Raising and caring: 14 tips

Raising your puppy starts with the right preparation. First, we would like to give you some tips to give your new housemate a good start and to make him feel at home in a new environment.

1. Make sure you have the right puppy supplies

Make sure you are well prepared and that you have everything in house before you pick up your puppy. A dog needs his own place in the house, like a bench. Of course it is not the intention that your dog sits in a crate all day, but such a kennel can be a good solution for a moment of rest. A bench should be familiar and safe for a dog and is therefore not intended as a place where your dog sits his punishment. A puppy will have to get used to a crate, so don't just leave your puppy in a crate without the proper training.

For example, a dog should always be able to sit upright in his crate - and remember that puppies grow quickly! You can also choose to get a basket. Then make sure you have a good pillow or rug for your pup.

It's also wise to get chewing material in the house, because puppies love to chew and it's good for their teeth. If they don't get chewing material from you, they might take your shoes and run away! A puppy is like a small child in that respect. So keep a close eye on him and be consistent.

View the full puppy checklist here.

2. Make your home puppy proof

Take a good look around your home before you take in a puppy. For example, look at the flowers and plants you have in your room. Some plants can be very poisonous to dogs, so make sure they can't reach them. Also clean up well, so there is no food left on your plate that can have nasty effects on your puppy.

3. Getting your puppy used to the house

Taking in a new puppy can be very exciting, for you and for the puppy. He has just left his familiar surroundings, so he needs some time to get used to the new situation. So make sure your house is quiet before you bring your new puppy home. A house full of people who, with all good intentions, want to cuddle him, can make your pup very anxious and restless. Let him explore on his own.

Note: if he finds it very exciting, he may let a puddle run out of fear. It is a young animal, so do not punish him right away. He is nervous and he has not yet learned where he should pee and that he should hold his pee up.

The first night

The first night can be very stressful for the puppy, but also for you. Your puppy has never been alone before and may start to squeal. You can possibly sleep next to your puppy the first night, so he doesn't feel alone. Or you can take him into the bedroom and then place him in a crate. By placing a warm hot water bottle in his crate, wrapped in a blanket, your puppy has something he can snuggle up against.

Don't reward your puppy for his squeaking, but make sure he knows where you are and reassure him. For example, talk to him or touch him for a moment. On average, a young puppy can only hold his pee and poop for two to three hours, so during the first few nights you will have to get out to let your puppy do his business.

4. Already have another animal in the house?

Are you getting a puppy while you already have another animal in the house? Then let them get used to each other gently on arrival and during the first few days, and don't force anything. When animals grow up together, they usually have a very strong bond. New dogs need to get used to each other. Give them some space and, for example, feed them separately from each other in the beginning.

Do you already have a cat in the house? Be sure to stay with it so you can protect your puppy if things get out of hand. The cat needs to be able to hide if it doesn't feel safe, so don't lock them up together.

5. Transporting your puppy

There are three ways to transport your dog safely: in a kennel, in a travel cage or with a special car belt. Make sure these are safely placed in the car and securely fastened. A dog should be able to sit upright in the car and look out, even in a crate or kennel. You can also transport your puppy in the back seat, just make sure you clip his harness into the belt. There are special extension pieces made for this.

Raising and training your puppy

6. Socialization puppy

Did you know that a puppy's personality is 65% determined by its environment? Puppies have to learn to cope with everything that happens around them. Socialization is what we call it: getting used to everything that you may encounter in your life, and that is an important task for both the breeder and the owner.

The world of a puppy gets bigger every time: the first weeks are spent, at first still deaf and blind, in the litter. After that the dogs start to explore more and more of their surroundings. Up to an age of around twelve weeks, puppies are especially curious and are very open to new impressions. Therefore, let your puppy get acquainted with many different situations:

  • Surfaces such as carpet, tiles, sand and gravel.
  • Objects such as a large and a small ball, hard and soft toys.
  • Locations, from home to garden to woods to shopping malls.
  • People, from young to old, but also for example someone with a hat or in a wheelchair.
  • Animals, large and small dogs for example, but also other animal species.
  • Challenges, such as clambering over a tree trunk or walking through a tunnel.
  • Sounds, such as the radio, traffic or a rolling garbage container.

The trick is to bring your puppy into contact with everything he can possibly encounter in the most positive way possible. People, children, other dogs from big to small and black to white, the passing moped, the noisy vacuum cleaner, the horse in the field ... they are all part of it. It is important, however, that all these introductions are made in a calm and measured way, because a puppy cannot store too much information.

Everything gets scary...

From the age of approximately twelve weeks to approximately six months, your puppy enters a phase that is characterized by a certain reticence. Where the puppy was previously open to new introductions and experiences, he may now react less openly and enthusiastically. The puppy may find things that he was not afraid of at first, such as a garbage container, now suddenly very scary. It is up to you to continue to guide your dog, so that he can gain positive experiences. A good dog school can help you with this!

...and now he doesn't listen anymore!

Between six and twelve months, your cute and sweet puppy can turn into a rebellious adolescent who does everything except listen. In large part this is due to hormones, which spike dramatically at this age. Do not despair, but continue to give your adolescent puppy the guidance and help he needs right now. Persevere! If you go through this period well, your puppy will turn into a superdog!

A good example

Dogs learn a lot from each other. Good things, but also undesirable behavior! With peers, puppies often get into mischief. Your puppy will learn a lot from a social adult dog who sets a good example.

7. How to housebreak a puppy

How quickly your puppy is housebroken depends in part on how much attention the breeder paid to this in the litter. Is your puppy still not housebroken after six months? To be sure, call a vet to rule out a medical cause.

