Owning a canine can be a rewarding experience, but it also brings some responsibilities that you as an owner have to fulfill.
Raising the perfect puppy involves a good amount of effort, patience and commitment.
Just like humans, a pet’s health is not only about physical wellbeing, but the emotional and mental aspects of life as well.
If you meet your puppy’s needs and keep him healthy and happy, train him properly and build a good relationship, you will have a healthy, balanced and well-behaved adult pet dog.
Table of Contents
The following are the most important aspects that you need to help your dog with, a few of which are later discussed in this guide in more detail:
A Balanced Diet
Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, providing your pet a balanced diet is crucial.
Feed your dog a balanced diet that comprises of all the important nutrients within the suitable amount of calories.
If you are unaware of what your puppy’s nutritional needs are, it is strongly advised that you discuss them with your vet.
Several factors affect a dog’s dietary needs, a few important ones being its age, health and breed.
Keep in mind that your puppy’s nutritional requirements change as he grows older.
A well-fed dog is more likely to stay happy and healthy and will not develop malnutrition based behavioral problems.
Building a Bond with Your Dog
Building a bond with your pup is important and spending quality time with your pet is the best way to do so.
Show your dog lots of affection and attention.
Pet him, play with him, and spend some quality time with him to let your dog know that he is loved.
Doing so enhances your bond with your canine and ensures that he is more responsive to you and your commands.
You should also provide your puppy lots of toys to play, both indoors and out.
Toys are important for physical and mental stimulation.
They not only help prevent behavioral irregularities that your dog may develop due to boredom but also improve its mental health.
Under-stimulation at the early stages of your pet’s life will lead him to be a misbehaving adult dog.
Make your puppy gets sufficient exercise.
Your dog needs an outlet to release all the pent-up energy and exercising is a good way of doing so.
Take him for a walk every day.
Play active and engaging games such as ‘fetch’ and ‘tug of war’.
Exercise is important for your puppy as it helps it avoid develop behavioral problems.
Take your dog for regular checkups and get him all the vaccinations your vet has recommended.
Checkups and vaccinations are more frequent in the early stages of your pet’s life.
It is possible that your dog may need a higher level of veterinary attention because he has some health conditions.
Health problems may alter your dog’s behavior in an unfavorable manner.
So, it is better that preventive measures are taken and problems are detected and managed at an earlier stage.
Socialization is essential for your puppy’s psychological development.
The process involves introducing your dog to other people and canines, allowing him to develop his interaction skills.
A puppy that is not properly socialized usually experiences excessive anxiety and stress in unfamiliar environments, which may lead to bad behavior.
Teaching your dog basic obedience commands proves to be very helpful and ensures good behavior in the long run.
An obedient dog is an excellent companion to have.
By teaching the ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, ‘down’ and ‘heel’ basic commands, you will have the means to let your pet know what is required of him.
Your Behavior with Your Dog
It is important that you behave nicely with your pet.
Refrain from yelling or showing aggression.
Do not hit or punish your puppy when he misbehaves.
This will make him afraid of you and cause him to develop emotional and behavioral problems.
It is highly recommended to use positive reinforcement while training your dog.
This not only goes for obedience training but encompasses all other training as well, such as crate, house and leash.
Reinforce behaviors by treating and praising your dog verbally, immediately after he has done something good or obeyed you.
Gradually reduce the number of treats you use, but never eliminate them completely.
When your dog does something wrong, be patient with him and correct him gently.
Immediately praise him and treat him as soon as he corrects his behavior.
Know Your Puppy’s Development Stages
Knowing your puppy’s development stages helps with his overall upbringing.
The most important time of your puppy’s development is the first year of her life, especially in the first four months.
By understanding your dog’s development stages you are better able to provide for her different needs.
The Imprinting Period
The imprinting period refers to the first sixteen weeks of your puppy’s life.
It is also known as the critical learning period.
This is a period of brain development in which puppies are the most impressionable.
Your dog learns more in this period than she is going to learn in her entire lifetime.
So, the quantity and quality of the experiences she goes through this time period will impact her future personality and behavioral tendencies.
This critical learning period is further divided into sub-stages as discussed below:
First 7 Weeks
The first seven weeks are critical in a puppy’s life.
It is the time when a puppy learns critical lessons from her mother and litter-mates and should not be removed from their company before they are seven weeks old.
