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The first few months of a dog’s life are very important to their future. The habits, behaviors, and other aspects of their personality form around this time.
These traits will be carried with them forever, shaping the way they act as they get into their later years. Most people want their dog to be friendly and obedient.
Read on to give you an idea of what should be doing to give your pup the right foundation in their first year.
Make Medical Care an Enjoyable Priority
One of the first jobs you have on your doggy to-do list is taking them to see a veterinarian. This should be done very early into their time in your home, ensuring that they are healthy. It also lets you stay up-to-date on vaccinations, while giving you the chance to get some advice from a professional.
At this stage, they may be a little bit scared of this trip, but are still learning. That makes it the perfect time to show them the vet’s office doesn’t have to be a scary place.
Bring plenty of treats to make it a positive experience. Some vets allow you to simply stop by for a few minutes occasionally to build on that positive reinforcement. Your dog will learn that the vet doesn’t necessarily mean shots and scary situations, which will make later visits much easier!
Practice Positive Reinforcement Training
Making sure that a dog can understand commands and requests once they’re adults means a lot of work when they are young. Puppy training schools can help with this, providing busy dog owners with a speedy way to get their dog into the right place.
This is almost like a person going through education, and can be essential to success. Training is vital for both health and safety, as it can keep your dog from getting into dangerous situations.
If you don’t have access to training classes near you, there are plenty of online resources for you to use. Kikopup on YouTube is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive trainers, so I recommend starting there!
Social Interaction For Happy Dogs
Being natural pack animals, many dogs love to spend time with other canines. Making sure that they can keep cool when meeting new dogs is important.
This can be achieved by simply exposing your dog to other animals, giving them a chance to develop social skills while they are young.
Create Daily Routines For Your Dog
Like people, dogs are creatures of habit. They’re best able to maintain the healthiest life if they develop the right kind of routine to go along with it. This is another part of their life which needs to start early, with meal times being set, and exercise being provided around the same times each day.
Routines are especially helpful when you have a dog dealing with anxiety. It provides a foundation so they know what to expect of each day. Some dogs are very adaptable to changes in routine.
Others, like our Rico, struggle with changes and keeping simple routines greatly improves his anxiety. For other anxiety relievers, click here!
Have Fun With Your Dog
Dogs have very active minds, and they need to have stimulation to avoid becoming bored. This can be handled with a few toys, regular walks, and plenty of time spent with them, creating a balance of different activities which they enjoy. You have to dedicate a lot of time to this when they are young, giving them the chance to learn.
It’s also important to teach them how to entertain themselves, as solo play is great for draining energy. Dog puzzles where you supervise are wonderful. Here’s a list of our favorites! They help work the brain, which helps tire them out both physically and mentally.
With all of this in mind, you should have a much easier time of raising your next puppy. Do you have a new puppy? Comment below and share!