What Not to Do with Your New Puppy

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If a pup cries for attention at night, whether crated or not, provide it this attention, as you would a child. Do NOT ignore its separation cries. You don’t have to pick it up or pet it, just let it know you are there for it and everything’s okay. The less attention you give a pup growing up, the needier it becomes when mature (this accounts for separation anxiety being prevalent in shelter dogs and dogs from abusive backgrounds). Conversely, the more attention you can give a pup as it is growing up, the more independent it will become. It sounds like a paradox, but its true.

  • Don’t Keep Your Pup Completely Isolated From The Outside World.

    For the very best of reasons, veterinarians often tell new puppy owners “keep your puppy in until his vaccinations are complete.” But what they are not factoring in is the terrible price of failure to properly socialize puppies within the sensitive period of learning window.

    Half the puppies born in this country (US) fail to see their second birthday, and that (unacceptable) behavior is the primary reason for this continuing holocaust. Proper early socialization would go a long way toward addressing this problem and is as life-saving as vaccinations. It should not be a matter of vaccination or socialization: Both are equally important and can be dove-tailed.

    Work with your vet to see what is acceptable regarding your puppy’s possible exposure to infection. Perhaps the veterinarian might agree that some limited contact with “safe” vaccinated dogs and unfamiliar people in safe locations might be acceptable.

    Puppy parties at home are one way of socializing pups to people. The idea is that people unfamiliar with the pup come and visit your home arranging themselves around, say, your family room. The strangers are encouraged to interact positively with the pup and then pass it on until all have handled the pup at least once. These gatherings should be held at least once a week (preferably 2 or 3 times weekly) from the time of the pup’s acquisition until it is 14 weeks of age. It is a good idea to select people of all shapes and sizes, sexes and colors and wearing various forms of garb (hats, fake beards, uniforms, even scuba gear) for these exercises. And don’t forget to take pictures for the family photograph album!



    • Don’t Expect Your Pup To Understand Sentences.

      It’s okay to burble along to your pup as you take care of it, just don’t expect it to understand anything except for the tone of your address. Dogs can learn some word cues (“commands”) – even hundreds of them – but they are just that, word cues. A pup can, and should, be taught at least a few words of human language. In English, “Sit!” and “Dinner!” are a couple that might be useful on occasion. But if you tell the dog, “Sit in your Dinner,” the meaning is lost. Dogs do not have a language center in their brains, like humans and cannot fathom syntax. Use one-word commands when communicating, say them clearly, say them once and importantly…Reward the desired response immediately.

      Do not use the pups name when addressing it (unless it is at a distance), and do not repeat commands. Dogs hear even better than we do: Their “deafness” is usually not through not attributable to poor hearing, it’s selective through their choice of not to obey. By the way, remember that if a dog does not respond to a verbal cue, it should not be punished (see above). The opposite of reward is not punishment – it is no reward.

    • Don’t Allow Young Children (Under 6 Years Old) To Interact With Your Pup Unsupervised.

      It comes as a surprise to many people to learn that children and puppies, though both cute, cannot be trusted alone together. Bad things can happen. The most obvious one is that the child will do “something bad” to the pup by way of experimentation, exercising their natural curiosity. In one case, a dog bit a child and had to be euthanatized. On post-mortem, it was found that the child had jammed a pencil into the dog’s ear and had snapped off then end after penetrating the dog’s eardrum. If accidents like this are to be avoided, complete supervision is necessary. It’s not usually the dog that starts the trouble; it’s the child: If you can childproof your dog, there should be no cause for concern.

    • Do Not Feed It Human Food: Do Not Feed It From The Table.


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