During this time, a puppy also learns to use all her senses, starts moving around, grows her baby teeth, transitions to consuming solid foods and becomes independent (weaned) from her mother.
The first seven weeks are divided into the neonatal period, the transition period, and the first socialization period.
Most dog owners don’t get their puppies at the neonatal stage.
This is the time when a puppy is totally dependent on her mother and has only developed the senses of touch and taste.
The puppies start to develop their sense of smell and hearing in the transition period.
Their eyes begin to open and the baby teeth starts to grow.
During the transition period, puppies start standing, become mobile, interact with their siblings and develop their individual personalities.
The First Socialization Period
The first socialization period is a critical stage of a puppy’s development.
During this time, puppies receive neurological stimulation and the caretakers introduce
them to the complex environment and human society carefully through a thorough socialization process.
7 to 16 Weeks: The Second Socialization Period
Most of the puppies join their new human families when they are 7 to 9 weeks old.
As soon as your puppy reaches home the second socialization period begins.
It is time for you to provide your puppy high-quality socialization experience.
It is important that you introduce your puppy to as many different people, environments, dogs and objects as you can.
However, you need to do so in a controlled manner. This is the key to havinga well-behaved and self-confident puppy.
Socialization also keeps your puppy from getting behavioral problems such as shyness or aggression from developing later in her life.
It is important to understand the concept of the Fear-Impact period, which the puppies go through when they are 8 to 11 weeks old.
If a puppy goes through a bad experience during this phase, chances are that its impacts last for a very long time and resurface when she is in her maturity stage.
You have to keep your puppy from going through such traumatizing experiences.
So, if you find your puppy being intimidated or extremely scared, whether the reason is dangerous or not, it is advised that you immediately remove her from that situation.
4 to 6 Months: The Juvenile Period
During the juvenile period, a puppy gets more energetic and becomes restless due to teething.
Your puppy’s baby teeth start to fall and are replaced by the adult teeth.
Typically, a puppy goes through this process when she is between 4 to 6 months old, but it is possible that the teething process lasts longer.
Your puppy also develops her height during this period and starts acquiring her adult coat.
Your puppy will also begin to mature sexually.
If you want to get your puppy spayed, this is the best time to do so.
Same goes for male puppies, get them neutered before they start manifesting the related behavioral problems.
A second Fear-Impact period, which can last up to 3 weeks, may begin when the puppy is 5 months.
This second Fear-Impact period is similar to the first one and should be dealt with in the same manner.
If, however, your puppy does not undergo another Fear-Impact period at this stage, she will go through it later in her adolescent period.
6 to 12 Months: Adolescent Period
A puppy’s adolescent period is a difficult time for her owner.
It is a phase during which your puppy starts testing her wings!
So, it can become messy if your puppy has not undergone early socialization, training and setting of boundaries.
During the adolescence period, your puppy is going to have high levels of energy and curiosity.
She will spend most of her time exploring her surroundings, being easily distracted by the littlest of things.
Chances are your puppy is least interested in the training sessions.
Do not get angry with her.
Be patient and supportive.
Make sure that boundaries are still in place, review her achievements as far as the various skills go and then modify the remaining training sessions accordingly.
If your puppy has not gone through the second Fear-Impact period in the juvenile stage, she will experience it in the adolescent period.
So, be extra careful and cautious when the time comes.
1 to 2 Years of Age: Maturity Period
Physically small to medium breed dogs reach maturity faster than the large to giant breed dogs.
Smaller breeds usually mature by the age of one year to 18 months.
While, the larger breed dogs can take up to two or three years.
Socially and mentally, it is possible that a dog is considered to be a puppy for almost up to four years.
It is very important that you keep your dog safe from any potential health problems.
A great way of doing so is to adopt various preventive healthcare measures so that diseases and other health problems are prevented or caught in their early stages.
Preventive healthcare is a great way to improve and promote your puppy’s overall health.
It not only saves your puppy from needless suffering, but also helps you avoid large financial burden.
There are various ways in which you can practice preventive healthcare for your canine.
A few important ones are given as follows:
- Take your dog for the annual vet visits.
- Get your dog groomed routinely, with special attention given to nail trimming,
coat brushing and ear cleaning.
- Provide your dog the adequate training required for her safety and safety of the people with whom she interacts.
- Always give your dog a balanced diet and take her out for regular exercise.
