@Wildeji: New Puppy?? What you need to know (Y! Superblogger)

by Deji Asiru-Balogun

When first-time puppy owners pick up their 7- or 8-week-old pup, they usually glow with pride and affection. At this time, they set their hearts on doing everything possible to make the new pup welcome in their home and try to help it adjust to the considerable change in lifestyle that the pup inevitably faces. Owners are often inundated with information on how to feed the pup and take care of his medical needs, and so on, but other questions soon arise and the correct answers aren’t always easily available. Common questions include:

  • The puppy cries at night. Should he be left alone or cuddled?
  • Trainers stress the importance of socializing the pup to other dogs, but the veterinarian says to keep him inside until all his vaccinations are complete. What do you do?
  • What are the best methods for housebreaking your dog?
  • How do you handle nipping, chewing, leash training, and crating?

    Opinions vary on these subjects, but this article provides some guidance to help the owner make reasonable and, most importantly, humane decisions. Raising a puppy is not easy. Half the new pups born in this country do not live to see their second birthday largely because of supposedly unsolvable behavior problems. The fact is, many people don’t know how to communicate the right messages to their dogs as they go through highly sensitive periods of development and sow the seeds of disaster early.


Attachment: To Spoil or Not to Spoil
There are two diametrically opposed theories on this subject. One is wrong and the other is right. The wrong theory tells people that the less attention they pay to a pup when he cries or acts out, the sooner he will learn independence.

Actually, the reverse is true. The more attention you pay a pup when he is young the more independent he will become later in life (the same is true for children, too). So, if the pup cries in the car on the way home, you should cradle him on your lap (unless you are the one driving), and if he cries at home for the first few nights, give him all the attention he needs. That doesn’t mean you have to pick him up, pet him, or feed him, but you should let him know you’re there and that you care. To make this easier on everyone, it is best to have the pup sleep in the bedroom so that he has company, that he’s not alone in his new home. Kind behavior of this sort will help forge a healthy bond between new owners and their pet and help build the pups’ confidence. The pup’s independence will come later once he has overcome the trauma of separation from his mom and littermates.

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