The phone calls are starting to come in, we got a puppy for Christmas, now what? The novelty wears off quickly and you realize that you have just that – a new puppy. Puppies are hard work! I remember when we brought home Nitro, as a dog trainer I knew what to do, but I forgot how much time and attention it all requires.
So, if you have a new Christmas puppy, and are confused about where to start, there are three main things to focus on.
- Socialization – keep everything positive and fun. If your pup backs up, licks his lips, yawns, shakes off – those are signs of stress. Use things he likes to make things fun – try food (cheerios are great) or toys. Petting can sometimes make the situation worse.
- House training – keep an eye on your pup! Depending on his age and size, I would start with potty breaks every 20 minutes. House training a new puppy can be hard if done improperly. Read this article for the best way to house train a dog
- Watch your puppy! When you follow your puppy everywhere, he is acting as the leader. Teach your puppy to follow you. Either keep a leash tethered to him or constantly be calling him to go with you – of course rewarding him as he comes. Do not let your pup in unsupervised rooms.
Lastly and most importantly – start looking for a puppy preschool. Puppy preschools are meant for socialization and fun, not obedience. If you are looking for someone qualified, visit the Dog Trainer Search Dog Training Directory – all of these trainers are qualified professionals.