Leash Training:

Teach your puppy to walk on a leash by using a lead that is at least six feet in length. You may choose to use a retractable leash. If your puppy begins to pull, simply stop moving until your puppy is still. Moving forward while a puppy is pulling encourages more pulling. Refrain from pulling on the puppy’s neck or snapping the leash. There are many types of buckle collars and harnesses that attach in the front or on the puppy’s back that can be used for leash training.

Elimination:

If your puppy experiences elimination issues such as urinating or defecating in the wrong place, we recommend the following:

If you catch your puppy in the act, interrupt him with your voice and either put a leash on the him or call him out to his ‘potty place’ outdoors to provide another opportunity to eliminate.

If you find your puppy has eliminated in the wrong place, do not punish him after the fact as he will not understand and it will cause your puppy fear and confusion.

Many puppies who are misbehaving can be interrupted by calling the puppy to you; this stops the undesired behavior and rewards him for coming. Once you have your puppy’s attention, walk over to him and distract him away from the offending behavior. Give him an appropriate toy to chew or take him outside for some play time. Most dogs avoid eliminating in areas where they eat or play, so we recommend you do not place food, water bowls, bedding, or toys at the places where the puppy eliminates.

Handling:

From the beginning, teach your puppy to be comfortable with being touched all over his body. Ears, lips, mouth, toes, and tails should be gently handled on a regular basis. Praise and/or give him small food rewards so that handling will be viewed positively. This helps the puppy learn to relax and tolerate any treatment or grooming it may need. Ask family members and friends to be a part of this so your puppy is comfortable being handled by others. Puppies should never be physically punished. This includes shaking, hitting, spanking, or rubbing a puppy’s nose in urine or feces. Puppies should not be yelled at or rolled over onto their backs and held down. Please do not yell at or scold your puppy. This can be both terrifying and confusing. Human companions should always represent safety and security for your puppy. Simply distracting your puppy away from unwanted behaviors is the easiest and most humane way to guide his behavior. You may need to repeat this process many times as your puppy learns. If you get frustrated, put your puppy somewhere safe and comfortable while you take a few minutes to yourself.

Socializing:

An excellent way to promote early socialization is to enroll your pet in a puppy class. These classes offer an early start in training at a time when puppies learn rapidly and before bad habits are picked up. The time between the ages of 5-13 weeks is the most critical period for puppy socialization. Puppies that are not socialized during this time are much more likely to become fearful. Fear aggression is a common cause of behavior problems in dogs. Expose your puppy to as many different kinds of experiences as possible in a safe, non-threatening way. They should become familiar with noises made by motorcycles, vacuum cleaners, and other sounds that are appropriate to your environment. Provide them with varying surfaces to walk on such as grass, dirt, concrete, sand, water puddles, tile, and slippery floors. Introducing your puppy to people of all ages and appearances is critical. Expose your puppy to children, babies, senior adults, men with deep voices, men with facial hair, people of various heights, and people of various races. Expose them to people wearing hats, carrying umbrellas, riding bicycles, and other everyday occurrences. By exposing your puppy to these experiences in a controlled environment, he will be less likely to fear later experiences and be well prepared should you wish to progress to agility training or visitation programs.

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