By Annelie Becher
A new baby has arrived at your home and it is very sweet.
If you have had dogs before, here are some good things to remember — if you have never had a dog, here are some good tips for you.
Always remember that it is important to do things right from the start.
Don’t leave your puppy alone at night. Take him to your bedroom or sleep in the kitchen with him.
He will suffer if you do leave him alone, after all, he is just a baby who needs the comfort and security of the pack.
Leaving a little dog baby alone at night is not kind — no matter what they say.
If you are worried about your carpets, put him in a cardboard box next to your bed and he will wake you up when he needs a piddle.
My best bet is to make your own bed on the floor and let puppy sleep next to you for a few nights — that way he will bond with you more easily and more deeply.
On potty training:
Puppy needs to go outside for a piddle every two hours.
Puppy needs to go outside after every meal.
Puppy needs to go outside as soon as he has woken up from sleep.
When you take puppy out and he squats down to do his business, say something like: “do your business” and use a short praise like “good girl.”
Do this every time but make sure not to over praise.
If you use the same words every time your baby does her business, she will soon know what those words mean and learn to perform on command. But, this takes time and patience.
It is also important that you use a unique phrase, one that’s not used for anything else at all.
Fail to do that and your puppy will not know what the phrase means because he hears it too often so it means nothing.
Puppy needs a lot of sleep and when puppy is sleeping he must not be woken up. Puppies play one second and drop into sleep the next.
Since the body produces growth hormones during sleep, your puppy does needs to sleep a lot. Actually, dogs need much more sleep than humans.
If you have not already got a dog whistle, get one now and do this:
Every time you feed puppy, blow on your whistle. This way puppy will connect the sound of the whistle with food, which in the long run will make him come to you very time you blow the whistle.
It is important that you blow the whistle just before puppy starts to eat and for a second or two into his feeding. Blowing the whistle after puppy has eaten is useless and will bring no results.
Make sure not to play with your puppy after meals. This may cause stomach flip and can seriously harm the puppy.
Do not change your pup’s diet for two weeks but stick to the food your breeder, shelter or vet recommended.
Later on you may change his diet by gradually adding the new food to the old food until you have completely exchanged one for the other.
Never let you baby play with bigger dogs unless they are calm and collected adult dogs who do not rough house anymore. The best would be to find dogs of a similar size and age.
Puppy bones and joints are very delicate but at the same time puppy needs social contact with other canines. Choose wisely!
As a loving and dedicated dog owner you aspire to do what ever you can to make your four-legged friend happy.
Protecting him from harm, providing the best possible nourishment and lifestyle as well as educating him well are important for his overall well being.
Annelie Becher is a registered psychologist, trainer and author who specializes in helping dogs and their owners get along better.