They’re cute and cuddly lovable little balls of fur — but they can be more difficult to handle than adult dogs. “Puppy training” is our number one category for questions at Cesar’s Way. That’s why Cesar decided to offer his top ten Puppy Tips, and more.

  1. Puppy proof your home before arrival! Hide electrical cords and cables, keep trash tightly closed, put child-proof latches on cupboards and closets, secure cleaning supplies. Keep clothes that smell like you picked up and secured in a hamper, and keep dangerous things in the bathroom secured — razors, perfumes, cotton balls, soap, etc… and keep the toilet lid down at all times.
  2. Bringing a puppy home: take her on a walk to tire her out first; invite her into the home after you still on leash, and establish it as your territory as you introduce her to it.
  3. Everyone remain calm, and practice “no touch, no talk, no eye contact” during the introduction. Let her off leash when you get to the place where she’ll sleep. This tells her “this spot is yours.”
  4. Establish a regular schedule for walks, feeding, and playtime, and stick to it. Make sure your puppy gets potty time every two to four hours at first, and five to thirty minutes after eating, which is when she’ll have to naturally go.
  5. Never discipline your puppy for an accident in the house or misbehavior that you didn’t catch her doing. She won’t make the association and you’ll just confuse her. Stay calm and clean up.
  6. Puppies use their mouths when they play; we have to teach them what’s appropriate and what isn’t when it comes to mouthing and biting. Gentle play continues. Rough play stops and gets a puppy time-out.
  7. If you don’t want the puppy mouthing people at all, redirect her before her mouth makes contact by using a chewy toy or a treat and get her to bite onto that instead.
  8. Establish a relationship with the vet right away. If you already have one you like and trust, great. If not, find one as soon as possible to start your puppy on a lifetime of good health.
  9. Consider investing in canine health insurance, especially while your puppy is young and premiums are lower. This can cover things like routine visits, vaccinations, and a lot of the major cost of surgeries, and make it much easier to maintain your pup’s health.
  10. Be patient! Remember that puppies are just learning the rules, boundaries, and limitations, and it can take them a few tries to get it right. A failure today is not a failure forever, so don’t get frustrated. Do stay calm and consistent and your puppy will get it eventually.

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