I AM YOUR PUPPY
I am your Puppy, and I will love you until the end of the Earth, but please know a few things about me. I am a Puppy, this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child. I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world. Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.
I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1 - 2 hours. I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out. I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have "bladder and bowel control" until 6 - 9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a Puppy, it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, playing, Drinking and around every 2 - 3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 8 p.m. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me. I am a Puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.
I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzz balls, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.
I am a Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant, so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beat. Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew. Better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your R1000.00 Nikes.
I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mould me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be here.
I am a Puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviours and caring for me from your Veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics", it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do all the things I do. Please teach me with love, patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.
I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.
Love, Your Puppy
It's time to puppy proof! Before you bring the new puppy home you should remove all items that your puppy can chew on. You should take the same safety precautions with your new puppy as you would take with a new baby.
Remove plants. Make sure electrical cords are out of reach. Pick up shoes and socks, and make sure there are no poisons or chemicals that your puppy can get his mouth on. Remove any object the puppy could put in his mouth.
Closely watch your puppy. Puppies chew on whatever they can get their mouths on - for many reasons. Mainly, they are curious - and much like human babies, this is how they explore and learn about their world. They also chew because they are teething or because they are bored.
Make sure you provide plenty of chew toys. Give him a variety of toys to choose from so that when he chews on a forbidden object you can say "NO!" with a firm matter-of-fact voice and give him a toy. When he chews on his toys, praise him. If he continues to chew on... say... your favourite pair of leather shoes, treat it with a bitter tasting product such as "Bitter Apple" (available at pet stores).
Chewing is important for the health of your puppy's teeth and gums.
Tempt him. After you have taught him what he can chew and what he can't chew, it is time to put him to the test. Place tempting no-no's near his okay-to-chew toys. Pretend you are not watching him. When he begins to put a forbidden object in his mouth, tell him "no" in your firm voice. You then need to leave the room, but watch him from around the corner. If you see him put the forbidden object in his mouth again, quickly correct him. Offer him his toy and if he accepts it, praise him and tell him "go get your toy, good boy/girl." Later that will translate into another form of communication with your pet: Saying "go get your toy" when it is playtime will tell him to retrieve his toy and bring it to you, or at least into your vicinity.
Make certain your puppy gets plenty of exercise to burn off energy.