ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips for new puppy owners - stuff no one told you that you really need to know

Updated on July 24, 2014
My Teddy (French Bulldog) has always been a conversationalist!
My Teddy (French Bulldog) has always been a conversationalist!

I wish someone had told me....

Congratulations! You've just brought home your first dog! You may have grown up with one or more dogs, but this is the first dog you've chosen and he's your responsibility.

There are oodles of things that experienced dog owners know and assume are part of every dog owner's vocabulary. As the co-owner of a dog-products shop, I meet people almost every day who are overwhelmed by being new-dog owners. They need some help in getting their lives back on course and setting a good course for their new life with their puppies.

Only call your dog for "fun" stuff

You've seen it many times, in movies and sit-coms on tv, perhaps even in "real" life. Somebody calls his dog and the dog runs in the opposite direction. Hilarity ensues as the person tries to catch the faster, smaller, more agile dog.

It's not very funny if you're the one calling the dog. Avoid the problem entirely. Have your dog come to you happily every time you call his/her name.

How do you achieve this seemingly-miraculous behavior? Always do something your dog enjoys when you call him to you. Give him a treat, play with a toy, wrestle with her. Your dog will run to you if every single time you call, the dog gets to do something fun.

Never call your dog for something he/she doesn't like: bath, ear cleaning, nail trimming, etc. If it's time for these necessary tasks, or anything the dog doesn't enjoy - go get the dog. Just calmly get his collar and leash and go get him. Put on the collar and calmly say "come on, let's clean you up" or whatever.

In other words - make a big deal out of the fun stuff. And no deal at all out of the not-so-fun stuff.

Booker (Boston Terrier) nose-to-nose.
Booker (Boston Terrier) nose-to-nose.

Puppies belong with you

My very first trainer had a great saying: "Dogs are not kitchen appliances." It hit home - at the time, we really thought it was a good idea to confine the dog to the kitchen.

In fact, it's a terrible idea. If you're crate-training your dog (which you should, because it's the best and easiest way to housebreak a dog), you can easily move the crate around the house so even if you can't actively watch the dog, she can be in the same room and see you.

Your puppy's first night in your home is often the first time the puppy's been alone in its life. Think how frightening it must be to move someplace new, with people you've just met, and then be expected to spend the night alone in a dark, place you've never been. Of course a puppy would cry.

Why not make everyone's life easier and bring the puppy's crate into your bedroom? Even better, raise it up (on a very sturdy surface) so the puppy can see you. And leave a little light on so your new family member knows he's not alone. Why not make everyone's life easier?

Carry him outside

In the morning, after a (hopefully) restful night, your puppy will have to go potty. Urgently. Pull on your pants, grab your puppy, and carry her outside, directly to her "potty spot." If you have a fenced yard, you're golden. If you live in an apartment, grab the pup's harness and leash on the way out and put them on while you're in the elevator/running down the stairs/hustling out the front door.

Praise that puppy to the skies when he eliminates in the right place. Even if he didn't have a choice. Especially if he didn't have a choice. Puppies who don't have any opportunity to be naughty grow up confident, knowing the rules of the house, and everyone's happier.

Puppy Bowl - "Really Freaking Cute!"

Naked in the house

Unfortunately, you shouldn't make your life a little easier by leaving a harness/collar on your puppy.

It can catch on edges and choke her. She can chew on it and choke. Or she could eat it and require an immediate, and costly, trip to the emergency veterinarian for surgery.

I know you want to be a responsible dog owner and have identification on your dog at all times, but it's not worth it. Get the puppy microchipped and register the chip. Any veterinarian should be able to do it, or ask at a local animal shelter.

Puppies can be little tyrants

If you let him, your new puppy will be happy to run your life.

He would like your complete attention 24 hours a day. He will cry when he doesn't have it and he will nip at you, bark at you, and whine. He's pretty much the same as a bratty two-year-old. Dog people will almost all admit that there would be no reason to get a puppy if: a) they weren't so cute and b) you want a puppy trained your own way.

Training your puppy to be a delightful member of the family takes patience, consistency, and a sense of humor. Set rules and stick to them. Your puppy really doesn't want to be the one in charge - but he'll step into the role if no one else is filling it.

And when you get sick and tired of your puppy - go ahead and put him in his crate, cover it, and take 20 minutes for yourself. Don't feel guilty. You'll appreciate your puppy's adorableness more if you're not resenting his demands on your time.

Sweet potato/yogurt/kibble frozen treats.
Sweet potato/yogurt/kibble frozen treats. | Source

Tricks of the trade

When you do want some time for yourself, or you have errands to run, or a living to earn, here is a trick that will make your life easier.

Get a dog toy that's hollow, with holes at both ends. (The holes are so suction doesn't trap the dog's tongue.) There are many available today - Kongs are best-known, although there are others. Stuff the toy with a treat - something the dog will take a while to finish.

Our favorites are the frozen treats we make ourselves with the SafeMade Treat Tray. We mix yogurt, peanut butter, some carrot, sweet potato, or other baby food, and a bit of kibble. Fill the tray, freeze it for a couple of hours. Pop the treats out and save in a plastic bag in the freezer, or use immediately, stuffing one inside the dog's toy.

Give the puppy this special treat only when you're going to leave her for a while. If it's something she loves, she'll learn to run into her crate and not even notice you've gone. Dog experts have said that if your dog is quiet for the first 15 minutes you're gone, she's good for the duration.

Before you get your puppy - the first four weeks of a puppy's life

© 2014 HopeS

Do you have helpful puppy hints?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jaundalynn 

      3 years ago

      Well put, sir, well put. I'll cernaitly make note of that.

    • profile image

      Wanda Spannuth 

      4 years ago

      I've had puppies and quickly forgot how cute they were. Lots of time, attention and work but worth every minute.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Where were you 9 1/2 years ago when I got my first puppy (indeed, my first-ever pet) at age 61? Haha. Well, I learned the hard way, but she and I are best mates and growing older together. If I had it to do over again...I'd do it much sooner in my life! Dogs are wonderful beings. I love my fur-girl bunches.

      Just a few days ago, I was looking in her 'baby book' (yes, I put together a scrapbook with pictures and notes of 'firsts.') It even has her lost baby teeth taped on one page. Go ahead and laugh! It was so much fun looking at her puppy photos and remembering how sweet and cuddly she was.

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)