- Get your dog timely vaccinated for the best protection.
- Use veterinary approved products to protect your puppy from parasites.
- Take care of your dog’s teeth oral hygiene to maintain her overall health.
- Keep your dog on a leash when outside your home. This will reduce her chances
of getting into unfortunate accidents.
Providing proper nutrition to your dog is very essential for his growth and health.
Your dog requires a certain balance of protein, fats, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins and water, each day in order to stay healthy and function normally.
These requirements change with the changing stages of your puppy’s development.
Every nutrient that your dog requires has a purpose.
Without proper nutrition, your puppy’s body will not be able to maintain its muscle tone, repair and build teeth, muscles and bones, and fight off different diseases and infections.
It will be hard to take part in normal day to day activities.
In other words, your puppy will lead an unhealthy life and has more chances of getting sick and dying early.
Nowadays, you can literally find numerous types and brands of dog foods in the market to choose from. There are foods made for specific stages of a dog’s life.
Some dog foods are designed generally, while others are made keeping certain health conditions in mind, such as kidney and heart diseases and certain allergies.
It is best that you refer to your vet before starting or changing the dog’s food brand.
Proper Nutrition for Puppies
Puppy food comprises of twice the value of daily nutrition required by a mature adult dog.
This is because puppies are young and still in their growing phase.
They need more nutrients for rapid developments several body features, with muscles, internal organs, bones, joints, and immune systems being a few of many.
Puppy’s Age and Puppy Food
Ideally, you should feed your puppy until he is one year old.
However, there are situations when you may need to switch to adult dog food before then.
This becomes important when your puppy is developing very quickly or your vet is concerned about his physical wellbeing.
In such cases, you should follow the guidelines provided by your vet.
The Best Form of Puppy Food
You can find dog foods in three forms, dry kibble, moist and semi-moist condition.
Dry dog food form contains the most amount of protein, thus is most suitable for puppies.
It is easy to digest and does not stick to your puppy’s teeth.
Moist dog food usually comprises of seventy-five percent water and has fewer nutrients.
Its soft texture usually leaves food particles between your puppy’s teeth, increasing the chances of getting cavities.
Semi-moist food is a good option if you are looking for easy to digest and practical solution.
However, it is believed to cause hyperactivity and obesity in some dogs.
It is best to feed your puppy a combination of dry and semi-moist dog food.
The Number of Times a Puppy Should be Fed and the Ideal Amount
You should feed your puppy three times a day until he reaches the age of 6 months.
In most dog breeds the growth rate slows down by this age.
After the age of 6, lower the meals to two times per day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Follow these guidelines unless your vet recommends otherwise.
The quantity of food your dog needs as a serving depends on his nutritional needs and breed.
If he is large or a very active dog, he will need more calories to consume as compared to a small dog or a dog that does not move around much.
Keep these points in mind and avoid over-feeding your puppy.
You should provide lots of water for your puppy to drink.
However, it is not advised to keep a bowl of water near a younger puppy the entire time, as it makes housebreaking your dog difficult.
Provide him water at scheduled times and then take him out so he can relieve himself.
Keep doing so till your dog is old and trained enough to let you know when he wants to go outside.
Proper Nutrition for Adult Dogs
It is very important to understand your dog’s lifestyle and eating habits before selecting a dog food brand for him.
Does your dog gets enough exercise and weighs the right amount for his age and height?
Or, you have a dog that is laid back and does not like to move around much?
Asking yourself these questions will help you find the best food for your canine.
Things to be kept in Mind when Feeding an Adult Dog
Before buying an adult dog food for your canine, make sure it contains all the important nutrients that your dog requires in a balanced form.
See if the food is for adult maintenance or for all life stages.
Both forms are appropriate for a normal adult dog.
If, however, your dog is overweight, get the product which is for adult maintenance, as dog food for all life stages contains more nutrients, which are needed for growth.
When is a Dog Considered an Adult for Feeding Purpose?
Your dog will be considered an adult for feeding purposes when he reaches at least ninety percent of his anticipated adult weight.
Basically the nutrients contents in an adult or maintenance diet are designed for dogs that have passed their growth stage.
Most dogs are ready to be fed adult dog food by the age of 7 months.
But, larger breeds may continue growing till they are 12 months old or beyond.
