Tip 1: Establish yourself as their pack leader
Dogs instinctively follow a strong pack leader, which needs to be someone who is stable, consistent and confident. Unfortunately, because puppies are so adorable and cuddly, it’s easy to forget all this and cater to their every whim instead. Establish leadership from day one, so your pup knows who’s in charge. This will also help minimise bad behaviours typical of pups that have taken the role of alpha, such as leash pulling, excessive barking and chewing.
Is your dog the alpha of your family pack? Find out!
Tip 2: Use positive reinforcement
You want your pup to have positive connotations with a particular trick or behaviour, not negative. So when your dog relieves itself on the grass, make sure to give some praise, such as a treat or a ‘good dog’. If they display wrongful behaviour, like relieving themselves inside, it’s important not to yell at or berate them (as this just tends to confuse them). Instead, making a quick low-toned noise such as a clap should snap them out of the behaviour, after which you can place them where you want them to go. This will not always work, and there will always be accidents with new pups. Just be consistent and give praise when they listen to you.
Tip 3: Take your new pup to the vet
One of the first things you should do when you get a new pet is to take it to the vet. A good diet and exercise routine, coupled with professional vet care are the cornerstones of good health for all animals. There are also important vaccinations required for puppies, to protect them from serious illness such as Parvovirius (a potentially fatal virus). Worming and flea prevention are also very important to establish early.