Raising and Training Your Puppy - The First Few Weeks
The first week your puppy comes home is the most important week of her life. From the very first day, start an errorless housetraining and chewtoy-training program so that you prevent any future housesoiling, destructive chewing, excessive barking, or separation anxiety problems.
When you are not at home, leave your puppy in a long-term confinement area (puppy playroom, or crate with a puppy play pen attached), which has a comfortable bed, fresh water, several chewtoys stuffed with food, and a temporary indoor toilet. Long-term confinement prevents mistakes around the house and maximizes the likelihood your puppy will learn to chew chewtoys and use her toilet.
When you are at home but cannot pay full attention to your puppy, confine her to a small, short- term confinement area (doggy den or dog crate) with a couple of stuffed chewtoys. Confining your puppy to a den prevents any mistakes around the house, maximizes the likelihood your puppy will learn to chew chewtoys, and allows you to predict when your puppy would like to relieve herself. Knowing when your puppy wants to go makes housetraining easy because now you can show her where to go and reward her for going in the right spot. Confining a pup to a den temporarily inhibits elimination, so that every hour, you can take her to an appropriate toilet area. When she promptly pees (and sometimes poops), give her three liver treats as a reward.
Confinement is a temporary management and training measure. Once your puppy has learned household manners, he may enjoy full run of your house for the rest of his life.
Other important things to do over the first few weeks include (check out are articles on these too):
- House Training
- Leaving your Dog Home Alone
- Teaching your Puppy to Play
- Learning Bite Inhibition (Controlling Puppy Biting)
- Choosing a Vet/Groomer/Dog Trainer
Suggested reading includes:
Before you get your Puppy - Ian Dumbar
After you get your Puppy - Ian Dumbar