First Things First!
Puppy proofing your environment is crucial for when your new pup moves in. Even if you’re crate-training your little guy or gal, you’ll need to ensure your whole home is safe. Look for (and remove!) access to hazardous materials, sharp objects and items that would be dangerous if chewed – like electrical cords. Get down low, and think like a dog… to ensure the safety of yours.
What’s in a Name?
Give your pup’s name some thought. Choose one that doesn’t rhyme with any basic commands you’ll be using. Don’t name your dog “Sway,” and then wonder why he can’t learn to “Stay!” And, choose a positive name, as it will put you in the right frame of mind every time you say it. Cutesy names like “Dumb Dog” are just asking for trouble. Try for a more unique name, too, especially if you’re planning trips to the dog parks!
No People Food, Please
It will make your life easier if you stick to appropriate dog food and treats. First, some people foods are toxic for your sweet pup. Most people know not to feed chocolate, but do you know not to throw your dog a grape or two? They can be severely toxic for dogs. Make it easy on yourself by keeping a selection of dog biscuits and treats so your puppy can have a treat when you do – just not the same type. On top of the potential danger, sharing your food is a bad habit that can lead to begging whenever you’re eating.
Your New Pup Will Grow. A Lot.
Speaking of bad habits… be consistent from the start. Don’t let your puppy do anything you won’t allow when he’s full grown. If you don’t want an 80 lb dog on the couch, don’t let the adorable puppy on the couch. It will only confuse your dog, which isn’t fair. He just wants to please you!
The last and best advice is to show your puppy lots of patience and love. After all, who’s cuter than your pup?