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Follow this checklist to give yourself peace of mind that your dog is safe when left home alone.

Keep them safe
Puppies are naturally inquisitive – it’s one of their most endearing characteristics, but it’s also a potentially
harmful one. Before you bring your new dog home, you'll want to make sure your house is safe. Follow this
checklist  to keep your dog out of danger.

Store all poisonous items out of reach
Put household cleaners, laundry detergents, bleach, disinfectants, insecticides, cleaning fluid, fertilisers,
mothballs, antifreeze, insect poisons, rat poisons and other items in cabinets or on high shelves.

Check your plants
Many plants in and around your house can be harmful to your puppy. For example, the seeds of apricots
and peaches, as well as spinach and tomato vines, can make your puppy sick, and can even be fatal in
large dosages. For a more complete list of dangerous plants, consult your veterinarian.

Pretend you’re a puppy
Look at your house from your puppy's point of view: get down on all fours and look around. Move or
remove dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other tempting objects that are in reach. Pick
up buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects, and anything small enough to swallow.
If your puppy swallows any of these objects, they may cause damage to the mouth and internal organs.
String and other entangling objects like curtain pulls may cause abrasions or strangulation.

Keep the toilet seat down
Puppies are often tempted to play in or drink the toilet bowl water. This habit can be very hard to break. It’s
unsanitary and toilet cleaner may be harmful if swallowed.

Unplug, remove or cover
Electrical cords and outlets in your puppy’s confinement area
Chewing on these cords can cause severe mouth burns, electrocution and fires.

Close off balconies and high decks
Puppies – and small mature dogs – can slip through openings and fall.

Buy a book on puppy care
Place a handy reference guide on a shelf in your bedroom, den or kitchen. You never know when you'll
need a quick answer.

Prepare thoroughly
In the last few days before you first bring your puppy home, give your house a good cleaning and remove
breakable items from areas where your puppy will be. Also, spend some time preparing yourself or your
family. Small children in particular need to know how to act around puppies.

The first week with a new puppy can be a fraught and frenetic period – but not if you follow these tips…

Week one workout
When you bring home a new puppy, there inevitably needs to be some time for adjustment. But in this first
week you can lay the foundation for a long and happy life together and make the transition as easy as
possible for everyone involved.

With any luck you’ll have planned ahead, so you’ll have all the supplies, food and toys  you’ll need for your
new arrival.

In addition, your house should be completely puppy-proof. So now all you have to think in your puppy’s first
week with you is about are the following handy hints to make the experience as stress-free as possible for
both of you.

Make time for your dog
The best time to bring your new puppy home is at the beginning of a weekend. If possible, take a few days
holiday as well to really give you time to acquaint your puppy with its new home and begin housetraining
and other training.

Name your dog
Agree on a name ahead of time and make sure everyone uses it all the time when talking to your puppy.
This will help him recognise his name and avoid confusion.

See the vet
Take your new puppy to your vet as soon as you can. Take with you any immunisation information you may
have received when you got your dog.
Make sure others understand your dog’s needs

Once in his new home, your puppy will take time to adjust to strange new surroundings and people.
Children can become especially excited, so explain to them that their new friend needs time out for naps,
and show them how to play nicely.

Be a leader
Simple things like always walking through doors ahead of your puppy and eating in his presence before you
feed him make you look like a ‘pack leader’. This will make it easier for your puppy to accept that you (and
your family) are in charge.

Puppy feeding tips
It is a good idea to bring home the pet food that your new puppy had been eating to make the transition to a
new home as easy as possible. If you do plan to switch foods, you can minimise digestive upsets by having
enough of the old food available to make the change a gradual one. Always put the food in the same spot to
establish a routine. If your puppy doesn't seem to be eating, try moistening the food with water to make it
easier to eat.

Be fair
Never hit your puppy, and never scold for something he did a while ago. Your puppy will have no idea what
the problem is and will think you are angry for no reason. Instead, encouraging the behaviour you do want
and discouraging the ones you don’t want is far more productive approach. Learn more about behaviour
issues and how to address them. Click here <LINK TO P02.03.08> for some pointers on this issue.

Getting out
Begin socialising your puppy as soon as your vet gives the OK. Take him out and gradually introduce him to
new people and other puppies in controlled, safe settings. It is one of the most important things you can do
for him. It teaches him to be a good citizen and gives him confidence and social skills.

Make introductions to existing pets
Introduce your new pet to resident pets in controlled situations – if the resident pet is a puppy, perhaps on
neutral ground where neither will feel the need to defend territory. Give each pet its own food dish and
give all pets attention to avoid competition.

Dos and Don’ts
Don’t bring home a new pet during busy times such as birthdays and holidays. The noise and confusion may
frighten the pet and family members are generally too busy with the festivities to devote adequate time to
help the puppy become comfortable in his new home.

