By: Erin Young (RVT, CPDT)

1. Puppy Proof Your House

Puppies learn about their environment by exploring, biting, climbing and knocking things over! It’s our job to ensure that they will be safe to sniff, climb and yes…chew! Never leave your puppy unattended and without appropriate safe rubber toys to chew on. Consider an exercise pen to help when you need to complete daily tasks like preparing dinner.

2. Your Pup Needs A Social Life

Your puppy needs to meet friends on a regular basis to develop and maintain a positive relation with dogs, a well-balanced play style, to help appropriately learn bite inhibition, and because they crave it. Nothing tires out a dog like another dog!

3. Patience & Consistency Is Key To House Training

We all think we will be prepared for puppy piddles but those tiny spots quickly turn into lakes! Set up a schedule to know when your dog eats, when you are taking them out, and record their successes and mistakes so that you can improve on taking them out more frequently if needed. With every success praise your puppy!

4. Your Puppy Needs To Go To School

Humans and dogs don’t speak the same language. Enrolling in a Puppy Kindergarten class will teach you how to effectively communicate to your puppy and to teach your puppy what is expected in life situations. Your trainer can also help you navigate any bumps in the road and help you take your training higher such as scent detection, agility, tricks etc.

5. An Active Mind And Tired Body Is A Happy Puppy

Create good positive routines that include physical exercise and mental exercise. Let your puppy exercise at their own rate; don’t start any forced activities like jogging with your puppy. Mental exercise should include IQ games, problem solving and training.

6. Reward Good Behaviour

Never miss the opportunity to tell your dog when they’ve done something well! Rewards can be a pet, toy, opportunity or food. A good tip is to place small sealed containers of treats around the house so that you can always reward your dog!

7. Schedule An Appointment With A Veterinarian

Upon picking up your puppy you should schedule a health check up with your veterinarian. From there you and your veterinarian can discuss and book appointments for vaccinations, wellness check-up, parasites, flea & tick preventative, spay/neuter and many other topics. Your pup’s health is top priority.