We get this question a lot, and we have to laugh because even with good planning it always feels a little nerve racking to add a puppy to your family. In a lot of ways, a puppy is like a toddler who is learning how to walk. A little unstable, a little unsure, and lacking the natural inhibitions that can keep them out of trouble. A parent’s job is to patiently teach their toddler, and to guide with gentle loving care. It’s no different with a puppy. New pet owners have the same job and use many of the same skills: patience, gentleness and caring. If you have these three attributes, it definitely is the best time to add a puppy to your family!
Now, don’t get us wrong, there definitely are some things you’ll want to have in place prior to bringing your puppy home. One of the most important things is a good veterinarian that comes highly recommended and that you feel you can trust. Also, creating a safe environment for your naturally curious little puppy to explore is a must. Don’t forget about toys and games to redirect chewing puppy teeth and to sharpen their developing brains. Just like welcoming a baby into your home, your new puppy will need your compassionate help in understanding the rules, and people who provide this will be rewarded with a well adjusted puppy. Afterall, a puppy’s only desire is to please you.
Understanding what motivates a puppy can really help you a great deal when adding one to your family. Now that you are armed with the knowledge that your new puppy is a pleaser, you have the secret ingredient to a long and happy relationship. Yes, a puppy will make mistakes, it’s inevitable, but by retaining your role as a reward-based pet parent, you will be able to redirect those mishaps into positive learning experiences for you and your pup. There will be many opportunities for you to understand your dog, and to teach him or her in a way that works bests for the outcomes and behaviors you are looking for. Just remember that positive rewards equals a healthy, well-adjusted dog.
Also, if you live with other people, when adding a new puppy to the family, it’s helpful to get everyone involved. This is important for the puppy’s best interest. Make sure that everyone understands the goals for the puppy and takes care of him or her in a unified way. Sending mixed messages to a puppy is often a surefire way to create confusion, and that is not something you want for a new pup. We recommend a ‘family’ gathering where everyone is oriented to what the puppy will require, and how best to share the duties and the fun of the newest family member.
One of the biggest joys when you add a puppy to your family is sharing the experience with friends, family, and people who have, just like you, added a new fuzzy one to their household. That’s where the Social Puppy dog training app comes in! You’ll definitely want to download the app and join the community when you add a new fuzzy one to your family, it is an interactive guide that helps you raise your puppy. When you join Social Puppy you will create a profile for your pup and start the #12weekpuppychallenge journey where you will get notifications over a 12 week period. Social Puppy sends weekly goals, with helpful tips and motivation, for you and your puppy to manage and successfully tackle together, building confidence as well as a strong, positive and joy-filled relationship with one another.
The cool thing about the Social Puppy app and the #12weekpuppychallenge is that you are not alone! When you and your pup sign up, you’ll join a number of others who are also in the midst of training their puppies. You get to know the other pups, and can watch and cheer on their progress, and they will do the same thing for you and your dog. Also, when you post pictures of your new puppy to Facebook or Instagram, simply include the hashtag #12weekpuppychallenge and viola, you’ll be a part of the community on social media. If you’re anything like us and enjoy posting to YouTube, use the hashtag to connect with your Social Puppy pals, and you can watch our videos of our new puppy, Millie, completing her own #12weekpuppychallenge.
It’s an exciting time to add a puppy to your family. Knowing that you can have puppy training assistance on demand, and that it’s just a click away, can help you start out right with your new puppy. Now that we’ve given you a few things to think about, are you ready to add a new puppy to your family? We think you are since you most likely have exactly what it takes: patience, gentleness and caring. Oh, and a great sense of play too, because what we’ve learned with Millie: the more toys the better!