If you want to feed a homemade diet to your dog, make sure he gets the right combination of fats, vitamins, minerals and protein.
It is important that you consult a certified veterinary nutritionist to design a healthy diet, as getting the right mix of nutrients is not that easy to do.
Are you Feeding the Right Food to your Adult Dog?
Feeding your dog the right food is very important.
To confirm whether the food that you have selected for your dog is suiting him or not, you should observe his body and coat condition.
Is your dog very energetic and fit in appearance?
Is his coat glossy? I
f the answer to these questions is yes, then the food is agreeing with your dog.
If he is not defecating normally, it is possible the food you have selected for him is not allowing proper digestion.
Similarly, if your pet’s coat is dull or he lacks energy, it is time for you to change his food.
The Number of Times an Adult Dog Should be Fed and the Ideal Amount
Most owners like to feed their adult dog two times a day.
However, feeding your dog once is fine as well.
Giving two meals per day makes it easier for your adult dog to digest the food he consumes.
When it comes to the amount of food to be given, it all comes down to your dog’s size and the amount of exercise he gets.
Feeding charts may help you decide what quantity of food is to be fed.
If your dog is very active, he may require food that is especially designed for performance or working dogs.
Another thing that should be considered while deciding on the amount to be fed is your pet’s body condition.
Is he overweight or suffering from malnutrition?
Your vet can help you decide the right amount of food in such cases.
Similarly, if you have a female dog that is pregnant or nursing, or a dog that is seriously ill, ask your vet for help regarding the quantity and type of food required.
Dogs and Veterinary Care
Getting your dog vaccinated is the easiest way to help her live a healthy, long life.
Today, you can find different kinds of vaccines made for different diseases.
You can also find various combinations and types of vaccines.
Although vaccines are there to protect your pets from diseases, they are not risk-free.
Understanding your dog’s health, lifestyle and life stages helps in the vaccination procedure.
What are Dog Vaccines?
Vaccines contain antigens that help prepare your dog’s immune system to fight the disease-causing organisms.
Your dog’s immune system gets mildly stimulated and becomes ready to recognize and fight the targeted illness.
Importance of Vaccinations for Your Dog’s Health
Vaccines are very crucial in managing your dog’s health.
Keep in mind, not every dog needs vaccines against every disease.
You have to discuss a proper vaccination protocol with your vet.
Your vet will consider factors such as medical history, travel habits, age, environment
and lifestyle, and come up with a proper vaccination plan.
Types of Vaccines
Generally, canine vaccines are divided into three categories, core vaccines, noncore vaccines and vaccines that are not recommended.
Core vaccines are the vital ones and should be given to all dogs, based on the severity and exposure of disease.
The diseases’ transmissibility to humans is another factor that affects the core vaccines’ administration.
Vaccines designed for canine parvovirus, rabies, hepatitis and distemper are the core vaccines that every dog should get.
Non-core vaccines that your dog may require depend on her exposure risk.
Vaccines against Leptospira bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and Bordetella bronchiseptica are a few of the non-core vaccines.
Vaccination and Puppies
If your puppy’s mother was a healthy dog, she would have had most likely received important antibodies through her mother’s milk.
Puppies should star他getting a series of vaccination when they are 6-8 weeks old.
They should be given a minimum of three vaccinations with intervals of 3-4 weeks in between.
Lastly, the final dose is to be given when a puppy is sixteen weeks old.
The combination of vaccine products that puppies need to be administered includes vaccines for hepatitis, parvovirus and distemper.
Your puppy should also get a vaccination to prevent rabies.
It is possible that your vet may advise getting more vaccinations that are appropriate for your canine.
Vaccination and Adult Dogs
The amount and type of vaccination to be given to your adult dog can be best determined by your vet.
They will consider factors such as your dog’s lifestyle, the environment she lives in, medical history and age, and then come up with a proper vaccination schedule.
Some dogs may need certain vaccines on an annual basis, while other vaccines may need to be administered once every 4 years or longer.
Vaccines and Associated Risks
Vaccines stimulate your dog’s immune system so that a proper protection mechanism is established against specific infection-causing organisms.
The stimulation can lead to various mild symptoms, ranging from allergic reactions to fever.
As with any medical process, vaccination may cause some side effects as well.
However, most of the time, the risks faced due to side effects are very minute compared to the risks of the illness itself.
