Oh, puppies. Those adorable lumps of fur. The early days of owning a puppy can be positively blissful. They sleep… and sleep… and sleep some more. But, all puppies must grow up. Soon, they start wanting to explore more— and have zero sense of what is expected of them! Here is what to prepare for as your puppy starts growing up.
Major Energy Alert
For high energy breeds— or even low energy breeds— the amount of movement that your dog might suddenly have might be alarming. They go from ambling aimlessly and tripping over their own paws to suddenly running at a high-speed pace, with seemingly no regard for any obstacles in their way.
As your puppy grows up, it will start to access those deep wells of energy that can translate into sleepless nights, scratched belongings, and major zooms.
This is a wonderful time to begin walk training! Figure out their energy levels, and at their most low-energy part of the day, practice skills like ‘heel’, ‘sit’, and loose-leash walking. When you get your pet from Cedar Pet Supply, you have the option of adding on lifetime access to a training hotline from a wonderful trainer. Expert help during these crucial years can make a huge difference!
During their high-energy times, it’s time to get your steps in! Take your dog to the dog park, on a hike, or on a brisk run around your neighborhood. By letting them release some of their pent-up energy, you can prevent major mishaps and behavioral issues later.
Lots of Chewing
No longer the tiny little ball of fur that they once were, your puppy is now growing bigger- seemingly by the minute! They might be enjoying their newfound size by chewing, eating, and biting things that they should have. They can now reach parts of the counter that you didn’t expect them to (bye-bye, banana bread). Maybe they have learned to climb on top of chairs and tables (sorry, potted plants). Their mouths are now expensive enough to hold— and tear!!-- your favorite leather loafers.
Here’s what you need to do to protect your sanity— and their tummies!
Dog-proof, dog-proof, dog-proof. Having a puppy is like having a baby that has a special arm extender, and jaws of steel. You can start living by the rule that if it is important to you, your dog will chew it. Prevent this by putting everything— and we mean everything— out of reach. Even an extension cord can become a piece of forbidden spaghetti if your dog is in the right mood.
Get on the same page with signal words. Talk to everyone in your household and make sure you have a consensus on what words you are using to train your dog. If one family member is saying “out’, one is saying “no”, and one can’t be bothered to look up from their phone, the puppy won’t know what is expected of them. By having a simple signal word, your puppy will learn to connect that word with their behavior. When they back away from the tantalizing object, give them some praise! Need help with training? When you adopt your dog from Cedar Pet Supply, you have the opportunity to get lifetime access to training modules and a training hotline. Now that is something to bark about!
Toys! Make sure that your pup has toys that belong to them, and only them. Make sure that they are toys that can actually stay together— otherwise, you are sending the message that shredding and tearing things are okay, and they won’t be able to distinguish between what is okay to destroy and what is not. Durable toys made from tough substances are a way to strengthen their teeth and prevent gum disease while they get out their urges to destroy. Check out the amazing selection of long-lasting treats and toys at Cedar Pet Supply today.
The Need for a Safe Space
When you first get your puppy, they will likely want to spend every second with you, whether that means napping on your or following underfoot around the house. While this is adorable, it also has the makings for some major separation anxiety when the time comes for you to leave them. This separation anxiety can manifest as excessive chewing (see above), whining, crying, or other bad behavior. The best way to prevent this? Crate training!
The long-term benefits of crate training make the short-term adjustment period totally worth it. After all— imagine how your home would feel if you didn’t have a bedroom!
Crate training gives your pet a safe space to hang out while you’re gone, and a visible place to retreat to when they just need a break. They know that they can sleep, chew, and relax during crate time. Providing your dog that safe space is a must.
When choosing your crate, make sure that your dog can stretch out and stand comfortably. Sizing up and getting a crate that will be suitable for their full-grown size is a great long-term investment. (Be sure to check out the awesome crates, beddings, and toys we have at Cedar Pet Supply!)
Expect the crate-training learning curve to last about two weeks or so. Your puppy will likely be very vocal, but remember that the crate is not harming them in any way. In fact, a crate does the opposite! It gives them a safe, comfortable space to retreat to, and they will soon learn this over time. One of the most important things to do when you establish the crate as a safe space is to never use it for punishment. You want your puppy to associate the crate with safety, fun, and rest— not with being scolded or as a scary part of the house.
Have the crate set up for accidents. Having a nice, water-proof liner underneath the crate will protect the floors (and your sanity!). Refrain from putting a dog bed in there until they are older— dog beds are just too chewable, and they are harder to clean up after accidents (and, there will be accidents.) Newspapers, towels, and blankets are a great way to go.
Give them some privacy, but keep the crate public. By putting the crate in a well-trafficked area of the house, you are assuring your puppy that they are not forgotten and they are still a part of the family. Putting the crate in a room upstairs while everyone else is downstairs is a recipe for an anxiety disaster. But, to keep things relaxing, provide your pup with a little privacy. Putting towels and blankets over the crate will create a roomy, denlike feel (and remember, dogs are den animals!)
Stop Into Cedar Pet Supply Today!
While the puppy stage can be trying, it’s just that: a stage! They will grow out of it, adapt to your rules, and become your best friend. One of the best ways you can set your dog up for success? Get them from Cedar Pet Supply! We have the healthiest, happiest dogs from reputable breeders, the best health guarantees in the business, and opportunities for lifetime access to training and health resources. Stop into Cedar Pet Supply today, and work with an expert to meet your new best friend!