Puppies have special care needs. This includes training, vaccination, looking after a sick puppy, sleep and play.
They are small and pretty much defenceless creatures that are totally reliant on you, their proud owner, for all their needs. So it’s important you know what these needs are, as well as how to meet them from the moment you first bring them home.
Puppy training includes house training and obedience training. Dogs are creatures of habit and once a behavior is learned it tends to become ingrained. It’s then much harder to change that behavior. So you should begin training as soon as possible.
Positive reinforcement training is the best form of dog training. Shouting, hitting, or otherwise abusing your dog won’t get you anywhere. The aim of being a dog owner is to form a special bond with your dog. There should be a mutual respect and trust. You won’t get this by abusing your dog. Instead, they’ll just be fearful of you and intimidated by you. Using training methods such as shock collars are similarly cruel and unhelpful when it comes to your relationship with your dog.
Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding the wanted behavior with rewards such as treats and petting. Unwanted behavior is ignored. In this way, your dog learns what you want and knows that if they give it to you they’re likely to be rewarded. And dogs are naturally eager to please, all the more so if they think a goodie is going to come their way!
Be aware that young puppies will have shorter attention spans so keep training sessions short at first. If either you or your dog are becoming frustrated or losing focus then it’s time to call it a day.
You’ll naturally want your puppy to be happy and healthy. The best way to improve the chances of your puppy living a healthy life is to get them the required vaccinations. Talk to your vet about the recommended vaccination schedule for your puppy. Your puppy will need to be vaccinated against parvo, distemper and rabies among other diseases.
Caring For A Sick Puppy
If your puppy does get sick, it’s important you know how to look after them and how to know when to call for expert help. You should have a good idea what’s normal behavior for your puppy in terms of how much they sleep, eat, play, go to the toiler and so on. So if you notice any distinct changes in their regular behavior you should consult your vet. The same applies if you notice any changes in their coat or they start scratching, licking or panting.
If your puppy doesn’t get enough sleep (and puppies need a LOT of sleep), then they can start to misbehave. They are just like young children in this respect. When they’re tired they can get irritable and naughty. So it’s important they get the right amount of sleep. When very young they’ll need 18 hours sleep a day and will probably only be awake for an hour at a time. You should let them sleep when they need it. Don’t keep them awake playing with them or you’ll just make them over-tired and stressed.
As well as all that sleep though, your puppy will need exercise and attention. So it’s important you make the time to play with them. Not only does it tire them out and stop them becoming lonely and stressed, it also helps to build the bond between you both. Plus it’s an opportunity to start laying the groundwork for future behavior by making your puppy recognize you as the alpha dog.