OMG. So you got a new puppy? Happy congratu-freaking-lations. What a great world you’re about to discover. I only wish I could meet your little smushy face love dog in person. Maybe I can. Comment and bring them over NOW.
Okay, so that’s about as much enthusiasm as you’ll get from a puppy. They’re all play and cuddle. Unfortunately, you have other things to begin right away as well—like discipline and making sure your puppy stays healthy. Here are some important things on every puppy’s schedule that you need to get figured out ASAP!
Exercise/walking your puppy.
Raising a puppy is damned hard work. You may start to think it’s not worth it. Do me a favor: relax and take them on a walk. This is a bonding and discipline exercise for dogs. They love the smells, the sights, and YOU! But you need to make sure your dog is behaving on the walk.
When I first got little man, I had to train Buddy to not bark at people. We’d go on a walk every day and pass this one auto shop right by my apartment, 2 Brothers Auto. The technicians would be outside, so obviously he would bark. They’re super great guys and have worked on my car many times, but Buddy didn’t used to like strangers. So every time we passed them, he would bark. It used to make me nervous and I was very wary. This is where training kicks in.
Feeding your puppy.
The poor little guy is doing his darndest to become an adult dog. But, puppies need to eat twice as frequently as an adult dog—up to 4 times a day. I only fed my puppies 3 times a day—just like a human. I fed little Buddy Man Purina Puppy Chow. To this day, I use no other dog food than Purina. It’s healthy, has fewer grains than most brands, both my dogs can eat it, and it’s fairly inexpensive for a good dog food.
Plan your puppy’s meals around your own day. The best times to feed him are in the morning when you get up, at noon, and then again around 5 or 6pm. Follow this schedule for the first 4 months of your baby’s life. Then you can start switching them to twice-a-day meal times.
Taking your puppy potty.
Oh boy, potty training your dog. I’m sure there are numerous books written on the subject. So obviously a lot of advice out there. I’ll try to boil it down for you. TAKE THEM A LOT. There, done. Okay, not really. But consistency with a time and a place teaches the dog that this isn’t just something we do all the time. Reward your dog when they go, and smack them with a rolled up newspaper if they mess in the house.
Training your puppy.
When buddy was barking at those guys, I had to teach him his first command, “no”. Make sure your dog knows early on which words mean what. For instance, the words “no” “yes” “bad” “good” “sit” “stay” “come”. These are simple commands that most dogs associate meaning with early on.
So there you have it. By creating a routine for your puppy, you’ll save yourself headaches down the road and ensure that your little bundle of joy grows up to be a dog that everyone—humans and canines—can enjoy being around! Establishing good behavior patterns early on will pay off in the long run—trust me. Once you have a full-grown adult pupper on your hand, you want them to be balanced and well-behaved. You’ll be proud that you took care to establish routines right off the bat. Good luck and send me photos of your new pup in the comments!