RAIS­ING A PUPPY RIGHT

Observer on Saturday - - Analysis & Opinion -

Apuppy will not be cute and lit­tle for long. If you raise him right, he will turn into a great dog. If you don’t make the ef­fort, you will have prob­lems.

Wel­come. He has been torn from his lov­ing mother and litter-mates and is feel­ing lost and lonely. Stay with him con­stantly and keep pet­ting and talk­ing gently to him.

Potty train­ing. On his first night with you, take him out­side to do his busi­ness and then put him in a warm, com­fort­able bed in­doors. Take him out­side first thing in the morn­ing.

Ev­ery two hours, es­pe­cially af­ter a nap, play, or a meal, take him to the same spot in the gar­den. Re­ward him with praise when he uses the out­side toi­let on his own. Rest. Pup­pies are ba­bies and need lots of sleep so don’t let chil­dren dis­turb his rest.

Chil­dren. Never leave a pup unat­tended with a tod­dler or young chil­dren. They are likely to break his frag­ile bones or in­flict other se­ri­ous in­jury. Mon­i­tor all child-dog in­ter­ac­tion un­til both child and dog have learned to play nicely to­gether. Teach chil­dren to think of the puppy as a sen­si­tive, liv­ing thing. Teach them how, where and when they can touch him and to re­spect his space. Rou­tine. Stick to a reg­u­lar meal­time rou­tine and feed 3-4 times a day.

Food. To lay the foun­da­tions of strong bones and good health, feed brand-name for­mu­lated Mealie-meal is not dog food. puppy food. Vet­eri­nary checkup. Get a puppy De­wormer from your vet and sched­ule ster­il­iz­ing and vac­ci­na­tions:Six to eight weeks – Parvo and five-in-one 10-12 weeks – five-in-one booster 12 weeks - Ra­bies Five to six months – Ster­il­is­ing 12 months – Ra­bies and five -in- one. (Re­peat these vac­ci­na­tions an­nu­ally.)

Com­pany. Dogs are ge­net­i­cally pro­grammed to live in packs and if iso­lated will de­velop men­tal prob­lems. If there is no one to stay with the pup dur­ing the day, don’t get a dog. If he has to spend short pe­ri­ods alone, get two dogs.

En­vi­ron­ment. Puppy needs a stim­u­lat­ing en­vi­ron­ment to de­velop in­tel­li­gence and per­son­al­ity: peo­ple and other an­i­mals to play with, places to ex­plore, toys to play with and chew (noth­ing small enough to swal­low), lots of things to smell, look at, lis­ten to, feel and taste. s. Let him meet friends and neigh­bours and other trusted (and vac­ci­nated) dogs.

Col­lar and lead. In­tro­duce him to a light, soft col­lar (har­ness for a small breed dog) grad­u­ally for a few sec­onds at a time while dis­tract­ing him with a tasty treat. Slowly in­crease the time he wears it. Now in­tro­duce a light, soft leash. Keep his as­so­ci­a­tions with these items pleas­ant. He should be ex­cited and happy when you take out the leash, an­tic­i­pat­ing a walk.

Pack mem­ber. Dogs pro­tect their pack, so treat him as part of the fam­ily so he de­vel­ops nat­u­rally into a guard dog.

Lead­er­ship. A dog re­quires lead­er­ship to give struc­ture and se­cu­rity to his life. His mother was his first boss. If no leader is pro­vided the pup will fill the role. This is usu­ally shown through growls, nips and other dom­i­nant be­hav­iour.

Rules and bound­aries. Ev­ery­one must en­force the same rules or puppy will be­come con­fused. Ei­ther he can sit on the sofa or he can’t.

Train­ing. Start train­ing early, you don’t want puppy be­hav­iours like nip­ping, chew­ing, dig­ging, etc. to per­sist. Use a calm, firm voice when train­ing. Never pun­ish. A stern “No” is enough. Al­ways use pos­i­tive mo­ti­va­tion. When he does some­thing right, praise im­me­di­ately in a happy, en­thu­si­as­tic tone.

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