People often ask us what is the best way to train a puppy to become a well behaved, adjusted and happy little pet companion. Not only do we tell our clients that basic training is important, but also creating a "PUPPY PLAN" before your puppy arrives is vital. A "Puppy Plan" helps to set schedules and develops routines for your new puppy, but also will make your newest member feel secure and safe in its new environment, and it lets your puppy know what's expected of him.
Listed below are some guidelines in helping you create an effective Puppy Plan. The key will be good communication amongst family members and everyone must be patient and consistent with the new puppy. Creating a plan will also help everyone in the family understand his/her responsibilities in caring for a new pet.
Creating your Puppy Plan - check off each item after you have read and discuss each Step.
- ___ Call a Family Meeting. Everyone who will be involved in raising your puppy should be present and take part in making decisions & creating rules & guideline for your new puppy
- ___ Puppy Name. Come to an agreement with a name. Everyone should pick 2 names and take a vote. Puppy Name ideas.
- ___ Read over the detailed information on our "NEW PUPPY BUYER" link.
- ___ Feeding - your new puppy will need to eat 3 times a day and get fresh water every day. The good news is that you can plan your pup’s meals more or less around your own. For the first week or so, you will want to leave food out at all time, in a location where you want them to eat. Once they are familiar where their food spot is, you will want to establish an eating schedule. The best times to feed him is around 7 am in the morning, at noon, and then again at 5-6 pm You’ll want to follow this schedule for the first year of your pup’s life. Then you can switch to twice-a-day feedings, unless your vet recommends continuing more frequent meals. With a set feeding schedule, your puppy will learn when to expect food and will be less likely to beg between designated meal times.
- ___ Potty Time - keep a routine of taking your puppy out every few hours in the beginning. A general rule of thumbs is how ever old he is in month, add 1 to the number and that is how many hours he should be taken out. For example if you puppy is 8 weeks old (2 months plus 1) equals 3. So take your puppy out every 3 hours. The number changes as they get older. Putting a set time (and place) to this activity also teaches her that this isn’t just something she can do whenever and wherever she feels like it. Also taking your puppy out to the same location, or on her newspaper or pee pad each time, which help to show her the proper place to go. Also try to catch her in the act and praise her with a healthy snack.
- ___ Start Training at a young age - this is a very important step. Our Training page goes over training steps and so much more.
- ___ Exercise and Play Time - schedule play and exercise time everyday, even just for a few minutes when they are young. Walk around the neighborhood, or run around the yard while playing with toys is all they need in the beginning. Even with cold weather, be sure to bring them out just for few minutes. You’ll repeat this general routine throughout each day. Exercise, meal, exercise, bonding, meal, and so on.
- ___ Discuss Indoor RULES & BOUNDARIES:
- where will your dog sleep?
- who will take him out at night to go potty?
- who will walk him/bring him outside?
- which furniture is OFF limits?
- Are there any room that are permanently off limits?
9. ___ Remember, once you have created your Basic Command Words, make sure everyone agrees on the words and start using them right away. This will help train your puppy from the beginning!