Realistic Expectations of a Puppy

Who doesn’t love a puppy? These are sweet, warm and cuddly. All of their silly actions make you laugh. You want to love them and spoil them.

However, puppies are also high maintenance and dog owners need to have realistic expectations of their behaviors. Here are some of the mistakes that puppy owners make that Greg Knows Dogs can help you with:

  1. Puppies are too young to be trained. I have heard many clients say: “Oh that is just normal puppy behavior” as ways to excuse a puppy’s jumping, whining, mouthing and more. Realistically, puppies are a blank canvas. Puppies are like babies in that they are born innocent. Every noise, every place, every person is new to them. They don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Puppyhood is the perfect time to begin training your dog, to lay the foundation to be a well-behaved adult dog.
  2. Puppies will try and train you. Most dogs are natural born leaders, so if you don’t assume the role of pack leader, they will. They will try and get you to follow their schedule, their behaviors, unless you educate them right from the start. Once Greg Knows Dogs teaches you to be the leader, your puppy will start following your commands.
  3. Puppies can speak English. Unfortunately, no dogs can speak English. They will eventually learn a few words, but initially it is better to teach them in a language they understand. From their mom and their litter mates they learn to use guttural sounds and body language. Therefore, when you start to barrage your puppy with “sit” and “stay” commands, he has no idea what you are saying. Eventually he can learn the sound of certain spoken words and relate them to actions, but this will take awhile. Whereas a puppy learns its own canine language immediately. Greg Knows dogs uses voice commands and body language so your dog will start listening. I never use shock or prong collars to get your dog to behave. If your dog does something good, follow it with a belly rub and a lot of praise. He will know from your voice tone if he has done something wrong.
  4. Don’t correct the puppy after the fact. Never correct your puppy after a misbehavior. He won’t put two and two together. For instance, if your puppy has an accident in the house, admonishing him afterwards will not do any good. Know that if you don’t have the time to address his misbehavior right then, you may need to recreate the situation later.
  5. Puppies should be crate trained. Without a doubt, crate training makes housebreaking easier. But there are certain advantages and disadvantages you can talk with me about when it comes to the training plan we develop.

Every puppy needs to know basic obedience – sit, stay, and come. They also need to be housetrained. The breed of your pup and its maturity will determine the speed of the progress we can make.

With your help, your pup can either grow into a loving, loyal, trouble-free pet or a spoiled, misbehaving dog. Remember that newborns can’t walk right away. Your commitment to education and nurturing holds the key.