But, to be on the safe side, it is important that you discuss your dog’s medical history properly with your vet before she is vaccinated against a disease.
In some cases, serious symptoms may appear.
In such cases, you should immediately take your canine to your vet.
Such symptoms may include, difficulty in breathing, high fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, hives, and in a very rare case, a seizure may occur.
If you suspect your dog is having an adverse reaction to a vaccine, call your vet immediately!
Playtime and Exercise
Playtime with Your Dog
In addition to providing proper food, water and vaccination, you need to spend some quality playtime with your dog.
Your dog will stay healthy if he is playful.
Playtime with your dog provides him an excellent source for mental and physical stimulation.
It also improves his social skills.
Playing with your dog helps him learn to interact properly with both, other dogs and people.
In addition to being simple fun, quality playtime with your dog can prove to be a great training tool.
So, it does not matter if your dog is a small breed or a huge one, play with him and enjoy some bonding time.
Do not worry if your dog does not reciprocate at first.
Observe his mood.
Initiate playing when you feel he has a lot of energy to spend and be persistent.
You can also try different types of toys.
Playtime is a good thing for your dog’s stimulation, interaction and exercise.
But, if it is not conducted in a proper manner, things can get very messy.
It is important to maintain your dominance so that your dog does not become ill-mannered and obeys your commands when required to.
Don’t encourage your dog’s destructive behavior, such as putting his teeth on your skin, during playtime.
Similarly, teach him to share during playing.
Play fetch, make him ‘drop’ and ’give’ the toy to you.
This helps him from becoming possessive.
Dogs and Exercise
Just as a quality playtime is necessary for your dog’s mental and physical health, exercise sessions are also important.
You can turn your dog’s playtime into an exercise session or simply dedicate a separate portion of your time each day for your dog’s exercise needs.
Whatever option you choose, make sure your dog goes through daily exercise sessions for improved health and well being.
Exercise helps with your dog’s overall physical health.
Lack of required exercise can lead to several health problems for your dog, with obesity being the most common health problem.
Adequate exercise is very essential and it increases your dog’s lifespan.
If you are not sure about what exercise routine your dog should follow, you should consult your vet.
Exercise is a great way to provide your dog with mental stimulation.
Outdoor exercise enables him to work with the changing scenery, smells and sounds.
This also helps him develop socialization skills.
Lack of exercise leads to a lack of mental stimulation.
This, in turn, leads to boredom that may cause your dog to develop behavioral problems such as showing aggression or fear with another dog or person when in close proximity.
Your Dog’s Behavior
As mentioned earlier, lack of exercise cause behavioral problems.
Their behavioral problems increase if dogs do not get enough exercise.
So, if your dog is misbehaving, it is possible he is not getting enough exercise.
Help your dog spend his pent-up energy through exercise, which can otherwise cause problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, biting, excess barking, irritability and destructiveness.
Proper punctual exercise sessions lead to a smarter dog.
Enough mental stimulation and physical exercise improves your dog’s focusing ability.
A dog that has not gotten enough exercise is easily distracted or bored during a training session.
If your dog does not get a proper outlet for excess energy, he becomes agitated and easily irritable.
Providing your dog with adequate amount of exercise makes it easier to develop various skills and helps with the overall dog training.
Housebreaking Your Dog
Housebreaking a new puppy is a process that involves a lot of patience and commitment.
The process should be started immediately, soon after you have brought the puppy home.
Puppies normally require relieving themselves five to six times each day, and most of the time, soon after they have been fed.
Paper training and the crate training are the two main methods that are adopted by owners to housebreak their dogs.
Paper training is perfect for a puppy that belongs to a smaller breed.
If you are not repulsed by the bad odor and have a puppy that is not going to be huge when all grown up, paper training is the housebreaking method for you.
Refer to the following guidelines if you want to paper train your puppy.
- Select a place away from your puppy’s feeding area and place layers of newspapers.
- After each meal, take your puppy to the place covered by the newspapers and leave him to defecate and/or urinate.
- Remove the top layer once your puppy is done doing his business.
- Once your puppy has got the idea where he is supposed to relieve himself, reduce the area covered by the newspapers and let your puppy get accustomed to the new size.
- Keep on reducing the area till you are left with the exact spot where you want him to urinate or defecate.
Before housebreaking your puppy through this method, it is important that you know, once your dog has developed a habit of relieving himself indoors, it is very difficult for him to let go of it.
