them!
3. Can I feed my dog from my plate?
Again, you may! But if you do it once, your dog is not going to let you or your guests eat in peace ever again! Those puppy eyes will literally haunt you till your last bite (which is most probably going to be theirs). S/he may even attempt to grab things off your plate.
Also, you should remember that what is healthy for you is not necessarily healthy for them. We would strongly recommend a designated food and water spot for your puppy away from your plate. And not only food spots, but also pee and poop spots within the house until you move the puppy outside the house for his toilet breaks.
4. Is it okay for my dogs to jump on my guests?
As long as all your guests love dogs too! However, some breeds can really get huge and heavy and your guests or family members may get injured. It is recommended for you to teach your dog to not jump, start from day one and let all your family members know! Train your dog with the “Stay” or “Go to bed” command on seeing guests and allow them to greet them once they have settled.
5. Tasks and responsibilities
Divide all tasks and responsibilities between all the family members. This will not only help form a strong bond between the family and the dog but also ensure that all responsibilities do not fall on a single family member. Remember to think about the aspects listed below and assign responsibilities to the family members :
- Cleaning up after the dog
- Training sessions
- Morning and evening routine
- In the case of more than one dog,Both your dogs must know that you are there to protect them. In case you’re introducing a puppy in a house with an adult dog, understand the adult dog’s boundaries and stop the puppy from indulging in playtime when your adult dog has shown signs of being uninterested.
Also, do not leave them unsupervised during the initial days. Behaviorists’ advice is to bond with each dog individually so that they don’t gang up on you!
Enough about dogs! As said earlier, remember to set up some rules for humans as well. You must make sure that everyone in your house knows about the following
1. Puppies need their sleep
Everyone loves puppies because they are the cutest! But remember, they’ve been separated from their mother and are trying to adjust to their new home. They would want to be left alone to sleep and everyone in your house must respect their nap time.
2. Dogs shouldn’t be disturbed while eating
Give the dog his place and space to eat in peace and do not disturb the dog while eating. Contrary to popular wisdom that putting your hand into your dog’s bowl, or taking the bowl away while the puppy is eating will not teach her to share or trust you around food. In fact, it will lead to anxiety, food aggression, or resource guarding issues in the future.
3. Rules for the children in the house
While children love puppies and can hold them and snuggle and cuddle with them, they must learn how to handle them. They are not soft toys or playmates or inanimate objects. All the children at home must understand the boundaries of a puppy and learn to handle them gently and appropriately to avoid issues in the future.
4. No yelling or hitting
A dog does not understand human emotions and yelling or hitting is just going to leave them confused and hurt. It will only harbor distrust and not teach your puppy anything.
5. Your dog’s place is his place
Your dog’s place or crate is his comfort zone and nobody should disturb the puppy when he is in his place.
6. Do not leave things around
Puppies chew! Naturally! They are going to find anything and everything and chew on it. Make sure you don’t keep important or dangerous things lying around and puppy-proof the house to ensure that all electric wires, chargers, and gadgets amongst the various other things are out of the puppy’s reach
Your pup is going to be little only once in her entire life! Remember to have fun and make loads of memories with your loved ones.