Congratulations on your new puppy!
Your newest family member is sure to bring you well needed smiles and laughs. Puppies are a reminder of hope and the innocence new life brings. A puppy depends on the care of its family. Raising a puppy during a quarantine will allow you more time to spend with your puppy, but we need to create ways to socialize your puppy and also teach it to be alone.
The idea behind socialization is the puppy’s exposure to all varieties of sights, sounds, and locations in the most positive manner possible. There is nothing that decides a dog’s adult character more than the amount of socialization it receives the first 4 months of life. Though normally a time to meet as many people and dogs as possible, please uphold the recommended 6 feet separation during your socialization work. As a means of getting your puppy out into the world while following safety precautions, try sitting at the bottom of your driveway to allow the puppy to observe the world going by. Greet your passing neighbors from a distance! It is also best to reward your puppy with a treat as a jogger, bicycle, stroller, or car goes by; creating a positive connotation with the new experience. You should also take your puppy for walks, multiple times a day if possible, to further its acclimation with the world. While doing this, try to vary the time of day and the weather. As stated earlier, the more experiences, the better. Be sure to ask Oldwick Animal Hospital if your puppy is at a point in his vaccination schedule for such activities.
Puppies must also learn to be comfortable being alone during this time. Try to find a balance during this time home where the puppy has part of the day by itself. It is a good lesson for the puppy to learn that he cannot always have access to you 24/7. I have always said it is best to bring home a new puppy on a Sunday evening because the puppy will be dropped directly into your busy schedule, preventing it from getting used to the family staying home to care for it.
Young puppies also require a tremendous amount of sleep, so putting your puppy in the crate several times per day will promote sleep as well as it will prevent separation anxiety. A good time to put the puppy into the crate is directly after its needs have been met, meaning the puppy had been given food and water, had time to play or chew, and had been exercised / socialized. To assist in the timing and scheduling of hours in the crate, a general rule / formula exists: the puppy’s age in months plus 1 is approximately the number of hours that they should be left in the crate before being let out to be cared for again. A puppy can be crated several times a day and you should not hesitate to use the room the crate is in whenever necessary as eventually the puppy will learn to sleep through interruptions. The most popular place for a crate is the kitchen.
And finally, keep your puppy busy! My favorite toy for a dog of any age is a Kong. There are Kong toys designed for the different sizes and ages of dogs. The purpose of a Kong is to fill its center with a variety of treats to keep the puppy interested, such as with kibble, peanut butter, biscuits, green beans, or carrots.
I am here to help if you need me! I have trained dogs using positive methods for almost 30 years. I have offered puppy classes at Oldwick Animal Hospital since it was first opened and will do so again as soon as I can. In the meantime, I will be offering virtual dog training lessons for new puppy owners. Here I will be able to meet one on one with families Monday through Friday to work on housebreaking, puppy biting, house manners, and to start teaching commands!
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please email Nancy Suhr @ email@example.com.
Nancy Suhr, of For Christy Dog Training offers private, in-home training sessions as well as small group puppy classes and private training sessions by appointment at Oldwick Animal Hospital. Nancy can be reached on 908.797.7144. Oldwick Animal Hospital can be reached on 908.439.2470.