Socialization is very important. Dogs that have not been properly socialized are much more likely to develop behavioral issues, such as aggression. There is a definite window of time for socializing puppies: it is best done when Fido is between 3 and 12 weeks old. Make sure your puppy is current on shots and vaccinations, and then take time to expose him to new people, sights, and sounds. Also, let your canine buddy interact and play with safe, friendly dogs. Be sure not to overwhelm the little guy: you don’t want to scare him!
Training is very much on the agenda for Fido’s first year. Housebreaking is of course crucial, and Fido should start ‘school’ immediately. Crate training is also recommended, and works well in conjunction with housebreaking. Be firm, patient, and consistent, and always use positive reinforcement for good behavior, rather than punishing mistakes. Make sure to reward little Fido with treats and praise when he goes potty outside! Your furbaby should also learn the five basic commands, which are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Work with him daily in short sessions, and make sure he has mastered one command before moving on to another. Once your furry buddy has these basics down, you can continue his training, and show him more commands or some cute tricks.
Nip any bad habits in the bud. For instance, if you don’t want your four-legged pal on the couch, address his behavior every time he gets on it. Begging and jumping on people are two more examples of bad doggy manners that are best corrected early. Also, if little Fido is going to grow into a fairly large dog, you may not want to encourage him to jump on your lap!
Do you have questions about puppy care? Does Fido need shots or spay/neuter surgery? Contact us, your Leesburg, VA veterinary clinic!