My wife and I recently bought a new puppy, and we want to make sure we do all we can to raise her right. Is it possible to prevent behaviour problems before they start? Thank you, Jim
Congratulations on your new puppy, such an exciting time! The fact you’re even asking this question shows me what great dog parents you’re going to make!! There’s a lot to discuss, way more than is possible here but I will do my best to get you started.
You probably know preventing a problem is a lot easier than dealing with one once it has arisen, although of course that is possible as well.
I am a huge fan of routines and schedules. That doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing at the same time every single day, but it does mean you have a framework, a template for what to do when…roughly. It also means everyone in the household knows what their roles are, when.
Basic training is a great way to prevent future problems. No need to rush and try and teach your pup everything at once, but you’ll want to teach things like “sit” – “stay” – “drop it” – “come” – “leave it.”
Regular exercise is extremely important, not only to keep her healthy but to stave off boredom and anxiety. Mental stimulation in the form of games, treat dispensing and puzzle toys is just as important.
Socialising her to interact with various people, animals, even getting her used to busy roads, men and women on bikes or in uniform, floor textures… are all part of the package.
It is important to teach her to walk nicely on a leash so walk time is enjoyable for everyone.
If you’ve decided to crate train, teaching her to like the crate will be a big help.
Never punish your dog!