Let your puppy out regularly, at least after eating, playing and sleeping. Standing at the door, squeaking or turning around? Recognizing signs in time prevents accidents!

Read more about house training your puppy.

8. Getting puppy to come to you

Don't: get angry or run after him if your puppy doesn't come when you call him.

Do: apply these five tips!

  1. Run away hard yourself, in the other direction
Want to bet that the puppy will come right after you?

  1. Crouch down and pretend to pick something up
Your puppy is probably so curious that he stands right next to you.

  1. Call your puppy even if there is no reason to do so
This way he learns that coming here does not immediately mean that the fun is over.

  1. Hide behind a tree or bush
This will teach your puppy in a playful way that he has to keep his eyes on you.

  1. Don't forget your face!
You would rather walk up to someone with a bright smile than an angry face!

9. Giving attention in the right way.

Let your pup figure out for himself what his behavior leads to.

Jumping up? No attention. Staying with four feet on the floor during a greeting? Attention is! Barking when you take the leash? Then the leash is hung back. Be quiet? Then let it out! Want to snatch treats from your hand? Hand with treats in it goes closed. Wait quietly until you get something? Hand opens again.

You may have to hang the leash back three times. Maybe thirty times. Hang in there. Because the clearer and more consistent you are, the faster your puppy will get the point.

10. Puppy Rewarding

Puppies take in a lot of calories unnoticed during training. Did you know that two cheese cubes for a ten-kilo dog are comparable to a hamburger bun for an average woman in terms of calories? Clever reward tip: break your rewards in half again before giving them, and again if necessary. That way, with the same amount, you can reward at least twice as often!

11. Playing with your puppy

Does your puppy bite your hands or pant legs? Don't get angry, but stop the game or interaction. Bites = game over! Rabid puppy in the house? Chances are he's overexcited and needs rest. Give your puppy his own place where he can retreat and unwind. Make sure this place is comfortable and spacious enough, your pup must be able to sit upright and lie down stretched out. Sleeping well is very important for a puppy to process all the impressions of the day!

Having contact and playing with peers is important, but guard against wild romps and chase games, where your puppy can be trampled underfoot. Only play in a safe, controlled environment with dogs of about the same size. Chasing a ball hard, making short turns, slowing down acutely to get a toy, stepping into a pothole, and jumping in or out of a car are movements that put tremendous strain on your puppy's joints. Avoid them and rather play a game that requires your puppy to search for his ball instead of running after or catching it.

12. Exercise in puppies

Puppies grow in all directions. First they grow in height, then they swell in width. Do not panic, they will get back into shape on their own! In small dogs the skeleton is often fully grown after 12 months, in large dogs this can take up to 24 months. Slowly build up and extend your puppy's exercise activities. Frolics and chase games are very taxing. Walking, scurrying around at your own pace or searching for a toy are calmer forms of exercise.

Movement is important

Exercise is important for the development of fitness and muscle strength. Take regular short walks at low speed and with plenty of time in between, so that your puppy has time to sniff around and discover all kinds of things. Especially if your dog can safely run free, he has the opportunity to learn to develop his motor skills well. Walking on sand, gravel or grass or through shallow water, stepping over branches or stones: it all helps your puppy learn to coordinate his body. Many dog schools work with special balance courses, where puppies learn to walk over boards or step over bars. You can help your pup do this. this mikado exercise is great for that:

Place a few sticks, for example broomsticks, criss-crossed on the ground. Let your pup step over and through the sticks calmly, so he learns to put his feet properly. If desired, you can sprinkle some treats between the sticks and let your pup search for them. Make sure your puppy does not jump wildly over the sticks. The key to this exercise is calmness and concentration. Be patient

Depending on the breed and size, a dog is not fully physically mature until 12 to 24 months of age. Only then can you start thinking about serious activities such as distance cycling and active sports. Again, build all forms of exercise always quietly and slowly and look closely at what your dog shows and can handle. Do not forget that it may take much longer before your dog is mentally mature. He remains a big baby for a very long time!

13. Time to rest

Your puppy's development is so fast, you have to be careful that your dog doesn't run himself past it.

Make sure not only that you get the right amount of exercise, but also that you get enough rest. The puppy's body must be given time to recover from all the impressions and efforts. Is your puppy very busy, jumpy and biting? And does he only seem to want to go faster and faster? Then it may be that you have done too much with him so he, overexcited by all the activities, can no longer find his peace. Educating your puppy is made more difficult by this.

Dare to take a step back

You are not the only one who sometimes works through when you are actually dead tired. Your puppy also finds it hard to stop. You will have to set limits for him, just as you do with children! Working slower and/or sloppier, not listening anymore, getting red eyes or 'bags' under the eyes, panting hard, barking or becoming very busy or biting are signs that your dog's head is full.

Puppy fact

Puppies are yawning a lot from their second week of life, a sign that the nervous system is in full development. Yawning happens at bedtime, when waking up, and at times of boredom and stress. It ensures staying awake and reduces tension.

14. Teach your puppy to climb stairs

Teach your puppy to calmly walk up and down stairs under your supervision. At the moment he is still small and you can guide him well in this. However, do not let him climb stairs on his own, carry him up and down as long as you can. If your dog has become too big and heavy for this, you can hold him by his collar and take him with you. A stair gate for children prevents your puppy of its own accord the stairs or goes down. Please note that this doesn't count for every type of dog, be aware that for example French Bulldogs and dachshunds are unable to walk up and down stairs. If you have any doubts about this please contact your vet.


Posted By PuppyPLaza