Adding a new puppy to your family can be an exciting adventure. That cute little ball of fur that sleeps on your chest and is so soft and fluffy is the little angel you have envisioned adding to your family. Then a few months pass, and that sweet little ball of fur has become a terror in your home. It chews EVERYTHING, finds and eats anything left within reach, jumps, bites, knocks over your toddler in a game of chase. You call your local Dog Trainer thinking there must be something wrong with your dog. The good and bad news is your dog is just a puppy.
Much like children, dogs are growing and learning about the world around them. The primary way they learn is with their mouth. Which means they must taste and chew on everything within reach. Despite this resulting in the loss of your favorite pair of shoes, it can also harm your dog if it chews on the wrong thing. Much like when you childproof your home, you also have to puppy proof your house and yard. You will also need consistency and a watchful eye. It's also important to remember that your puppy is teething and needs appropriate chew toys.
If you have young children, your new puppy likely chases them, jumps on them, and knocks them over. Children are nosy little creatures that run around making high squeaky noises, and they have now become your dog's favorite toy. It does not mean that your dog is aggressive or has terrible manners. It merely wants to play, and from their perspective, so does the child. The dog may chew on children or even you. Again, dogs learn about the world by manipulating things with their mouth. Rarely does the nipping or mouthing indicate aggression.
Potty training is a struggle with new puppies. It is important to remember that young puppies have tiny bladders. It is unreasonable to think they can hold it for any length of time. They will likely need to be let out several times a night for the first six months. As parents, we do not expect our children to have the same bladder control. The same expectations need to be held for puppies.
When adding a puppy to your life, it is important to remember that it is a commitment to your time and your patience. Positive correction, consistency, and preventive measures will go a long way to making your home a happy and safe place for your puppy. Investing in Basic Obedience will also help to ensure that your puppy outgrows its puppy ways in a positive way. You are building a strong bond between you and your fur-baby. While you may think your puppy is broken, it is more likely it's just a puppy that needs a little guidance and much love.