How to Civilize Your Puppy
When you bring a new puppy into your home, keep in mind that each minute you spend with him shapes how he'll behave. Here are some tips to nip common problems before they begin.
Puppies like putting things in their mouths, but they need to learn not to chew up your stuff or 'mouth' on your hands. Whenever your pup chews on something he's not supposed to--be it a shoe, chair leg, or your fingers--say "No bite" in a firm, slightly gruff voice as you take the item out of his mouth, then hand him a chew toy. Be diligent with this, as chewing and nipping are the most common problems encountered by new puppy owners.
You set the boundaries. If you don't want a full-grown drooling bloodhound on your furniture, don't snuggle with him on the couch when he's a puppy. That'll just confuse the poor guy. Let him know from the get-go if your favorite chair is off-limits, then set him up with a dog bed to get comfy in.
Don't feed the pup from your plate while you're sitting at the table unless you want him to aggravate the holy crap out of you at meal time. It may be cute for a puppy to rear up on your legs and beg when he smells dinner, but you don't want him to jump up and take a chicken leg away from Aunt Sally when she visits. If you toss him bits of your food while you eat, it reinforces bad behavior, and he'll grow to expect it.
Perfect heeling isn't always necessary, but at the very least you'll need to take your dog to the vet on leash without him pulling you down and embarrassing you in front of the other doggie parents.
Attach the leash to his collar and let him drag it for a while, under supervision so he doesn't get tangled up or hurt himself. Encourage him to play while the leash is on. Periodically pick up the other end as he gets more comfortable. After a couple days, the feel of the leash should no longer be a big deal.
Your goal is to get him to walk without pulling your arm out of socket. Snap the leash on, get his attention, and coax him into following you for a few steps, which is usually pretty easy if he's still a little pup whose natural instinct will be to walk near you. If he doesn't cooperate, use a treat or squeaky toy to lure him along. When he trots beside you without pulling, stop to praise him and give him a treat.
Spend time with your puppy each day. Your playtime together should be as rewarding for you as it is for him. Your love and the tips above should make for a long and happy relationship with your well-mannered pooch.
This content was provided by one of our users, Tina In Wonderland