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The Best Advice for Training Your New Puppy

Jan 4, 2008
Raising a puppy is a comparatively simple project, providing you make liberal use of patience and common sense. The young puppy cannot be expected to act like a grown dog; he needs direction and supervision. But the pup will quickly grow up and the period of close daily supervision becomes correspondingly shorter as the puppy matures. Naturally, raising a young puppy will cause some changes in your life and home. Whether these changes are pleasant or unpleasant depends largely on you and the regime you set for the puppy.

Setting The Stage For The New Puppy

If there's anything that will get the family and puppy off to a bad start, it's bringing the pup home without any preparation. Resist the temptation to surprise the family with a new puppy. No doubt your family will quickly recover from the excitement stirred up by the sudden appearance of a captivating pup, but what about the puppy? It can be a trying time for him.

Sleeping arrangements

Decide whether the pup is going to sleep indoors or outdoors. Make this decision before you bring him home. The type and location of his bed are important. His bed or doghouse should be his own, a place where he can curl up and nap, away from the clatter of family life. And once he takes over bed or doghouse, respect his right to privacy.

Indoors

The puppy's bed can be an ordinary cardboard box with a mattress of cedar shavings, shredded newspaper or a washable blanket. Or it can be one of the more elaborate commercial beds. If you use a cardboard box, cut down about one-half of one side, so the pup can climb in and out. Whatever the type of bed you buy or make, it should be so constructed that it is easily cleaned.

Once you've located the bed, avoid shifting it around after the pup has taken over. Moving the bed from spot to spot and room to room will only serve to confuse the puppy. He may well give it up altogether and find himself another nook.

Outdoors

If you provide the puppy with a dry and snug doghouse, he will manage very well outdoors all year round. Most dogs do, except the toy and miniature breeds. Nature will help the dog that lives outdoors by giving him a heavier coat.

Have the doghouse set up before the puppy arrives. If you don't have it ready, you'll find yourself coping with two sleeping arrangements: one, his sleeping in the house until you can get a doghouse; and two, again when you put him outdoors. And once he gets accustomed to sleeping in the house, he'll not want to go outdoors. Eliminate this double work by having the doghouse on hand.

Locate the doghouse where it will be protected from the hot summer sun and the winter winds. If a southern exposure is not practical, you can reduce wind-draft by erecting a canvas or burlap shield around the doghouse area. In summer, an awning will provide shade if no trees are nearby.

Equipment and accessories

A lot of running around and using makeshift equipment can be avoided if you have the necessary equipment and accessories before you bring the puppy home. Your pup's "layette" should include a feeding dish, water pan, brush, comb, collar, leash, and some indestructible toys.

Stainless-steel or aluminum food and water pans are best. Enamelware splits and cracks. The food dish should not be too large, otherwise the pup will step into it. Later on, you can get him a larger pan. If you are getting a long-eared dog, you would be wise to buy one of the special food dishes for these breeds.

Now you are ready to bring your pup home!
About the Author
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