In a nation where more than 45 million households own dogs as pets, raising a puppy has become an integral part of American life. Pets now outnumber American children by more than four to one and are considered more of a family member (2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owner Survey). Following these few tips will help break a new puppy in to become a new family member
The first few days and weeks of a puppy’s life at home are vital. You want to make sure they get trained to keep them safe in the house and outside.
When a new puppy is brought in the house for the first time, show him around. Don’t let him wander alone because he isn’t familiar with the environment and may get scared or overwhelmed. Explore one room at a time starting with where his food and water are located. This can provide a sense of calm.
If you already have a dog at home, make sure both dogs are leashed. Don’t be concerned if they don’t get along at first. The original dog may feel insecure, so reassure him with a little more attention. Try not to spoil either dog too much or create habits you will have to break later. The more you socialize both dogs, the less time it will take them to become friendly.
A puppy is often unsure of collars, leashes and harnesses. It usually takes a few hours for a puppy to adjust to a collar. Choose a collar that fits comfortably, but securely. Be sure to check the collar weekly and increase size with growth. Buckled collars may be best to use as they’re quick and easy.
Once the puppy accepts the collar, put the leash on for a short time. Let the puppy safely drag it behind him to see what it is. After the puppy seems comfortable with the leash, pick up the handle and just hold it. Try walking the puppy naturally as soon as they seem ready. Shorter, 4’ leashes work well on growing dogs so you have more control.
When the puppy is comfortable walking with a leash, a harness is another great option. A “Figure-8” style harness helps prevent puppies and dogs from backing out of their harnesses.
Enjoy walking a puppy with the dual-connection Walk Right!® Front-Connect Padded Harness. This harness is designed to stop pulling while walking. The front connection guides the puppy by the chest strap and naturally redirects its attention without causing neck strain. Once the puppy is walking right, the optional back connection of the harness can be used.
Coastal’s Li’l Pals® collection is designed with comfort and style in mind specifically for those precious little puppies or petite dogs. Smaller sizes and extra narrow widths provide just the right fit for petite pals.