So, if you want your puppy to go out to relieve himself when he as grown to his full size, you will have to start his training all over again.
In this method, you carefully introduce your puppy to the idea of staying inside a crate.
Crate training involves you placing your puppy in a crate for the first few weeks, once he is
Whenever a puppy starts to get restless, he is taken out and to the place where you want him to do his business.
You are required to:
- Take a clean crate and place it where you want your puppy to be kept.
- Place a toy inside the crate and leave the door open.
- When your puppy will notice the toy, he will take it out and play with it. Let him play for a while.
- After some time, take some treat food, make sure your puppy notices it, and place it inside the crate.
- Once your puppy follows the treat and is inside the crate, shut the door. Keep it shut for a few seconds, and then open it. Repeat the process until your puppy has been inside for about five to six minutes.
Do not stay in front of him all the time.
Do not take him out even if he cries.
Gradually increase the time he is kept inside.
Make sure you do not keep your puppy inside for more than 6 hours.
Do not keep your puppy inside the crate when you are not home.
Make a schedule and stick to it.
Take your puppy out according to the schedule for him to relieve.
Take him out after every two hours and after he has been fed.
A regular feeding schedule will help you design a proper schedule for crate training.
Eventually, the crate will be no longer required.
You will just have to take your puppy outside at the scheduled times.
Obedience Training: 5 Basic Obedience Commands
Trying to control the actions of a puppy that is not disciplined is not an easy task to perform.
The five basic obedience commands help with your puppy’s overall safety and obedience, and build and nurture a good and healthy human-animal relationship.
Do not start training immediately after you have brought your puppy home.
Let her settle down and get used to her surroundings.
The sit command is very helpful to keep an energetic puppy well-behaved in social situations.
- To teach the ‘sit’ command:
- Take a position on the same eye level as your dog.
- Hold a piece of treat in your hand and place it in from of her muzzle. Move your hand upwards. Let her follow it.
- When she is going to raise her head to follow the food in your hand her back will lower towards the ground.
- As soon as her back is on the ground, release the treat in her mouth and praise her verbally.
Repeat this training several times a day with intervals in between one substantial time.
Pair the word ‘sit’ with the training so that your puppy knows what action to perform when the particular command word is repeated.
The basic command word ‘come’ is very useful when you want to keep your dog out of troublesome and dangerous situations.
Just say the word and she will come towards you, leaving whatever trouble she is getting herself into.
To teach the ‘come’ command:
- Clip a light leash to your puppy’s collar and allow him to move around and get used to the feeling.
- As soon as he starts to walk, pick the leash up and follow her. Let her know that she is being controlled and can’t move freely.
- Start walking backward and let your puppy follow you. As soon as she comes towards you, mark and praise, and give her a treat.
Repeat this training and use the word ‘come’ whenever she starts moving towards you.
Do not forget to verbally praise her each time she succeeds.
The basic ‘stay’ command makes your puppy stationary at the place right where you left her to be.
This command word is a bit difficult to teach as staying still is not embedded in a dog’s nature.
To teach the ‘stay’ command:
- Make your puppy sit next to while her leash is still attached. Make sure she is comfortable.
- Say the command word stay while waving your upright palm in front of your puppy’s muzzle.
- Soon after doing so, step in front of her and then move back to her side after a few seconds.
- If your puppy remains in the same position, praise her verbally and give her some treat.
- After providing the treat, teach your puppy a release word. This will let her know that she can move now and is no longer required to stay in the same position.
If, however, your puppy breaks her stay before you say the release word, calmly show your disapproval by saying words such as ‘Try again’ or ‘Oops’ and move her to the same position she was in when you started the training session.
Repeat this training in different locations, several times a day.
The ‘down’ basic obedience commands lets you practice a higher level of control over your
dog’s actions and undesirable behaviors.
To teach the ‘down’ command:
- Hold some treat in front of your puppy’s muzzle. Do not release it yet.
- Move your hand down and allow her to follow it.
- While she is moving downwards, drag your hand along the ground. This will make your puppy assume a stretched ‘down’ position. Give her the treat as soon as she is in the said position.
Repeat this training several times a day and pair the word ‘down’ each time.
If your puppy lunges forward towards the treat you are holding, just show your disapproval and say words such as ‘nope’ and remove your hand away from in front of her.
