The most important, and first, thing to do with your new puppy is spend some time on bonding. It is the human-canine bond that is both unique and wondrous. Without it, a dog often becomes confused or lost. You are the most important creature in the world to him, a best friend. There is nothing a puppy wants more than to be loved.
Puppy wants to please and imitate his or her owner. He enjoys learning and communicating. It is up to the owner to give direction and be a role model. Negative training such as yelling or any physical pain makes puppy fearful and confused. The best thing to do is to keep all personal items out of reach of puppy, including wires and items on counter until puppy is fully trained to only touch his own toys. Food will always be tempting to dogs, so plan to always keep food out of reach.
Education: Take the puppy to puppy classes if possible. Read books. Start with "Love Is All You Need" by Jennifer Arnold. This may be the only book you need, but others are listed on the supply list. Watch videos - free ones on You Tube such as Zak George.
Children: Role play with your children before puppy arrives. Children need to have a calm voice for commands and a sweet, happy voice for praise. While pets can teach responsibility, be reasonable in your expectations and be ready to pick up the slack.
Crate Training: Dogs by nature love a den area. Place crate near where you sleep at night. Put blanket, toy, something to chew in crate. Ignore puppy if she whimpers or barks. You can try putting your hand in crate to pet or soothing puppy, but if that doesn't work ignore. Puppy should have gone potty before going into crate and can now go 6 to 8 hours in the crate without needing to go potty. After a night or so puppy will settle down in crate. If puppy wakes early, take him out to potty, but never wake a sleeping or quiet puppy. Place blanket scented with litter mates inside. A stuffed animal with beating heart sound inside also helps.
Use crate, or safe, cfined area with no wires, etc. to chew, such is in a fenced off area with crate inside whenever puppy is not being supervised. This should be an area about 6 by 6. It should be near where the family gathers. Having a safe area prevents stress and accidents are easier to clean up. Gradually extend boundaries over weeks or months.
Walking : Dogs love the adventure of a walk! Puppy needs to learn proper behavior so owner enjoys taking him. Use a long leash and stop when puppy goes to full length of it. No going forward on leash walk if puppy is pulling. We like Easy Walk harness system for walking. When you pull, puppy has natural instinct to pull back. Easy Walk gently turns puppy back to you when she pulls. Puppy quickly learns not to pull.
Potty Training: You may want to keep puppy on a leash by your side for the first few days for quicker training. Take puppy out every 2-3 hours for ten minutes and after eating. Praise her during the act of going – not before or after. It’s good to have a command word for this to say during the act such as “hurry up” If puppy does not go, bring inside and take out again in half an hour to repeat. Sometimes puppy will go twice within minutes, so wait a bit before bringing back in. Extend time between breaks as puppy grows. Take away all food and water a few hours before bedtime and then take puppy out before going to crate for the night. Any soiled bedding should be washed with vinegar to eliminate odor.
If you see puppy circling, pacing, sniffing, scoop her up and take her outside as it a sign that she needs to potty. If you catch puppy in the act, scoop up and bring outside. Never scold him for going in house – this is your fault usually for not giving him enough breaks. After a couple of days, you can begin to lengthen the time between potty breaks. She will need a break every 3 or 4 hours until she’s about 6 or 7 months old.
Other Pets : Meet other household dogs on neutral ground, or in backyard. Then go for a walk and come in together. Supervise them at first. Put cats in another room for a day or two so puppy can smell, but not see. Then introduce with supervision.
Puppy No No’s: Mouthing/ Nipping / Growling at humans – Soon puppy will be grown and this behavior should never be tolerated. Offer puppy an appropriate chew toy and play with her a bit with it. Everyone needs to be on board with this, including all children. If children are too young or unwilling for any reason to train puppy not to chew or nip then they need to be supervised at all times with puppy, with you stepping in to correct puppy each time she nips or mouths at the child. If puppy gets away with this, you may have a dog that can’t be tolerated around humans later. If puppy is growling, find out why. Usually it is fear and you will need to assure puppy no one is going to hurt him through a gradual process. For instance if it is food guarding, offer puppy something better as you come near her and her food. Gradually puppy will learn to trust that you only bring good things.
Chewing: All puppies chew! They will try just about anything: laptop wire, homework, poisonous plants, shoes, socks. Some items can be swallowed and harmful to puppy. That is one reason why puppy has a safe area when not supervised. While supervised, substitute a puppy chew toy when puppy goes after inappropriate items. He will soon learn that only his toys can be chewed on. Give him bully sticks, knee cap bones and cow hooves to chew. Growing out of the teething stage is also helpful, but if not trained adult dog will continue to chew on people items. Keep items out of his reach, such as socks.
Hazard avoidance stage or fear periods: There are 2 of these. In these periods, puppy will become afraid of any negative experience. The first one is at 8-12 weeks and the second at 6 to 14 months. Any frightening or painful experience can have lasting effect on the puppy. Never praise, cuddle, or comfort your pup when he is startled or showing fear. All experiences should be positive during this time. Expose her to all kinds of noises, household and outdoor and ignore any negative reactions of your puppy. Remove puppy from any negatives with a calm, unafraid attitude.
Exercise : Make sure your dog gets exercise, mental and physical, every day. There are lots of puzzle toys such as Kongs, balls they roll to get a treat (make sure treats are healthy), and others. Dogs love walks, fetch, keep away, and just having you play with them. Learning exercises are also good exercise.
Socialization : Weeks 8 to 12 are important socialization days for your puppy. Although he can’t be around un-vaccinated dogs or around dog feces until first series of puppy vaccines are given, he can and should be around people and dogs. She should meet about 100 new people by the time she is 12 weeks old.
Schedule: It is best to establish a daily routine for puppy with a mix of play time and rest time. You will be given a suggested time schedule in your puppy packet when you pick it up. You can tailor to your own lifestyle, just make sure puppy is never crated for more than four hours without a play break – except at night.