Pet adoptions have skyrocketed over the last few months, it’s almost like Christmas time as we’ve seen so many people adding furry friends to their families. So, Dr Innis Cloete from Kingsway Veterinary Clinic is here to remind us that it’s so important to put the hard yards in during those first few weeks to create good habits. The work you put in during this time can make a huge difference to how your pet settles in.
A Night Time Routine
If you’re about to bring a brand new puppy home, be prepared for a few nights of interrupted sleep. But a great way to get your puppy into the same routine as you is by using a crate. A crate will give your puppy a “den” which is a safe, comfortable place for them. You can put the crate wherever you’d like your puppy to sleep and yes he’s probably going to cry and feel restless the first few nights but he’ll settle in. The other huge advantage of a crate is how it helps toilet training. A dog’s instincts will tell him not to soil the place he sleeps, so sleeping in the crate will encourage him to “hold it” through the night. He’ll wake up and tell you if he needs to go outside!
Usually barking is a sign of insecurity. The best way to train a puppy is by rewarding the good behaviour and ignoring the bad. So once he stops barking – reward him! If he keeps barking, ignore him until he stops. If you’re really struggling with the barking, now is the best time to seek professional help because good (and bad) habits are formed at this early age.
As human’s our reaction may be to use a word like “no” or “stop” to tell the puppy off, but puppies are confused little creatures and they may not recognise this “punishment”. Sometimes, they’ll actually take this attention as a reward.
Would a puppy learn these habits from their mum?
If the puppy was in the wild with a pack probably. But when we’re talking about a domestic house pet, it’s best to get your new canine friend home at about 8 weeks old. Up to 14 weeks is your golden period of interaction, socialisation and training.
Have a listen to all Innis’ advice below:
Dr Innis Cloete is a veterinarian with over 20 years experience. He is the owner of Kingsway Veterinary Clinic and weekly visits The Drive Show with Jeziel to chat all things pets whether it runs swims, flies, slithers or flaps.