Puppies are Not Born Knowing How to Sit!
July 22, 2012
Walk beside you on a leash?…No way! Running and sniffing is much more fun. Come on, let’s go! Puppies are not born knowing all the rules we humans have for living together. As a responsible owner, it is up to you to teach them how to coexist peacefully. When you come home from work, no doubt, your puppy is going to be excited to see you. So like any normal dog, he wants to jump and kiss your face. No self-respecting puppy would greet his new parent any other way, of course. Don’t worry; contrary to popular belief, he is not, in fact, trying to dominate your world. He simply wants to say hello. Now is the perfect opportunity to teach him how. I think there are a few basics every dog should know:
- Bite inhibition! The number one most important thing to teach your puppy is how hard to bite. Not that he can’t bite, but how hard he can bite. It actually is important to let your dog know how hard is too hard rather than not letting him bite ever. Why is this important? If your dog ever becomes scared or threatened the chances of him biting so hard he’d hurt someone is less likely to happen if he was taught as a puppy how hard he can bite.
- People and dogs are okay! Teach your little guy as soon as you get him that people and dogs are not a scary thing by immediately taking him out and getting him around people and dogs. Do not wait until he’s six months old to start. At eight weeks you are already playing catch up!
- Potty outside! This one is pretty obvious, especially if you have a lab puppy who will eventually be 90lbs. You don’t want him thinking it's okay to potty inside.
- Manners please! All dogs should know the basics of living in a human house. Say please by sitting, leave it, drop, walk nicely on a leash, settle, and of course, teach them their name!
These are the very basic things to start off with. Of course, there is more to learn, and the possibilities are endless with what you can teach them. Some good advice that I once got is to make a list of all the things you want him to be okay with as an adult dog, and start showing him all of those things as a puppy. Some great books to check out to help you on your journey are: The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell and Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar.