Ok— So before every Christmas season, I and every other dog trainer across the country advise folks against bringing home a puppy until after the festivities. Do people listen? Some do—most don’t! Trainers vent to one another about their experiences having to fix puppy problems created through mistakes owners have made by jumping into purchases or adoptions during the yearly commotion of the Christmas holidays.

Professional breeders will hold your puppy purchase until after the celebrations–and most reputable Rescues will place your pup after the adoption papers are signed, with a foster until the Holidays have ended. So you take pictures of your new pup and package them under the tree. The kids or adults can celebrate the joys of anticipation rather than the inconvenient but necessary tasks of attending to the puppy ‘twenty four seven’. Does that make sense? Of course it does!

However for those of you who didn’t listen, and brought home an innocent, totally dependent little creature—whose mind and character will be molded by every interaction with you daily, well probably made do as best you could. I really do hope it went well. However for those who found it tenuous at best and are looking for guidance–I’ve prepared a list of some basic suggestions from me, and a few of my other trainer friends for future consideration.

1. Making a choice

If you chose a purebred, did you research the breed? Being aware of the characteristic aptitudes, and attitudes of your Dog’s DNA is a must for a happy relationship. If not you may get some natural behavior which won’t blend with your life style. But whether your Pup is registered or a mixed breed—they all need lessons on how to get along in your house.

2. Crate Training.

I don’t want to hear anyone say—‘I won’t do that—it’s cruel” Well— you’re Misinformed! If you lock a Dog in a crate all day—I’m going to have you arrested—but if you allow your Dog his or her own safe space—a place he or she can go to be alone by his or her choice, I’m gonna know that you actually understand. That crate can be a great tool in house training—invaluable for taking trips with your Dog—-or trips to the Veterinarian. Check out crate options at the pet Store. A shipping crate is closed in—and nice and sturdy. A wire Show crate can be used by dropping a sheet over the back of it for privacy.

3. Feeding your puppy

The proper diet should be selected according to his or her individual needs. Age, size and sometimes breed will determine What you feed your Pup. Good nutrition is vitally important–it will determine his or her future physical health. All adult healthy Dogs should be fed twice a day. A very young puppy should be fed more often. The best rule for choosing a proper diet for your pup Is to consult with his or her Veterinarian.

4. Touch

From the beginning of your puppy’s life as a member of your family—he or she needs to accept your touch. Teaching the joy of being petted, cuddled, groomed and spoken to gently should be a priority from the beginning for you and your puppy’s relationship. You should be able touch your pup’s head, toes, nose, tail, underbelly, and everything in between without causing concern. It is a point of trust—gentleness is the key. You’ll get thanks from your Veterinarian when it’s time for that semi annual check up—or an emergency exam.

5. Obedience Training

That’s a simple term we use which literally means teaching him, or her how to best survive in a human world by learning the rules of pet behavior. I and every reputable trainer in our country—our world—our universe, teach the method of Positive Reinforcement. Enlisting the help of a respected trainer is the best way to learn the process. Your Puppy will gain lifetime confidence, learn to trust, and never fear the world around him or her.

6. Activities

When your puppy has reached the age of good balance and strong bones, you should find activities which you and he or she can enjoy together! The list of fun interactions you and you Dog can enjoy is long, and offers entertaining events for people and Dogs of all ages. Your Dog wants to be with you—what better way than being together in an activity you both will enjoy! Research your options to explore and increase the joys of closer companionship!

Raising a puppy is a great responsibility— and can bring a great amount of joy to your life! Man! Just talking about it makes me want to find a another puppy for my very own! Nawwww—I’m too old. Sigh——oh well.

Many Hugs! See Ya on Dog Talk TV!