Your puppy’s first year

With all the excitement of bringing home a new puppy, you probably cannot think past the first fun filled few days as your puppy gets used to you and its new home. However, the first year of living with your puppy is important if you want to train your dog properly. Of course, most homes just want a fun loving loyal companion, but all dogs need to be taught a few commands in order to fit into family life and avoid chewing the furniture.

Teach your puppy that good behaviour is not always rewarded with a treat. Of course, it is nice to give your puppy some dog treats but you should reward good behaviour with a variety of responses as well as treats. There will be times when you do not have treats to hand and you need to show your pet that they have behaved well; you do not want to over feed your puppy with dog treats.

With punishment, you must make sure that this is effective and not frightening to the puppy. Simply yelling loudly at the puppy will startle them and it may not necessarily correct their behaviour. You need to ensure that when you punish the puppy, you also correct their bad behaviour so that they associate the punishment with the crime.

Above all, you will want to enjoy the time when your puppy is small and cute but with some attempt at training in the first year of your puppy’s life, you will find that you and the new companion in your home can grow to live very happily together.