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Owning a New Puppy is a Lot of Work


French Bulldog at Top Gun Dog Training in Huntsville, AL

One trend I saw in 2020 is that everyone is getting a puppy. People are home a lot more due to the COVID-19 pandemic and seek companionship and a new addition to the family. They don’t know that raising a young puppy is a lot of hard work. In this article, I will explain the responsibility and dedication it takes to raise a balanced and obedient puppy successfully without creating behavior problems.


WHAT TO EXPECT

When you get a young puppy around 8-10 weeks old, be prepared to dedicate the first few months to getting the puppy comfortable in your home, doing the behaviors that you want and stopping the behaviors that you don’t want.


Your puppy does not come potty trained, does not know how to walk on a leash, and does not know one word of English. Think about that when you get frustrated at him for peeing in the house. It’s not his fault because potty training is an owner issue; the dog only did what it had previously learned…to pee when its bladder is full.


To raise a puppy successfully, you must do the work yourself. Nobody else can do it for you. Our Puppy Program can give you coaching and guidance, but obviously, we can't be there 24/7. Raising a young puppy takes total commitment and daily follow-through from the entire family.

Below is a general timeline of what to teach your puppy if you get them at 8 weeks old. Remember that this will vary from dog-dog and is not set in stone.


8-12 WEEKS OLD

  • Potty training your puppy

  • Teach him his name

  • Teach bite inhibition

  • Teach him how to walk on a leash

  • Start basic obedience training such as sit, stay, and come.

  • Teach impulse control, such as the leave-it command.

  • Socialize your puppy with as many humans as possible daily. This is by far the most critical step.

  • Have people come over to the house to see your puppy often.


12-16 WEEKS OLD

  • Continue to reinforce the behaviors that you want

  • Stop reinforcing bad behaviors

  • Take the obedience training up a notch, teaching more commands such as wait, stop, drop it, etc.

  • Continue to socialize with your dog with many people every day

  • Take the pet for short car rides a few days a week

  • Take the puppy to pet stores and other safe places


16-20 WEEKS OLD

  • Get puppy's final round of shots, including rabbles vaccine

  • Start immediately socializing your puppy with other dogs

  • Continue to socialize with your dog with many people every day

  • Continue obedience training in places such as outside on a walk, in a park, or store.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I can’t express enough how important it is to begin socializing your puppy with people the first day you bring them home. This will help prevent fear and anxiety in the puppy and allow them to be comfortable with everyone.

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