Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. When you are dealing with a puppy that responsibility increases significantly. This is because puppies need even more attention and care than older dogs do, especially in the training department. Just as with a baby, everything is new to a puppy. They must be taught everything from going to the potty to learning to sit and stay. If you are owning a puppy for the first time, the following tips should help get you started on this delightful journey.
Switching to Solid Food
When switching puppies to solid food, separate them from the mother for just a couple hours at a time and introduce and encourage them to eat solid food. Try mixing the puppy food with replacement milk inside of a blender so that you get a consistency similar to baby cereal. You can start this process when the puppy is approximately three weeks old. You want this to be a gradual transition. Over the course of a few weeks, the puppy should be able to nurse less and eat more puppy food.
Teach Simple Commands
Having your puppy follow your commands is about much more than learning cool tricks. It is essential that your dog be obedient to you because this is what shapes behavior patterns and helps to ensure the dog's safety. Here are some basic commands that your puppy should be able to follow and how you can teach them.
To get your puppy to sit, place a treat near the dog's nose and then move your hand up. This will cause the puppy to end up in a seated position. Although the pup is already seated, tell it to sit and then give praise along with the treat.
To convince your dog to come, get down on the puppy's level and gently give the leash a pull while telling your pup to come. Once the dog does, give it praise and a treat.
The ability to stay is crucial. Once your puppy has gotten the hang of sitting, start with this position. Place your open palm in front of you and tell the dog to stay. Back up a few paces, and if your pup does stay, reward it with praise and a treat.
The fastest way to potty train your puppy is with repetition and consistency. Keep on a regular feeding schedule and take the pup out 30 minutes after each feeding. Watch your puppy carefully for signs that they need to go. Breaking up their daily food into three small meals is another way to limit the amount of times they need to go outside. Finally, don’t forget to praise your puppy when they do the job outside and not on your floor.
All of these tips are definitely achievable, but they require some patience and repetition on your part. Repetition is how a dog learns, and when you add rewards to the equation, you can easily reinforce the behaviors that you desire.
Ready to take your puppy on their first outdoor adventure? We recommend this article.
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