Updated: Jun 28
Here’s 5 key things to get you started right
It’s exciting to have a puppy come into our life! But like all young things, they are growing and need the right amount of rest. Ensure you have set up the most suitable place for the dog to rest.
There are the options of using a crate (my personal favourite, for its mobility), pen, or room. Without scheduled rests, puppies often get irritable and lack focus. On the flip side, these moments of rest for the puppy, also allows the owners to have a break without worrying where the dog is and whether it’s peed in the wrong spot.
The humans will need an occasional break from the new addition to the house too!
Read more about crate training here.
2. Toilet Training
This brings us to the next point of where the dog would be going to the toilet. Decide on whether you want the dog to pee indoors, outdoors, on real grass or fake astro turf indoors. Dogs often need to relieve themselves after resting, so take your dog to your chosen spot, and encourage it to relieve itself. Choose that area from the very beginning and reward it for going to the toilet at the right place.
I often get the question of – what do I feed my dog? Start off with whatever the breeder or petshop has been feeding the puppy. Stick with that for a month, whilst your dog settles in.
In the mean time, do the research on what you would prefer your dog to eat : kibble, wet food, home cooked food or raw diet. Whatever you want to feed it, things to consider would be the nutrient levels for the dog, budget, consistency of the food, ease of feeding (especially important when you travel or have to leave the dog with someone else) and most importantly, what works for your dog’s guts and bowels! Whenever you change a dog’s diet, always transition over 1 to 2 weeks, giving the dog’s stomach time to adjust.
You are your dog’s new pack now. Ensuring that you take over the lead role of desensitizing your dog to the various sounds, sights, smells it would encounter in its new life. Be patient and you can even do it in stages, playing soundbites when you are indoors, getting the dog used to the sounds.
Building trust between yourself and the dog ensures that it would follow your leadership into different kinds of scenarios and situations. Instead of babying and molly coddling your dog, LEAD it and GUIDE it to be a confident and balanced dog.
5. Continuous Learning
Just like how many of us want to set our children up with the right manners and ethics, we start them off young and start guiding them from a young age. Do not overlook the importance of setting the right rules and boundaries for your puppy. It would be a life long learning experience with your dog.
Having a balanced and respectful dog means having to show it what you expect of it, from the start. There are tons of material online for you to refer to. If ever in doubt, invest in your dog (and yourself) by hiring a professional trainer to guide you.
A good trainer would be able to knowledge transfer to the owner, setting the owner up to continuously teach the dog for the rest of it’s life.