Your cute furball is finally in your home! But… Well… Things are not going as swimmingly as you thought. Your adorable pup has turned into a little monster — ripping furniture and eating your new carpet. Fido has even gotten into wiring and cable, costing you money and your sanity. But fear not, you do not need to stress over your new friend. Your puppy is going through development and raising a dog or child is not easy. Here we break down what you can do to conquer the terrible puppy periods.
Make Sure Your Puppy has Plenty to Chew
When a puppy is still developing in their 3 to 6-month period, adult teeth are growing and replacing old baby teeth. This may cause your pup an insatiable urge to chew up all your beloved furniture. The first line of defense is to hide any items you do not want your dog to eat. It may be annoying at first, but later, when a dog has learned what to chew and not chew, you can bring out all your shoes and rugs. A second step you should take is to offer multiple toys for your pet. Toys that you stuff with food can provide hours of entertainment. As with any dog, your goal should be to get a puppy as tired as possible.
Start Early with Obedience Training
Don’t wait until your puppy is an adult. A good dog starts with a good foundation of training. As early as eight weeks old, a puppy can follow along with short training sessions. For puppies, it is best to keep training sessions under 15 minutes. You can cut this time into 5-minute chunks throughout the day. When you train a puppy, use positive reinforcements. Please, do not use any harsh methods that involve prong collars or electric shock punishments. Along with this, the “Alpha” training approach of viewing yourself as a master and a dog as a servant has been debunked several times by extensive scientific studies.
Scientists assert that dogs do not act like wolves, so you should be wary of taking advice from trainers with this mentality. Attempt to create a symbiotic relationship where both you and your pet benefit from each other. At eight-weeks-old, a puppy is ready to learn basic commands like “sit” and “down.” Offering a reward like treats or a toy is the best method to make sure your pup is not traumatized by abusive training methods.
Keep your Puppy on a Leash
When a puppy reaches the 6 to 8-month mark, it is your dog’s time to be a rebellious teenager. Even if you have worked countless hours showing your friend new commands, and they behaved like an angelic dream, their instincts can surpass any of your training. This is the time for them to realize they do not need you as much as they thought. The best thing you can do is ride this short wave of irritation.
Always keep your puppy on a leash even if you think they will listen. Your friend can get distracted by smells and sights outside, so it is best to leave the leash on. If you wish to practice simple commands, like coming when called, you can buy a long training leash to make sure your dog stays safe. Continue obedience education during this time and keep a consistent schedule. The more your dog is exposed to what you do like, the more they understand their role in the household.
Don’t Lose Your Patience
Dealing with a new pup can be frustrating and can feel like ripping pins from your toes. But you can’t lose patience now. Try to understand that your puppy is like any baby that needs constant training and attention. Your puppy is learning what they can and cannot do in your household, so if you feel yourself getting frustrated, just remember that they are also confused about what you want from them.
Once a furry friend reaches adulthood at 18 months or 2 years, depending on the breed, their personality will finally settle. They may continue to be a little pest from time to time, but maturity usually helps to aid in training. If you take all the right steps by socializing your puppy and implementing positive training methods, your puppy will shine like a rockstar as they grow older.
Take a Deep Breath…
Just remember, do not get angry or frustrated at your lovely pet. They are on the journey with you – slowly integrating into your family.