What are some tips for raising a puppy?
Original Question: Just got my dog last Sunday and his activity level almost never decreases. When I crate him, he yelps right at me and I know that soon the neighbour will complain. I play relaxing pet music which usually puts him to sleep. Once he's awake and out of his crate, he chews everything in sight. I want to take him to puppy classes but that's at least a 45 minute drive to Port Elgin and because winter’s coming and it’s in the evening I’ll have to wait until the spring. He has some very good chew toys but goes from them to shoes, slippers, etc. I have to pick up everything and feel I can't manage all of this. Is there a safe thing for him to chew? (Eg. we used to give them 'rawhides') but I hear they're not safe. Please advise! - Lynne
Thanks for your question.
This is pretty standard puppy stuff that you are experiencing right now. In the meantime, I’ll offer you a few thoughts and tips for raising a puppy.
- Crate training your puppy is a great idea and what you are describing is a common response. When it is introduced they typically protest and cry at night initially. You have to stay disciplined and keep with it. The crate then becomes like a very safe den for them. Make sure you give access to it during times when you don’t want him restricted to it. You could consider putting toys in there or petting him in there. It should start to feel like home to him and often puppies will eventually sleep in the crate even when the door is open.
- Consider going online and searching for any other puppy training options in your area. These classes offer a great opportunity to learn how to navigate these issues and turn your dog into a happy disciplined member of the family. The social interaction and physical activity is also valuable for calming a puppy down in the evening. Think of it like he’s getting his energy out and will be a more subdued young dog.
- Treats are fine but in moderation and always clear them with your veterinarian. You want to avoid anything hard enough to hurt the teeth and anything that can be ripped apart or swallowed whole. Puppies explore the world with their mouths and they can certainly get into a lot of trouble. Consider ‘puppy-proofing‘ your home by picking up all these loose items that he can get his mouth on so that he learns that shoes and slippers are not playthings. Replace these with appropriate toys. Drop by a local pet supply store and have a representative walk you through the options that would be appropriate.
I recommend you look at our puppy resources and start off by watching our video about general tips for new puppy owners. It could give you good basis for some of the issues you’ll start to encounter. I know this seems difficult but you’ll survive it. Find as many resources as you can to educate yourself about raising a puppy. The work you put in now will pay off for years.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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