Puppy Love: Top tips for training your new best friend
If you’re planning a move to the country and have found your dream home, chances are you’ll be considering getting a dog, possibly a puppy. Most dog owners agree that spring is the perfect time to add a four-legged friend to the family with house training easier in the warmer weather (not easy to coax a puppy out into the cold and rain), not to mention more sunny hours for playing outside. If you’re still teetering on the edge of commitment to the idea, the Michael Graham team are here to help with ten top tips for a happy owner and puppy.
- Find a good breeder. A reputable one will always show you mum and her pups together. Contact the Kennel Club for their registered breeders and remember it is illegal for anyone to sell a puppy under eight weeks old. Make sure the puppy comes away with vaccination papers and a clean veterinary check.
- Sleepless nights. Steel yourself for hearing your puppy cry at night at first and try to resist getting up to him in the night. A ticking clock and hot water bottle wrapped in a blanket in the puppies’ bed might be comforting and remind them of mum.
- Clear your diary. Try to avoid going out for more than an hour or two at a time.
- Tidy up. Toys, shoes, cushions, the TV remote – all need to be kept out of your puppy’s reach.
- Start training early. Puppies learn the most between the ages of eight and 16 weeks.
- Set clear boundaries. Stick to the same words for Sit, Down, Leave and Come and be consistent.
- Be firm about biting. Puppy-nipping is adorable. Not so much a few months down the line.
- Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do. Sign up for puppy-training classes.
- Socialisation. Once their vaccinations are complete (usually by 13 weeks), you can start introducing your puppy to other dogs.
- And be prepared, you’ll never have been so popular.
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