10 Tips to get started with your puppy – Nature de Chien

10 Tips to get started with your puppy – Nature de Chien

The top 10 tips for getting started with your puppy, we all wish we had them before he arrived, rather than getting them through experience. If you are about to become the human of a puppy, I would like to congratulate you first of all for his arrival in your family! You are from now on fully responsible for what he will become. The second thing I would like to do is to give you a list of 10 tips for getting started with your puppy.

I am not a breeder, but I have been fostering puppies for over 10 years and I have had a Dutch Shepherd puppy for 6 months now. And I sincerely think that my experience and my profession as a dog behaviorist educator will help you to have a good start in life with him.

Starting well with your puppy is not improvised

The arrival of a puppy is an upheaval for you and for him. You won’t be surprised if I tell you that when a puppy explores, it does so with its claws and mouth. He will probably go through a period where he will “taste” everything. Your home must be puppy-proof. For that you will have to anticipate everything as well as possible so that no dramatic accident can happen!

A puppy can really grab and destroy anything when it’s within his reach! Have fun and get down on all fours to get to his level and see what he might be looking at. Things to look out for most often are:

Electrical cords (hide them)SocketsHousehold products (should never be within the puppy’s reach)Anything on coffee tables (remote control for example)CarpetsTableclothsTrash cansShoes

In short, be bulletproof. Your dog will not instinctively know if it is dangerous or acceptable to catch even if you yell!

Watch out for your remotes

Some products or accessories are essential as soon as you get your puppy. They will help you during his installation or on a daily basis. Here is what I think could help you for sure!

Water and food bowls. Be careful, some dogs are afraid of metal. Ask your breeder what he feeds his puppies in, this will help you in the choice. A large enough dodo and also a carpet or an area that you can take in other places when you travel with your puppy. I’m talking about dodo, you can buy several. Just be careful some dogs will like to destroy their cushion. Some dogs will not like them. Because it wears too hot for example. What seems good to us is not always good from the dog’s point of view. Collar, lanyard: Everything you need to take your dog outside. Be careful, harnesses are not recommended for the growth of puppies, but some collars are not recommended either. Choose a flat collar or a simple harness that does not cover the shoulders. The 5-meter lanyard will be very good to start walking and training your puppy. He will not be able to hold it in yet, often not for months. Don’t take a product with bleach in it, it will encourage the puppy to do it again. This part will be more developed later.

a good basket and at least one toy nearby

Like our own human children, your puppy’s interests will change as he grows. Most young puppies will initially prefer soft, not hard, toys, often plush or fleece. So get several different toys for your puppy’s age so that he can be satisfied. For example here is what you can take at the beginning:

a small rope (not too heavy nor too big so that he can seize it)a fleece tug (you can make them yourself)calf hooves (you will find largely of what to make at Cani-gourmand and in more you have the right to a reduction with your first inscription)A toy a little harder if ever he wants to unload a little more.And finally other toys according to his affinities that you will discover (toy a little elastic, with plush but not of the same shape, toys that he will have to destroy, toys with real or false hairs, etc)

We don’t always think about it, but a puppy doesn’t stay that way for long. It’s nice to see him evolve. But we often forget to take enough pictures or videos. Really take the time to do it, it’s always nice to look back at these pictures a few months or years later.

Semper 2 months accompanying me during my trainings

We will never say it enough, but a veterinarian is chosen well before having the puppy. It avoids bad adventures suffered by your puppy because you don’t know how the professional behaves. A veterinarian should always be listening to you and especially to your dog. Here is how he should behave:

never be violent with your dog. No excuse is valid. Do not give outdated advice on education. They are health professionals, not education professionals. Even some of them, being specialized in behavior, have no notion of behavioral analysis and modification. They should question themselves or call a colleague if necessary. Veterinarians do not always have the opportunity to wait 1 hour for your dog to calm down or relax. On the other hand, he will be precise in what he will do and will put the dog in a minimum of success (with treats for example or by letting the owner help)

