I HOPE you have not purchased a puppy off the internet or pet shop, if so expect your puppy to have health problems.
If you have answered a newspaper advertisement I hope you saw the mother. If you have a puppy I hope your vet recommended a good puppy class for you to attend, if not then in my opinion you have the wrong vet.
Your new member of the family is cuddly, pretty and being spoilt!
Your puppy is making toilet mistakes and possibly starting to chew up anything in sight!
The main problem is if the truth be known you really do not know anything about your new member of the family.
It is well recorded that one of the most attentive times is when you buy your puppy. You will listen and remember what was told to you by the ‘breeder’ who often knows very little about health, feeding, behaviour or training.
Most if not all have no qualifications and the end result is that you are doing most things wrong.
Your next outing will be your first visit to the vet for inoculations and an examination.
You will most probably buy a collar and lead, believe me it will be the wrong type, and toys, please do not buy a harness.
Your vet should be familiar with local training schools and should recommend you to a puppy class which is vital for both you and the puppy’s future.
A vet that does not recommend a puppy class (many run their own puppy classes) is really out of date therefore seek another vet.
So what is a puppy class?
Many people do not think it important to go to a puppy class, however in my opinion it is vital to attend and is good for your morale as you realise you are not alone in your suffering.
There is so much you need to know and a good class will first calm you down as well as your puppy.
You will now realise that your puppy is perfectly normal and you will be given so much information about correct feeding, handling, advice on the correct collar and leash as so many of you do get it wrong.
At this stage toys are vital but again the correct toys and you will be shown how to play and exercise your pet.
It is important that the class provides you with strategies to get him to do what you want kindly and constructively, and show what is going on in your puppy’s mind when he demonstrates unwanted behaviour.
You now get to see other puppies and owners and will quickly realise that this is good for you and your puppy.
There are a number of puppy schools being run by excellent trainers but many have no qualifications at all. Often a good trainer is a lot more than a row of qualifications.
There are also many with backgrounds such as police and military who often find it difficult to transfer to pet dog ownership, in fact I have many ex-police colleagues who confess they cannot teach the public.
It is always a good idea to visit a puppy class and see if the puppies are being taught what you want yours to learn.
People and puppies must be relaxed and happy.
You must listen to how questions and concerns are addressed and whether homework is set (it should be), are there assistants to help with the class in case anyone needs one to one help?
Socialisation is very important as your puppy must now learn about sounds, smells, cars, roads and, most important, to be allowed to sniff and play with other puppies and dogs which are under the control of their owner.
A good trainer will also ensure you get plenty of homework and be assured they will know if you practice that with your new member of the family.
I hope you enjoy your dog as much as I enjoy my dog.
Yes, it does take a lot of work but think about a child; it is better they go to a nursery and once there the child learns to play and interact with others, this my friends is what you are doing with your puppy.