What do puppies need most of all? Routine!
By Henry Chappell
Puppy training starts the instant she stumbles through your front door. Those first 12 weeks are critical. Yes, temperament is largely inherited, but nature’s work can be stunted and even ruined by insufficient nurture.
When you snatch a six-week-old pup from her mama and littermates, you’ve torn her world apart. She’ll cry all night if you leave her alone. Since you aren’t going to get much sleep anyway, you might as well let your better half enjoy some shuteye. Stretch out in an easy chair, and let your pup sleep in your lap or curled on your chest. You’ll get a few winks, and she’ll bond with you.
Whenever your pup wakes up, carry her outside and place her on grass. She’ll relieve herself, and she’ll learn a housebreaking lesson. A mental connection has been made.
Next day, introduce her to her crate. This is critical.
Say “kennel,” and place her inside. She’ll fuss.
As soon as she quiets down, let her out, praise her, and carry her outside.
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Dogs crave routine.
By night three, she should sleep in her box, but plan to get up a few times to let her relieve herself.
- Stay sharp. Get your puppy outside before accidents happen.
- Place her dish on the floor, say her name, and say “come” whenever you feed her.
- Let your pup roam the house unwatched.
- Rub your pup’s nose in the mess when accidents happen. Instead, snatch her up and take her outside.