The ‘heel’ command is taught after the ‘come’ command as it lets your dog know that her movements are in your control.
Basically, you are teaching your puppy to stay close to you whether you are walking or stationary.
To teach the ‘heel’ command:
- Attach the leash to your puppy’s collar and take her out for a walk.
- Hold the leash in your right hand, across in front of your body and make your puppy stay on your left.
- Make sure to keep the leash slack. Do not drag your puppy.
- To encourage her to move forward, pat your left leg. Praise her and provide her a treat when she is successful.
- Stop every now and then to have proper control over her movements. Praise her and treat her for her obedience and correct position.
- If your puppy lags behind or gets ahead of you stop immediately. Let her come back to you. Once, she is back with you, mark and praise, and continue walking.
Once your puppy knows what is required of her while on a leash, pair the ‘heel’ command with her training.
Repeat the steps to get the desired disciplined behavior.
Remember to keep the training sessions short and fun.
Gradually reduce the number of food treats you are providing her.
Once the basic obedience training is completed, you will find your puppy to be a more pleasant company.
There are several reasons that may lead your dog to bark excessively, a few of them being fear, loneliness, separation anxiety, territorial reasons, and boredom.
It takes time to make your dog bark less.
If you start shouting to stop your dog from barking, it will have the opposite impact.
It usually stimulates a dog to bark more.
So, the best way to go about is to handle things calmly.
Say ‘Quiet’ in a calm, but firm tone.
Wait until your dog stops barking and once he does so, immediately praise him and give him a treat.
Another way to control your dog’s excessive barking is to make him learn when to ‘speak’.
Once he starts to bark, in order to stop him, teach him a different command to stop barking, such as ‘quiet’.
Hold your finger to your lips while doing so.
Practice for this command when your dog is calm.
In time he will learn to respond and cease barking at your command.
Chewing is natural and perfectly normal for all dogs.
They love to chew on things that are available.
They chew for fun, stimulation and even to relieve anxiety or mild frustration.
While this behavior is normal for them, dogs may chew inappropriate items and cause destruction.
One way of handling such a situation is to ‘dog-proof’ your house.
Put all the valuable objects away from your dog’s reach until he has developed a habit to chew on appropriate items.
Provide enough inedible chew bones and toys to your dog.
Besides this, you can also give him some edible things to chew on, such as bully sticks or bones.
Begging at the Table for Food
Most dogs like to eat the same types of foods that we do, which often causes them to develop a bad habit of begging at the table for food.
You cannot blame your dog for begging for food at the table but, most owners do not like such behavior from their pets.
You can prevent your dog from showing such behavior in two ways.
Either control his access to the food table, or teach your dog to concentrate on something else while you are having a meal with your family.
You can use a baby gate to confine your dog in another room while you are eating.
You can also crate-train your dog and put him the crate while you eat.
If you do not like to confine your dog, you can make use of command words to restrain him.
You can use ‘stay’ or ‘down’ basic commands or you can designate a spot for him to go whenever you sit down for a meal.
There are different reasons that can cause a dog to become aggressive, with reasons
such as no good socializing skills, possessiveness, fear, and defensiveness
being a few of them.
An aggressive dog can become very dangerous for people and other pets around him.
When your dog is acting aggressively he may show series of increasingly intense behaviors, such as becoming extremely rigid and still, growling or barking in a manner that sounds threatening, snarling, biting with enough pressure to tear the skin or cause a bruise and lunging forward in an intimidating manner.
It is important to observe your dog’s behavior and whom he is acting aggressively.
Working with your vet often helps in aggression cases.
Some dogs show aggressive behavior when they are suffering from different medical conditions.
It has not been confirmed whether a dog can be completely cured of such a behavioral problem, but some forms of aggression can be reduced very well.
However, the best way to manage an aggressive dog is to limit his exposure to people, situations and other things that may trigger such a response.
Training a puppy to become the perfect adult dog takes a lot of commitment, time and patience.
It is important that you are aware of the basic necessities and adopt a step by step approach when dealing with the above mentioned important requirements.
Following the guidelines and understanding the important details in this guide will help you with the process.
Knowing different stages of your dog’s life, understanding his behavior, getting him the necessary veterinary care, teaching him the basic obedience commands and housebreaking him are the necessary steps you have to take in order to train your puppy to become a healthy, well-behaved adult dog.