The best way to welcome your new companion is to take a vacation. Indeed, he will need time to live this change and being a baby he will need support in this new place. Taking a few days will allow him to get to know you better and to start teaching him to be alone before it happens for good! Be prepared for some sleepless nights as well. So a few days off won’t be a bad idea for you. Puppies very rarely get a good night’s sleep at first. Not least because there is too much upheaval: loss of mother and siblings, birthplace, new home, unfamiliar family, unfamiliar language and demands… Some puppies are so stressed that they will wake up every 2 hours! A puppy should never spend his first nights alone.

German Shepherd of work of the breeding Of Nordic Moon held by our colleague Pauline

This is what I did with all the puppies I had with me in FA or even for my youngest. A basket next to my headboard on the floor. I place them in it with a plush hot water bottle (to have a warm body feel next to it) and let my hand hang out in it all night. The dog has less tendency to wake up, so there are almost no pee accidents at night because he sleeps. Afterwards, you can let your dog sleep in the room or move the sleeping area outside the room when your puppy is ready.

Before you get your puppy, look at the environments around you. If a puppy is not to be exercised until he is older (no agility, pulling, jumping etc.), walks are good for his health and will help him socialize. You can therefore test in advance walking paths with forests, lakes, animals, stables etc. This will make it easier to take your dog out once he is home.

Taking any animal is not improvised. To get information is just THE big base to have ! You must especially inquire about: the way it communicates. It seems simple and yet at a time when knowledge is accessible, we find ourselves with a lot of preconceived ideas circulating everywhere. Having knowledge about canine language will allow you to establish a bond with your dog, but also to avoid a lot of biting accidents. According to the last report of the ANSES, the first reason which pushes a dog to bite, it is not the education, but the not knowledge of the communication of this one. What can you do about it? There are books like the one by Turid Rugaas: Les signaux d’apaisement, la base de la communication canine. Do not hesitate to participate in a training course on canine communication as we propose it several times a year in the Canidélite centers.

A short video on our online training dedicated to the puppy:

We also have a special online puppy training for owners available here: Special Puppy Training. We won’t train your dog online but we will guide you!

Often one of the first things we asked to do with a puppy 30 years ago was to teach him the rules of the house immediately. However, the most important thing is to succeed in creating a solid and strong bond between you. This doesn’t mean that there will never be any rules, never any need. It just means that this is your priority. Tell yourself again that he’s a baby. Like every baby, he can’t learn everything at once and he needs to feel safe to learn quickly. So there is no point in shouting or saying “no” all the time. If a dog can sometimes feel that this makes you angry, it does not know what to do. In the best case scenario, it will have triggered a reaction on your part, so he may do it again. That’s why we insist on anticipation. The less opportunity your dog has to validate himself on a bad behavior, the easier it will be for you too. The less likely you are to get angry and the less likely your bond will be broken. Become THE trusted person this little one will need! Stay patient, consistent and most importantly, caring.

Semper could already look at me at 2 months old

Once your puppy arrives, the adventure is just beginning. You’ll have to teach him everything:

where to do those needswhere to eat and drinkhow to stay calmhow to establish a healthy relationship with his peers and strangersetc.

Puppy school for part of the socialization

Socialization will be a big deal. You can’t force your dog’s bad behaviors on the world. Meeting other well-coded, sociable peers will be a huge plus. Expanding his social circle with other humans and animals could be a big plus that will allow you to take him to more places. Then comes the educational basics, which are the same as what you want with your dog. It will be necessary to teach him mainly :

to stay calm (ex: in a place) to know how to give up (ex: food on the table, not to pull on the leash, or to return to the recall)

Here are the 10 tips to get started with your puppy! Having a new companion is something to prepare for. The road can be long and difficult for the new owner. However, when you’ve prepared yourself to the max, it makes things easier.

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