You know what they say about April showers bringing May flowers. Spring brings the grass and fields alive and is also a great time to bring home your newest canine companion.
The first step to choosing a new puppy pet is to make sure you do your homework in finding a responsible breeder for your breed of choice. This is extremely important in ensuring that you get both a healthy puppy and one that’s most likely to exhibit the behavioral traits that best meet your needs.
Once you’ve selected your pup the most important part of your role begins. This is where you handle your primary role as a responsible pet parent. Primary requirements of pet ownership include providing a clean, safe and secure environment as well as the basic care needed to raise your new family member to reach his or her full genetic potential.
Secondary requirements beyond basic care include making the necessary efforts to ensure your pup is properly trained in basic obedience as well as any additional training needed to reach your goals for the puppy’s development in desired performance areas.
The first 6 months of a puppy’s life is the critical time period for teaching them the basic structure and training commands to meet your expectations. These include the basic obedience commands that will give you the freedom to take your dog almost anywhere and make you proud to show them off. Much like children, puppies generally have the ability to follow a steeper learning curve than what they seem willing to follow. This means you can probably push your pup a little faster than you might think, provided you take advantage of all the available opportunities.
One of the cornerstones of puppy socialization is consistently exposing your new puppy to the training and working environment they’ll be exposed to as adults. This should be done early and often in moderate blocks of time to help your pup adjust gradually and continue to develop the social skills their mother started as she raised the litter. For any training exercise, short and positive training sessions provide better results until their attention span matures. A good place to start is with 10-minute sessions twice daily and working up to 20 minutes by the time they reach 6 months of age.
Training should always be positive and with the understanding that your puppy doesn’t understand specific words and they certainly aren’t mind readers. Once you’ve communicated your expectations with verbal and visual commands to get the response you need, praise your puppy and reward them for their actions. Consistent reward and reinforcement of the desired actions will help develop lifelong behavior to meet your expectations.
You’ll establish yourself as the leader of their pack by providing structure and rules to keep them safe and out of trouble. If your puppy doesn’t find a leader in their new household, they’ll strive to become the leader. This can create issues that are much harder to overcome if you don’t start them on the correct path early in life.
One final note of importance is to work closely with your veterinarian of choice to provide an immunization program to ensure ongoing health. Then the final piece of the puzzle is to help your puppy to grow and develop bones and muscles with a solid nutrition program including a Hubbard® Life pet food for a long, healthy life.
Posted on 6/3/2013 by Steve Ries | Category: Dog
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