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Puppy Care and Training

You have a new puppy, Congratulations! But now what do you do? First read Bringing Home a New Puppy courtesy of the BellaChi's Chihuahuas. This will give you important information about your first days at home with the puppy and what to expect.

Important things to Remember with a new puppy. . .

Vaccinations are not highly protective until the LAST shot in the series at 16-20 weeks of age.
  • To keep your pet protected you should not expose him to other dogs, yards, walks, relatives homes, pet stores, puppy classes or other public places until after the last vaccine has been given
  • Puppies are cute and everyone wants to see them and show them off, but the parvo virus can live in the ground for over 5 years. If you puppy walks passed a spot where a dog with parvo pooped 3 years ago, and then licks his paw, he can become sick. Keeping your puppy indoors is the only way to keep him protected.
  • Puppies should not leave mom until they are 8-10 weeks old. By staying with mom this long they are further protected from disease.
  • The puppy vaccination should be boosted every 3 weeks. It is important to have the boosters to the puppy can develop and build up proper antibodies to protect him when he does start going out
  • When going to the veterinarian for vaccinations, keep the puppy in a crate or in your arms, don't let him walk on the yard around the vet clinic, in the parking lot, or socialize with other pets in the waiting room.
  • If you don't want it chewed on, don't give it to the puppy
  • Puppies are teething. They will chew on everything they find. If you don't want your new shoes chewed up, don't leave them on the floor, and don't give the puppy an old shoe to chew on. Puppies can not tell the difference between old and new, they believe that if they can chew on the old one they can chew on the new one
  • Make sure your puppy has many appropriate teething toys to chew on. If he gets ahold of something he is not supposed to chew on, take it away, tell him "NO" sternly, and give him an appropriate toy. When he starts chewing on it, say "Good Dog".
  • Puppies will swallow anything they can. Give them toys that are appropriate for their size. Do not give them something too small that they can swallow. If a toy is missing, and your puppy if vomiting. Seek veterinary help immediately, and let the veterinarian know about the toy.
  • Don't let the puppy have strings. Strings are extremely dangerous and bind the intestine causing serious problems that can only be fixed with surgery. Puppies like to shred and swallow everything!
  • Training Tips
  • Puppies remember everything. The number one training tip is BE CONSISTENT. IF it was ok just one time, then the puppy will want to do it again and again.
  • Discuss what will be permitted and wont be permitted with all family member before you bring the puppy home and come to an agreement on the commands you will use.
  • Start training right away, if the puppy is not going to be allowed in certain areas make sure he knows the boundaries the first time he gets near those forbidden areas.
  • Don't change the rules - If you don't want the puppy to jump on you as an adult, don't let him jump on you as a puppy. If you don't want the puppy to beg, don't feed him food from the table.
  • There are times when a dog may need to be in a crate. They may have to be confined when you are traveling on a plane with your dog. They may have to be confined in someone elses home if you have to leave yours for a power outage, water leak or natural disaster. They may pull a muscle or break a bone and have to be in a crate to heal properly. Crate training is extremely valuable for ALL dogs, and best learned as a puppy. Crate training can be very helpful in housebreaking the puppy as well. Make sure you puppy is comfortably in the crate and toys and chew toys to play with. Leave the crate open and let the puppy to have access to it at all times, not just when he is locked in it. Get your puppy used to the crate by feeding him it with the door open. Make the crate a happy safe place for your puppy.
  • Spend a lot of time playing with your puppies feet, mouth and ears. You can trim the tips of his nails every 2 weeks to get him used to toe nail trims. The more you do this as a puppy, the easier it will be to trim nails, wash paws, check teeth, grab the baby's pacifier out of the dog's mouth, or treat his ears for an ear infection when he gets to be older.
  • Puppies should not be allowed to go out the door or jump out of the car ahead of you. Teaching your puppy to wait for you to give the command before they can go out the door will prevent him from running out when visitors or other people come to the door.
  • Never train or encourage your puppy to be aggressive! Dogs are very loyal by nature, they do not need to be taught to protect you. Build a loving, nurturing relationship with your dog and he will naturally protect you and your home.
  • Socializing
  • Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, Socializing should be your biggest focus. The puppy needs to get used to strangers and family members coming up to him, petting him, holding his feet, holding his nose and mouth, rubbing his ears. Keep treats with you and let every new person that the puppy meets give him a treat.
  • The more animals you can expose him to the better. Arrange puppy play dates with other new puppy owners, introduce him to the neighbors cats. If a relative has a farm take him over to meet the chickens. Make sure to have him on a leash and correct any aggressive behavior, allow pets to play but do not encourage your dog to chase other animals. The more people and animals he meets at a young age, the less he will shy away from or be aggressive toward as and adult.
  • Expose your puppy to loud noises including the fire alarm, gun shots, and fire works. The more he is exposed to at a young age, the less he will be afraid of when he gets older.
  • Enrolling in puppy classes is a great way to get your puppy used to strangers and other dogs as well as teach him basic commands.