Train a dog owner before you train the dog

house-training-puppyIt is exciting when you are expecting a new arrival such as a baby, well, not a human baby, but a puppy that will need just as much attention.

New owners of puppies tend to panic and spoil the puppy, leading to complications with behaviour further down the line. Dog owners over react and hope the puppy will know how he or she is expected to behave; of course it is a learning curve for both parties and bonding can be fun, with a little help from us.

Top tips on loving your puppy:

He will be excited and want to please you, however he will be missing his mum and brothers and sisters so be aware he will be a little frightened.

Give him lots of attention and cuddles, praise him in a light tone, and use his name as much as possible. However, change your voice to a deeper tone when he makes a mistake and say ‘No’.

Be patient, do not shout or smack him as he will become nervous and most likely have little ‘accidents’.

It will take time for him to get used to a new home, sometimes this will show in little puddles on your floor. Use a radio on at low volume to allow him to get used to noise, and give him some comfort. Be warned though, Chris Moyles keeps playing the sound of Graham Norton offering his dogs treats, so perhaps not Radio 1!

Bedtime is a lonely time for a puppy. Remember he is used to sleeping with his brothers and sisters; opt for a dog crate and give him a soft bed with an old jumper of yours so he can take comfort from your body odour.

Place the dog crate in a corner, away from draughts.

Mealtimes should be set at the same times during the day; feed your puppy on the same puppy food that he is used to, any change of puppy food should be done gradually over a seven day period.

Four meals a day with small portions of high quality pet food is better than larger portions. Reduce the meals at 4 months and 6 months, portion guidelines can be found on all packaging and tinned dog food.