How Much Exercise Does A 3-Month Old Golden Retriever Need How to Potty Train a Puppy and 9 Other Tips For Raising a Perfect Pet

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How to Potty Train a Puppy and 9 Other Tips For Raising a Perfect Pet

Are you a new puppy owner and wondering how to train your puppy or just need some good advice?

Think of your dog as a Videotape recorder or DVD/DVR for a moment. Information gets locked into his or her brain and sometimes it’s a good show, and sometimes it’s not. You will be successful in training your puppy if you are patient, constant, and able to listen to your puppies’ communication. But if a negative show gets locked into your canine’s brain, you may have to “change the channel” and be open to WHY your dog is acting the way he/she is.

Here are important things to remember when training your puppy:

1. Puppies have three important developmental stages: Social, Physical and Cognitive. Factors such as breed and size will determine the time frame for moving from one phase into another. You may want to read a few books to understand your breed and how to be a good pet parent. For example, a Labrador will develop at a different rate than a toy dog, such as a Chihuahua.

2. Think of your puppy as your new baby and create a “doggie room/area” using baby gate(s) or an exercise pen (X-Pen). Put the following in the area:

* A crate which will be substantial enough for your grown dog (remove door or secure it open in the beginning)

* A comfy blanket/bed in the crate (to begin crate training)

* Put newspaper / potty pads all over the floor in the X-Pen (you can slowly remove some paper as your dog becomes potty trained)

* A few safe and suitable toys

Do NOT lock your precious pooch in an enclosed room since this will create extreme stress! As an alternative to a confined area, you can attach a leash to your puppy and keep him or her with you at all times. Just like a baby, your puppy needs guidance!

3. A puppy does not understand your verbal communication, and you probably do not speak “dog”. Be very patient and consistent with training, using ONLY positive reinforcement. You need to create a bond and begin teaching your furry friend how to be a perfect dog with puppy kindergarten and beginning obedience class. There are resources available online, but group training classes serve a double purpose by providing socialization with other people and other breeds of dogs. Be consistent with your commands and NEVER hit or yell at your puppy! Remember: punishment afterthe incident confuses your pup.

4. Between eight (8) and twelve (12) weeks a puppies’ motor skills increase and everything they see, hear, smell and feel makes lasting impressions. This is a significant time and what happens now will effect how they behave and react to situations as adults. If you are out of the home for many hours per day, have a friend, relative or dog sitter take your pup for a walk and provide play time every 4 hours.

5. Their neuromuscular system develops around three (3) months so puppies have more control of their bladder, but it will take up to six (6) months (or MORE) before puppies can go six (6) hours without needing to urinate or sleep through the night. Larger breeds such as a Golden Retriever may be house broken faster than a toy dog, such as a Chihuahua.

6. Play with your dogs’ feet, in preparation for nail clipping. Practice having your dog stand and let a friend act like a vet and give a fake “examination”. If your dog is small, you can put your dog on top of a table, kitchen counter or dryer to simulate the vet table. Don’t forget to feel the ears and tail! If your dog is fearful, you will need to take baby steps and use tasty treats to give a positive experience. Get your dog comfortable with tooth brushing on a daily basis.

7. Your hound will naturally need to chew on things and if you allow him or her to roam your house, expect a few things to get damaged. It’s all part of being a pet parent, however, you can direct your puppy away from shoes and table legs with frozen washcloths, Kongs, marrow bones (from your butcher), rawhides, other toys and lots of play time. In addition, remember that a tired dog is a good dog – provide several hikes, or visit a dog park, each day.

8. Socialize, get out and do more socializing with other dogs and people! Your puppy needs to meet a variety of dogs in your home and in other locations – stores, streets, schools, airports, etc. Be sure to always keep all dogs on a leash when first gathering to avoid any fights.

9. Guess what! The fun is just beginning because from age six (6) to nine (9) months most puppies enter a second severe chewing phase, as well as grow in height and their sexual organs are fully developed. A male that has not been neutered may scent mark by urinating in the house or on the trees along your daily walk. Spay or neuter your puppy to avoid unwanted litters.

10. In their second year, puppies behave like an unruly human tot, thus the nickname the “terrible twos.” Puppies will challenge restrictions and test their abilities. They may be too distracted to come when called. Barking may become an issue. Be consistent with your training and socialization. Provide more activity and aim for 2-4 walks per day for 15-60 minutes.

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