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Puppy Care Understanding Your Puppy

Why does your puppy listen to some people and not to others? It’s because dogs were once “pack animals”. They lived in groups whose members were highly dependent on one another for survival.

Each dog in the pack knew his place. Most dogs were followers. Only one – the lead or alpha dog – was the leader. Your little puppy has this same instinct – only you and your family are the pack.

Be a Leader

Your puppy is perfectly happy to be a follower as long as he knows there’s a leader. If he thinks there isn’t, he may not follow your commands or may even try to lead you. This will make him harder to teach.

In the first days after coming home, concentrate on the basics: keeping your puppy comfortable and setting a schedule. That’s also the time to start earning your puppy’s respect – an essential tool for behaviour training.

You have to expect some behaviour you don’t like in the first days. After all, your puppy’s life has just been turned upside down. But once you’re settled, it’s time to help him become a well-behaved member of the family.

Obviously, he needs to be housetrained as soon as possible. Plus, you’ll want to curb unwanted barking and chewing.

As a pack animal, your puppy is already comfortable in groups. But he needs to know how to socialize in a world full of other animals, toddlers and strangers. And because you can’t always be with him, prevent separation anxiety by teaching your puppy how to be comfortable on his own.

Training can start as early as seven weeks of age, so get started. In no time, you’ll have an obedient new friend who’s more fun to be with than you ever dreamed.