Updated: Feb 12
Brought puppy home, now what do you do?
It is important to remember your puppy IS a puppy. Do not expect the behaviors of a grown dog three weeks after you bring your puppy home.
Training for puppies start with the mother. From the puppy’s mother they learn how to play, socialize, and interact. A common mistake many people make with a puppy is they get them too soon. Ideally, your puppy should stay with its mother for a FULL 8 weeks or even 9 weeks.
We can usually identify a puppy that left its mother at week 6 or 7 simply by how vicious it is being when biting, its like they have no sense of when they’re going too far and the truth is: they do not. The mother teaches her puppies in week 7 and 8 how to play with and be “softer” with their biting. She does this by biting the puppy back when it bites too hard, but she does it in a motherly way vs. a strange new dog that may hurt your puppy if they bite them too hard.
A good start on socialization and manners at a young age are important in establishing good habits early on with your puppy to prevent bad habits from becoming serious behavioral issues later.
Once you get them home resist the urge to let them do anything they want. Encourage appropriate behavior and redirect incorrect behaviors to avoid them from taking root.
Puppies go through two fear periods in their lives. A fear period is a period that your pup may have a fearful reaction to something, and it could be something they had been comfortable with until THAT moment. It does not matter if you, the human, think they should or should not be scared, it only matters that at that moment your puppy IS, so be aware that if your puppy is scared by something.
The two fear periods typically last about two weeks and are generally during the puppy’s 8 – 13th week and then again during the seventh month. If your puppy displays fear to something during these two periods, do not reinforce their fear by coddling them or it could reinforce the fact that they should be fearful of that. Instead, remain calm, praise your puppy, and redirect them to something else. Resist picking them up unless you think something, they are about to do could scare them. Then is the time to pick them up to avoid a fear reaction.
Exposing your puppy to many experiences and environments will help them become more confident, better able to handle stress and even problem solving later in life.
Get your puppy used to being handled by more than just your family. Touch their ears, toes, all over. Think of it as desensitization for future vet visits where the Vet will definitely be handling them in ways, they are unaccustomed to if you haven’t laid the groundwork.
After your puppy has received their second round of vaccinations, new puppy owners should allow exposure to other places, environments, dogs, and puppies. Avoid dog parks, especially if you haven’t had all 16 weeks of vaccines, but we caution about dog parks in general for it only takes one dog that has no manners or is a bully that is not being monitored by their owner to ruin it for your puppy or dog and perhaps cause dog aggression to begin to develop.
Take your puppy to a group class for puppies. A good puppy class will provide a controlled environment as well as guidance by a professional trainer. A good Group Puppy Class will allow you to train with your pup in a new environment with a variety of controlled distractions, so he learns how to listen and focus on you.
A puppy training course should be structured to teach your pup socialization skills, proper introductions, desensitization to new people and dogs and begin an introduction to basic obedience commands. Big box retailer’s puppy classes are led by retail associates, not professional trainers; so, pick an appropriate puppy class that is led by a professional trainer that actually trains dogs.
Do not expect more from your puppy than their age and maturity is able to give. Remember, they just want to have fun and this period of their life you are really teaching them structure and the “how to’s” of operating and living with you. A strong foundation of training makes your puppy become a dog that is a joy to live with.
To get your puppy started off on the right paw and learn more about K9 Culture’s Puppy Classes give us a call at 972-245-1587
The K-9 Culture Family