One of the best pieces of advice I have is to SET A ROUTINE for your new family member as soon as you can. Puppies (and adult dogs) thrive on routine. I think we’ve all heard stories, or witnessed ourselves: “My dog starts whining at the door around 5pm when my husband comes home from work”, or “Every day I take my dog for a walk at noon, and she heads for the door at 11:55!” Routine! Dogs love it. They don’t specifically know that it is noon, exactly – but they can tell that it is the same time of day every day and get ready for whatever fun activity they know goes on.Routine is also VERY IMPORTANT for housebreaking a new puppy. New puppies have very little control, so the sooner you work on routines with them the better. Get up: potty. Eat: potty. Play: potty. Eventually they start to learn the specific times when they go potty outside, instead of inside! It shouldn’t take too long. My puppy knows now she goes potty when we get up, after she eats, after crate time and before I leave for work. In fact, the other day, I was in a rush, and *forgot* about the potty before I left for the day, and she ran to the door instead of her crate! I was wondering what was going on, when I realized… she had to go potty! GOOD PUPPY!
Routine also helps for your pet’s mental health. When they know that “Ok, in the morning, after mom takes a shower, we go for a walk…” they are more apt to wait for this, than get all wild and crazy in the house. Routine makes dogs happy.
Hopefully, this post helps you on your way to raising a happy and well-behaved puppy!