It is super important to shower your new puppy with love and affection but did you know you can smother them too? It is important to take a few minutes to read over the information below on what to and what not to do when loving your new pup:
1. Spend lots of time with me, as much as you can spare, preferably more.
- When I first come into your home, remember that I am used to being with other puppies and my mom. I may feel lonely and scared at first, so I need lots of love and reassurance from you and the other people in my new human family. With that love, I’ll grow comfortable.
2. Ensure that my basic needs for a clean, warm and safe sleeping area are met.
- When you first bring me home, if I seem upset and cry a lot because I miss my mom and siblings, consider giving me a hot water bottle to lie on in my bed and a cuddly toy. This will reassure me that it’s a safe and good place to sleep. And please keep me near you to begin with; it’s good reassurance after losing my family.
- I need a lot of sleep when I’m young; please ensure that I am not interrupted during my naps.
3. Love me, not my appetite.
- Don’t give me table scraps. Some are dangerous for me, like bones that splinter. Some are poisonous to me (see article mentioned above). And some are just plain fattening with no nutritional benefit for me at all. Please tell the whole family and visitors that I am not allowed to have table scraps, ever.
- Please get me used to healthy dog treats early on.
4. Let me chew.
- Even with my own chew toys, I won’t be able to tell the difference between your toys and mine. Keep your toys away and be vigilant about moving me away from things I am not supposed to chew.
5. Groom me every day.
- You might even like to brush my teeth regularly. I might find it odd at first but I’ll get used to it. Please use dog toothpaste; your human toothpaste is too strong for me.
- Please handle my gums and look at my teeth from early on. I need to learn that you sticking your fingers into my mouth area is not a threat but is normal.
- Get me used to baths by starting with a small amount of water and working your way up to a deeper level. Do not bathe me excessively, as this can cause skin problems, (especially in German Shepherds). Try not to get soap in my eyes because it stings!
6. Please keep human and other poisons and unsafe items away from me.
- I like finding things in the garden to dig up, chew and taste. Please keep flower bulbs away from me; most of them are toxic but their small size makes them a tempting toy for chewing. In fact, unless they’re already planted, please don’t get bulbs for your garden until I am older.
- Keep all your household chemicals locked out of reach from me. Be sure to lock up anti-freeze safely, as it is attractive and has a sweet odor but is deadly if I lick it.
- Here is some help for you: How to avoid foods that are dangerous for puppies and How to recognize if I’ve been poisoned.
7. Please train me.
- Please teach me how to stay and wait. I can be impatient, just like human children, when things excite me and I want them now! Teaching me how to stay and wait will bring calm into your life and help me to moderate my over enthusiastic responses, teaching me impulse control and restraint.
- Teach me not to mind when you take food away from me. This will help build my tolerance to frustration and will prevent me from snapping at anyone who feeds me. This can include putting added treats into my bowl now and then so that I get used to your hand being near me when I eat and associate your hands with giving me my food.
- Decide now whether or not you think it’s okay that I sit on your furniture. If it’s not, you need to train me nicely not to use it for my comfort. If you think it’s okay, realize I will assume most things of the same height are okay. And please, if you’re concerned I’ll muddy things, put blankets or covers on them first.
8. Help me to love everyone in your family or household.
- Please also help me to socialize with other dogs. This will be important when we’re out walking in the neighborhood!
- Please explain to everyone in the house that puppies don’t like being picked up in the wild and that this feeling is still in us even though we’re pets. Teach your children how to hold us securely when they pick us up, so that we don’t feel scared and try to struggle, potentially hurting someone or getting dropped. Just make sure that whoever picks me up knows to put one hand under my bottom to support my body weight and to hold me securely with the other hand (but not too tight).
9. Please promise we’ll go walkies at least once a day, every day.
- Make sure I’ve had all my vaccinations before I start touching noses with other dogs when out walking! Don’t take me walking until I have had them; you’ll be forced to run around the garden with me until you take me to the vet!
- When we’re out walking, please be vigilant for me. Keep me close to you on a leash or in a harness. I might be tempted to dash out into traffic, chase animals or fight with another puppy if I am let loose. Only remove my leash where you’re sure it’s safe to do so and make sure I know how to sit, stay and wait at your command.
10. Be happy and I will be too.
- Please don’t rub my nose in my business. It doesn’t teach me anything other than that you want me to smell bad and wear my business on my nose, something I’d never do as a dog in the wild! Basically, this behavior makes me wonder what is the matter with humans when it comes to toileting.
- Reward me! Use positive reinforcement to get me to do whatever it is you’d prefer that I do! For example, reward me for going to the bathroom outside. Be sure to watch me for signs that I need to go (sniffing and circling), and then take me outside. Puppies need to go after a meal, a nap and while exercising.
- Never hit me, not with your hand, your roll of newspaper or anything. I don’t learn anything from such an action other than to fear you.
11. Try to learn my language too.
- Please don’t stare at my eyes; it threatens me. I know humans don’t like being stared at, so this one is easy.
- Please read How to communicate with your dog. You’ll find lots of tips for reading me in there!
12. Share your love of puppies with others. My non-adopted puppy pals could sure do with finding a good home. With you as an ambassador for how wonderful it is to have a puppy in your life, I’m sure we could find lots more good homes for unwanted puppies who need love too.
- I don’t mind if you make me in internet star for the cause of puppy love. Just don’t neglect me spending too long in the cutting room or make me do silly poses. And I draw the line at dressing me up in costumes; a puppy has its dignity still!
13. Expect me to love you back, without condition, without judgment.
Do you have any other important tips on how to properly love your puppy and shower them with affection?