Paws for thought – ten tips


  1. Start how you mean to go on – If you don’t want your dog on your bed or sofa, or don’t want it to jump up at visitors and bark for no reason, nip it in the bud straight away. Every time pooch does this  and you don’t want it to you must firmly say ‘no’ and not give it any attention. It will soon realise there is nothing to be gained from these actions and will stop doing them.

  2. Do what works for you – Books are great at telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing but puppies can’t read books and they each have their own personality. You can try all the advice and methods taken from well-meaning books but don’t be disheartened if you’re not getting the results they suggest you should be getting. Set your own rules and boundaries from the off. No good can come of Googling. People’s lives are different and your four-legged friend needs to fit in with you as much as you need to adapt to their presence.

  3. Don’t compare you puppy’s progress to that of others – Just because so and so’s pooch was house trained in five days doesn’t mean your pup is useless because it has taken several weeks, even months, and it still has the odd accident. They’ll get there in the end.

  4. Observe your puppy – Understand what it does and doesn’t like, what makes it happy. Pick up on its routine, when it seems to like to sleep, the signs for when it needs the toilet. Does it sniff the ground, chase its tail? When it wants to play or go for a walk. You’ll soon understand it.

  5. Watch where you put your feet – Your puppy will want to be near you a lot of the time so will hover about your feet. Be aware so as not to tread on him/her. Ooops!

  6. Get lots of toys – This will keep it amused and prevent it from chewing your chair legs, kitchen units, favourite boots. Hide some of its play things for a short while and then reintroduce them so they don’t get bored. Give them toys stuffed with things they have to work to get. Kongs are GOOD.

  7. Create a den for your puppy – A cage/crate with a soft blanket inside and blankets draped over three of the four sides creates a safe place for your puppy to retreat to. (Although Pippi HATED hers and we got rid of it after a couple of weeks. Crates aren’t for every dog.)

  8. Get your puppy used to having its ears, paws, tail touched – It will make it a lot easier when he/she visits the vet or groomer.

  9. Keep a diary of its ‘movements’ – I don’t mean when it has a play date but each time it goes to the toilet so you can build a picture of its habits and it’ll also give you a window of when you can get things done without having to constantly watch for the signs.

  10. Give your pooch lots of love and cuddles – Having a puppy is a commitment and a responsibility. You can’t just get one and expect it to sort itself out. It needs attention and if you give it care and consideration it will give you lots of love back.


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