After making the huge decision to bring a new pet into your life, you, your family and your new pet will begin the adjustment stage. Every animal will go through an adjustment period (usually two weeks) after entering a new environment. A new pet requires a commitment for the rest of his/her life. Behavior problems are the most common reasons dogs and puppies are surrendered to shelters. After adopting a dog or puppy it is now your responsibility to teach that pet what you expect from him/her. Your new best friend needs your time, patience and consistency to learn what is expected. You will be building a relationship based on mutual trust and respect that will result in years of shared happiness.
Play biting is natural puppy behavior that can be annoying and sometimes painful. Puppies and young dogs need to be taught the appropriate way in which to interact with humans. If you teach or allow rough games such as tug-o-war you will be encouraging play biting which can lead to more severe and aggressive behavior. You should be supplying your canine with sufficient exercise and safe toys (indestructible bones and hard rubber Kong like toys). Never give your puppy/dog an old shoe or sock to chew on because they are not able to distinguish between old and new. When your puppy/dog starts to nibble on you’re hard or arm you need to find your deepest belly voice and growl “NO” then offer one of his/her toys. Always remember to praise your pup/dog for good and appropriate behavior and never hit or yell at them for unacceptable behavior.
To help prevent destructive behavior we highly recommend a training crate or small area to confine your puppy/dog. Give your puppy or new dog something to do in his/her crate or confined area such as a marrowbone filled with goodies like cheese or peanut butter. You could also give a nylon bone that has been boiled in beef, chicken, or pork broth and then frozen. These will keep them entertained for a while. If you are unable to supervise your pup/dog 100% then he/she should be crated or confined. This allows your pet to stay safe as well as your home and it’s contents. Always remember to remove your pet’s collar before putting him/her in the crate. Make sure that the crate is the appropriate size your pet should only be able to stand up, turn around and lie down, any larger you will be sabotaging your housetraining regimen..
Housetraining and Feeding
A dog that was previously housetrained may have some accidents. Puppies under 12 weeks have little or no muscle control so keeping them crated or confined will help avoid accidents. Most animals will try to hold it and not eliminate where they sleep or eat. You will need to put your new friend on a feeding schedule; this will allow you to figure out your pet’s internal schedule. You should be taking your pup/dog to it’s papers or outside when you first wake for the day, before you go out, as soon as you come home, after napping, playing and eating. If he/she does go on the papers or outside be sure to praise the behavior. If he/she misses or has an accident clean it immediately, do not yell at nor hit your pet - you will only develop a relationship based on fear. Consistency and repetition are keys to housetraining your canine companion.