#1. If possible, don´t get a puppy that has been weaned before 8 weeks old. Most of their social skills are learned from mother and siblings between 6-8 weeks. This may prevent future behavioral problems!
#2. Do some research before deciding for the best puppy food. You can continue with the brand they were being fed before coming to your home, but you can also switch gradually to a food that fits you better. Now you can find puppy food without grains, organic foods, raw diets among many others. So, do some research and follow your heart!!
#3. Comply with their vaccination schedule. Many vets manage their own protocols, but core vaccines should be administered to your puppy against the following diseases due to the risk of exposure and severity of disease: Canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies.
#4. Protect your puppy from internal and external parasites. Your Vet may advice you on the timing and best products to deworm your new baby and keep her away from ticks and fleas, but DO follow his indications. Worms, fleas and ticks not only can threaten your puppy´s life but many of the diseases they carry are transmissible to humans.
#5. Treat your puppy with love and gentleness, but start to put limits. Puppies must start to learn when a bite is too strong or a conduct is inappropriate. You can put an end to a game or ignore the puppy when doing something wrong. Remember, your puppy will grow old, and in many cases, also big. If she feels biting hard is OK, you may have serious problems in the future.
#6. Once the Vet gives its OK (usually after the vaccine calendar is over) start taking your puppy outside. Make her relate with other dogs, walk her to different places, expose her to as many situations as possible. This will make your puppy grow as a stable dog with no fear when facing new situations.
#7. If your puppy is from a small breed, please DON’T overprotect her. Have you seen the tiny Chihuahuas or Yorkies barking for no reason and being overly nervous? Many times, this behavior responds to overprotecting parents lifting them from the floor at any situation. The start to believe that they are being constantly threatened!!!
#8. This is a breaking point: Hygienic habits. In this point you will have to be very patient, since puppies pee and poo very frequently and everywhere. Start limiting the spots where they must stay after eating or drinking water. You can do this with special mats, newspaper, or any other materials. Every time they pee or poo in the right place, congratulate them, give them a healthy snack or a nice caress. But do it straightaway, so they know what are you congratulating them for. This is called positive reinforcement, and from my point of view, is the best technique to educate our pets.
#9. Let them cry the first few days. I know it is heartbreaking to hear that minuscule adorable puppy crying, but it will pass. If you decide to pass them to your bed or cuddle them when they cry, it might take her longer to sleep all night or stay alone knowing everything is OK. About this point, I must say this is an advice from the theoretical point of view. Be free and follow your heart 🙂
#10. Give your puppy a lot of playtime but expect some chaos during the first months. They are exploring the world, and part of this world can be your favorite shoe or the remote control. You can help her get free of some of this energy by playing with her. And don´t just buy a lot of toys and put them in the floor. This will usually bore her. Take your time, and play with her. You both will enjoy it and she will be less prone to disaster.
I hope this post has been useful to you. Remember to contact us if you have any further questions or comments.