During first weeks at home the puppy must learn house training and household manners, amuse himself when left by himself. Success depends on two things:
- your puppy spending most of his time in the self- teaching environment of short term and long term confinement
- your puppy receiving all of his food stuffed in Chew toys or being hand fed by people vs. food quickly gobbled down “for free” from bowl.
Remember, with unsupervised free range of your house or yard, your puppy will develop a predictable series of problems; house soiling, chewing, barking, digging, escaping, and other anxiety induced problems.
Occasionally, put your puppy in its long-term confinement area when you are home to monitor her behavior. As soon as your puppy has learned to settle down quickly and quietly with a chew toy, you will be able to dispense with the crate for short term confinement.
Short Term Confinement
Keep your pet in the crate or tie down when you are home. Take them out once an hour. When placing them in short term make sure you give them several chew toys, or kongs so that they are comfortable and happy and will settle down quickly. Placing them in short term confinement will help you decide where they will eliminate. Right on the hour you take them out or to their designated elimination area. Within 30 sec. they usually eliminate and within 3 minutes they will poop. As they get older they are able to hold it longer. If they do not eliminate within 10 minutes put them back in the crate for a half an hour.
Long Term Confinement
Keep their crate with door open in a pen with a bowl of water and a pee/poo pad. Here you again give them chew toys and even the kids can go and play with them here. They have more free range and can move from crate to eliminate themselves and run around a little.
Only hand feed puppies or give them their food in a kong. This will help them develop good chewing habits, its soothing to chew, so they will calm themselves down, they will stay busy, you can use this for them when you leave the house and when you are in the home. This way they learn to gain confidence and be by themselves. This also can alleviate a development of separation anxiety.
Once the pup has eliminated himself you can have some free and play time. This is the time when the pup can have free range of the house supervised. Otherwise it is so important to stay consistent and remember to set everyone, including the pup up for success.
Playing time and bonding time is very important and so fun with your puppy! So play with your puppy after elimination has taken place. When playing (only after elimination) you will want to add in some settle down moments of 15 seconds. Increase those times and also have some petting and connecting time during playtime. This will teach the pup that when you want him to settle down, he will.
You will also want to be very hands on with the puppy, have it look at you and reward that behavior, this is key for training. This is called bonding and connecting. In addition you will want to also touch the puppy all over his body and his paws to make sure he gets comfortable so that when time comes to take him to the vet he is more secure and confident and able to breeze through the vet visits.
In addition you will want to put your hand in the pups water bowl, hold on to Kong and of course hand feeding will allow your pup to be comfortable with your hands around their food.
Your hands are providing the items that the puppy wants, such as food, water, petting, toys etc. The puppy should start become comfortable with you taking items away from the puppy and giving him items.
The more you provide appropriate feedback to your puppy when he mouths and bites your hands, the more quickly he will learn to decrease the force of his bites, and the safer his jaws will be in adulthood. The number of times your puppy bites or mouths you will increase steadily as your pup’s stamina and desire to play increase throughout puppyhood and adolescence. However, the number of times your puppy hurts you should peak at three and a half months of age as his jaws become more powerful and then decrease as your puppy learns to be more gentle.
Remember, stuffed animals and squeaky toys are not chew toys: their destruction and consumption is extremely dangerous for your dog.
Sign your puppy up to puppy class. Puppy classes offer the best controlled venue for your puppy to learn bite inhibition.
Socialization and Training at Home
Your puppy must socialize with at least one hundred people before she is three Months old. That’s just 25 people a week, or 4 a day. List the number of people who met your puppy.
Supervise your puppy and human youngsters at all times. Let the puppy sniff the baby’s diapers. Protect the baby’s face and hands. Toddlers may hand feed and train the puppy if you enclose their hand in yours. Children and teenagers are the very best puppy trainers if they have proper instruction and supervision.
Your puppy needs to be exposed to people wearing hats, helmets, sunglasses, and beards, carrying umbrella, as well as people acting weird, making funny faces, staring, walking weird, laughing, giggling, crying, talking loudly, and pretending to argue. Anything different to socialize the puppy to everything out there.
Socializing and Training Outside the Home
The big wide world can be a scary place for a three-month old pup. Do not rush your puppy through the environment. Choose a quiet street near your house and give your puppy all the time in the world to watch the world go by. Make sure you take your puppy’s dinner kibble in a picnic bag. After a half dozen or so picnics, your puppy will be well adjusted-been there, done that, like that!
- Hand feed your puppy a piece of kibble each time a person or another dog passes by.
- Offer a liver treat each time a child, truck, motorbike, motorcycle, bicycle, or skateboard whizzes by. Have liver treats for strangers and children to feed to your pup when she sits. Have puppy party guests initially expose your puppy to bicycles, skateboards, and other moving objects. Thus, potentially scary stimuli are much more controllable.
- Repeat the above procedures on a busier street, in downtown commercial area, near a children’s playground, in a shopping center, and in parking lot, in a rural area around other animals. Make sure your puppy gets to spend time exploring office buildings, staircases, elevators, slippery floors and all sorts of different floor surfaces.
Allow your puppy to sit and look at things outside the home gradually as they increase in age. Let him take in the world at large in gradual steps. Reward the puppy for looking back at you an connecting with you.
Don’t force the puppy to connect with people of other dogs if he is hesitant. Allow the puppy to take his time to greet.
To remain sociable and friendly, your puppy needs to meet at least three unfamiliar people and three unfamiliar dogs each day. Otherwise, he will de-socialize dramatically during adolescence (between 4.5 months and 2 years of age).
List your puppy’s top ten favorite activities and games that you use as life rewards to integrate training into your puppy’s lifestyle.
List the games you play with your puppy to make training easy and enjoyable.