Ah, the joy of a new puppy. For all the greatness they bring into our lives, puppies can cause a whole lot of trouble, too. If you’ve recently gotten a dog, expect to have your life change completely. Here are some problems all puppy parents can relate to.
Everything Is a Chew Toy
You never knew that shoes, pillows, and even the TV remote would be so hard to protect from your puppy the land shark! Dogs of all ages chew to relieve pain in their teeth, reduce stress and regulate their emotions.
Puppies are especially prone to exploring the world with their mouths. Even if this means nipping your own fingers when you’re just trying to give them love!
What to do about it: Make sure puppies always have toys to entertain themselves and when they engage in play with you. Learn their play style, so you can help them build good habits early on. Keep anything they may chew out-of-reach. Small baskets on the counter make an easy place to put at-risk objects! One useful tip is to start teaching your puppy to ignore something by teaching the cue word “leave it”.
Freezing Weather Potty Breaks
Housetraining a puppy can feel like an Olympic hurdle, especially during the winter months. You’re shivering, they’re shivering, and potty pads are looking better and better every minute.
While it’s great to give your pup a space to relieve themselves as they learn to go outside, avoid making this too much of a habit.
Without consistency, puppies will struggle to understand that they’re supposed to go outdoors only in the long run.
What to do about it: Start house training ASAP, especially if your puppy has already gotten used to using indoor pads. Make sure you stick to a routine. If your dog is still having frequent accidents, consider going out more often. And don’t forget treats!
Tangled Leashes With Other Dogs
Meet and greets are fun for your pup, but they can make for some pretty awkward social encounters for us humans. Leash training is something many owners don’t consider, because puppies just look so darn cute when they’re attacking their leads or lying down and refusing to walk.
What to do about it: Focus on leash training using OneMind Dogs’ Puppy Training courses. Practice indoors, too, so your dog gets used to walking well at all times. And switch to a harness over a collar for greater control on walks. Check out our webinar on the 5 easy steps to stop leash pulling.
Jumping on Strangers
Few people will turn down a puppy’s greeting, but jumping is not a behavior you want to ignore. As puppies get bigger, they can knock down children, the elderly or even get bitten by other dogs. It’s best to address jumping as early as possible, both at home and on walks.
What to do about it: Teach your puppy the art of patience, even when they’re excited. Dogs have to learn emotional regulation, too! When they learn that 4 feet on the floor gets them pats, they’ll be much calmer when they greet people and other dogs.
Barking at Everything
Puppy barks are cute, and it’s hard to resist paying puppies attention when they bark, but barking can get old fast. Other people are a lot less likely to appreciate your dog’s vocals, no matter how cute they may be. It’s best to curb barking early, so your dog will learn how to live peacefully with you as they grow.
What to do about it: Start rewarding your puppy whenever they’re relaxed — sitting or lying down near you. It’s also important to teach them a command like, “calm down”, so they can learn to self-soothe. Don’t give your puppy attention for barking, not even by saying “shoosh” or similar, as then your puppy gets what they want. Any kind of attention (even negative) will still reward, and increase, the barking behavior.
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