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Top 10 questions commonly asked by new puppy owners

  1. How do I housetrain my puppy? – Housetraining a puppy takes patience and consistency. Establish a routine schedule for taking the puppy out frequently, reward with praise and treats when they go in the right place, and be vigilant for signs they need to go.
  2. How much should I feed my puppy? – Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Feed a high-quality puppy food and follow the feeding guidelines on the package based on your puppy’s age and weight. Divide meals into 3-4 feedings per day.
  3. How do I crate train my puppy? – Crate training can be a helpful tool. Introduce the crate slowly and positively, use it for naps and overnight, and never use it as punishment. Make sure the crate is the right size.
  4. How do I socialize my puppy? – Puppy socialization is crucial. Expose your puppy to new people, animals, sounds, and environments in a positive way during the critical socialization period (8-12 weeks).
  5. When should I start training my puppy? – Start basic training as soon as you bring your puppy home, using positive reinforcement methods. Focus on commands like sit, stay, come, and name recognition.
  6. How much exercise does a puppy need? – Puppies have high energy but exercise needs vary by breed. Aim for several short play sessions and walks per day, avoiding over-exercise which can be harmful.
  7. How do I prevent biting and nipping? – Biting and nipping are normal puppy behaviors. Interrupt with a firm “no” and redirect to chew toys. Provide plenty of exercise and training to curb this.
  8. When should I get my puppy spayed or neutered? – Most vets recommend spaying/neutering around 6 months of age. Discuss the optimal timing with your vet.
  9. How do I choose the right puppy food? – Look for a high-quality, complete and balanced puppy formula. Avoid generic or grocery store brands. Consult your vet if you have questions.
  10. How do I introduce my puppy to my other pets? – Slowly and carefully introduce your puppy to any resident dogs, cats, or other pets. Use positive reinforcement and supervise interactions until they are comfortable.

10 Common Mistakes When Training a New Puppy

We all get nervous when doing new things and having a new puppy can be one of those times!

Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when training a new puppy:

  1. Not starting training early enough: Puppies are incredibly smart and eager to learn. Begin basic training as soon as you bring your puppy home, even as young as 8-10 weeks old.
  2. Inconsistent training: It’s crucial that all family members use the same commands, rewards, and training methods consistently. Inconsistency can confuse and slow down the puppy’s learning.
  3. Relying too heavily on physical punishment or dominance-based methods: Positive reinforcement training is far more effective for puppies. Avoid yelling, hitting, or using aversive tools like shock collars.
  4. Failing to establish a routine: Puppies thrive on predictable schedules for eating, sleeping, potty breaks, and training. Stick to a routine as much as possible.
  5. Overtraining or not providing enough mental stimulation: Puppies have short attention spans. Keep training sessions brief and positive. Provide plenty of playtime, toys, and enrichment activities.
  6. Skipping socialization: As mentioned earlier, proper socialization during the critical window of 8-12 weeks is essential for a well-adjusted, confident adult dog.
  7. Allowing bad behaviors to continue unchecked: Address issues like nipping, jumping, or barking early on before they become ingrained habits. Be proactive and consistent.
  8. Failing to set the puppy up for success: Manage the environment, supervise closely, and remove temptations to prevent mistakes. Reward good behaviors immediately.
  9. Not providing enough exercise and outlets for energy: Bored, pent-up puppies are prone to behavior problems. Make sure they get enough physical and mental exercise daily.
  10. Giving up too soon or being inconsistent: Puppy training takes patience and time. Stick with it, be persistent, and celebrate small wins along the way.