7 Things to Consider During the Early Puppy Stages
Every dog lover knows that puppies are the most adorable things on this Earth! And with that cuteness comes the desire to do the right thing by your new addition. From attending puppy school during the early stages to watching every training video available on YouTube, we try filling our heads with all of the knowledge we need to help our dogs grow from adorable puppies into integral parts of the family who provide love and companionship.
Even though it’s impossible to raise the “perfect” dog, it is our responsibility to help them be the best dog they can be.
Here are seven things to consider during your dog’s early years:
1. Develop a relationship with your pup starting the first day you bring him/her into your home.
Oftentimes, dog owners forget that the most important step in training your dog all starts with developing a relationship. You need to build a bond with your pup before you try training him/her. After all, it’s much easier to work with your pup and see success when the trust and love has already been established.
2. Do your research and select a puppy school for your best friend to attend.
Selecting the right training school for your pup is an important step in helping your puppy understand his/her world a little better. Do some research on his/her breed along with learning what your pet likes and doesn’t like. Ask your local pet store if they have programs available, visit a dog park to see if local owners have some recommendations and talk to your veterinarian for training class suggestions. This will help you find a training program to help start your puppy off on the right foot with the basics.
3. Train important behaviors before the fun tricks, including crate and house training.
Helping your puppy evolve into a well-behaved dog starts with teaching important obedience behaviors like “sit” and “stay”. Then, you can crate train your pup to give them a sense of security within your home, making them feel safe and loved.
Learn to teach your dog to sit and stay in about two minutes each with these quick videos from Joel Silverman, TV Show Host and Professional Animal Trainer, here:
4. Since practice makes perfect, plan lots of tricks for treats sessions with your pup!
Although obedient behaviors are important, the fun training sessions are just as important. Plan lots of fun sessions for you and your best friend to learn new tricks, and of course, don’t forget to treat them with Bil-Jac treats! Just to name a few, we have Little-Jacs®, which are perfect for training little pups. Then we have Bil-Jac Breakfast Jacs® made with real egg and cheese, great for morning time fun before you run out the door for work.
Spice things up with different flavors, variety keeps rewards interesting for your curious little one.
5. Show your puppy that the world is a safe place.
Socializing your puppy with other dogs and people during their early months sets the stage for their familiarity and comfort with others in the future. Did you know dogs who are exposed to more people as a puppy tend to be more adaptable and friendly? This explains why a lot of rescue dogs who didn’t socialize with humans and dogs as a young pup can experience more problems with anxiety. We need to show our puppies that the world is a safe place to live and that other humans and animals are our friends!
6. Stay active and help your puppy get plenty of exercise.
Just like humans, dogs can maintain a healthy weight and happy lifestyle by exercising daily and monitoring their eating habits. Many health benefits come with walking your dog each day. Other ideas for exercise including going to your local dog park, playing with their toys inside, and throwing a frisbee in the backyard. Find out what they like and enjoy the happy time with your puppy. The days go by very quickly.
7. Keep a healthy & well balanced diet for your dog.
When it comes to feeding your puppy, you want to make sure you are feeding them the right type of food for their size and breed. Choose the following Bil-Jac formula for dogs that will be the following weight as adult dogs:
- 20 lbs. and under – Small Breed Puppy
- 21-50 lbs. – Puppy Select
- Over 50 lbs. –Large Breed Puppy
It’s also important to consider the amount of food and times throughout the day that they should eat. Learn 5 tips for feeding your puppy so that they can grow into a happy and healthy best friend!
Use these 7 steps as a start for raising your puppy. Before you know it, they’ll be the perfect addition to your family!
Do you have a story about raising your puppy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!