Spending time exercising and socializing your puppy is one of the most important gifts you can tie to your new family member.
Lack of socialization is a common cause of behavior problems later in life. Some good ways to insure a well rounded, socialized puppy many include puppy classes, which not only teach obedience, but introduce your puppy to other dogs and people. Go for car rides, run the vacuum cleaner, give your puppy a bath, or go out to meet your neighbors.
Exercise and mental stimulation are also very important to raising a well rounded puppy. Playtime with your puppy is great bonding time, and gives your puppy a chance to learn how the world works. Many unwanted behaviors can be linked to inadequate exercise and mental stimulation. Provide safe, interactive toys for your puppy to play with.
Your puppy will also need to experience some alone time. Time to rest and time to play on their own. This will aid in the prevention of developing separation anxiety.
Another very important aspect for you new puppy is potty training. With patience, your puppy will develop good bathroom habits. Remember that your puppy will learn best with a consistent routine and positive reinforcement. Using a crate can help ease the potty training process. It is important to know that a crate is not a place of punishment; it is meant to be a safe haven for your puppy.
Owning a new puppy is a big learning curve. Most importantly, have lots of fun together. Set your puppy up for success by making the process fun and positive.
Enjoy your time with your puppy and remember he is learning every day and you are his best teacher.
Jane Bishop, VT