Do make sure your entire family knows how to act, and agree on commands and rules. Complete
cooperation from all family members is needed, as when a pet receives mixed signals, it can become
confused and not know what to do.

Above all, do have fun – puppies of all ages love a good time! And when a puppy is having fun, it’s a fair bet
his owner is, too.

Puppies are born only knowing how to be dogs, so it's normal for them to jump, bark, nip and even bite. As
you will soon discover, most normal, healthy puppies go through phases (some of them more than once)
that can make you wonder why you wanted a puppy to begin with. But with the right amount of care and
attention, you can teach your puppy how to behave and grow up to become a model citizen!

Social Skills
It's important to introduce puppies to as many new experiences with people and other dogs as possible,
while they are still young enough to take everything in their stride. Their first big learning period begins at
about three weeks, when the eyes and ears first open and they start to explore the big wide world around
The next big jump is between about 7-12 weeks, which, confusingly, is exactly the same time your vet will
tell you to keep your puppy away from public places while vaccinations take effect. But even so, there are
ways around this apparent contradiction to ensure your puppy grows into a well-adjusted, sociable dog.

Developmental Calendar
If you can't take your puppy into the world, bring the world to your puppy!
Invite people to your home to help your puppy get used to people of different sexes, ages, heights, builds
and races. Encourage them to wear different types of clothing. Arm everyone with treats!
Ask friends to bring around friendly dogs that are up to date with their vaccinations.
Puppy parties are also a great way to introduce your new pet to similar aged pups. Ask your vet about puppy
parties in your area.

Car Trips
Take your pup out in the car for short trips. Not only does this get puppies used to car travel, but also gives
them the chance to see the world. It also gets them used to loud motorbikes, lorries, sirens etc.
Socialisation sound tapes are also available and can be a helpful training aid.
Think about everything your puppy may encounter in life and write a check-list. Then cross off each item as
your puppy encounters and accepts it.
Remember, don't do anything as a one off. Repeated exposure is essential.

Actions and Reactions
Whenever your puppy encounters anything new, act confidently as if there's nothing to worry about. Try not
to be too anxious or nervous yourself, your puppy will pick up on your signals and think something is
wrong. An occasional "good dog", a bag of treats, and a calm attitude is all you need. Constant and dramatic
reassurance will only serve to increase fear.

Out and About
Once your puppy's vaccinations are completed (10 to 12 weeks), it's time to step things up a gear.
Walk your puppy on the lead along pavements in quiet streets, building up to busy traffic areas.
Visit dog-friendly shops, pubs and cafes.
Take your puppy to a beach (first checking the local regulations) and as many other environments as you
can think of.
Again, remember to repeat the experiences whenever possible.

Name Familiarity
Say your puppy's name over and over during enjoyable experiences, such as when he is eating or when
you are petting him.
Never shout their name if you are angry - puppies must associate their names with good things.
Make sure all family members are consistent - if your puppy's name is Ben, use Ben and not Benjamin,
Bennie, or Benji which will all just lead to confusion!

Bite Inhibition
Your puppy needs to learn that it's wrong to bite people. All puppies 'mouth', especially during teething, but
this shouldn't be tolerated: continuing to mouth into adulthood can cause some serious damage.
Tell your friends and family to make a loud, high-pitched yelp and then turn away from the puppy if it bites or
mouths them. This is a much more effective way of getting through than a reprimand or playing more
This response must be given even if the pup does not hurt you - even gentle mouthing should be
The pup must then be ignored, to show bad behaviour means the game is over.
This is a similar reaction to that shown by littermates when they get hurt by a pup, so your puppy will quickly
understand that kind of behaviour is wrong.

With the right amount of care and attention your puppy can become a model citizen

Making your dog sociable is one of the most important things you can do. It’s also the best time for you to
bond with your puppy as you lead him through this crucial life stage.

Social whirl
Socialisation is going to be an ongoing process throughout your dog’s life, but the most critical period is
before six months of age. Between one month and three months old, a puppy gets almost all of his adult
sensory, motor and learning abilities, and what a puppy learns early in life stays with him for life.

It almost goes without saying that the more loving interaction you have with your pet, the better. So
include a little work in your play times and a lot of play in your work times. Make learning fun!
Spend time with your puppy

Socialising your puppy means spending quality time with him. So give him lots of attention and affection,
pat him and call him by his chosen name. Introduce him to your neighbours and people who may come to
your home regularly. Show children how to pat him.

Socialising your puppy with other dogs is equally important, but needs to be done in a safe, controlled
manner. To begin with, only socialise with dogs whose owners you know, and be sure the dogs have been
Socialising opportunities for your puppy

Your puppy will respond amazingly well if you take the time to introduce him in happy ways to all sorts of
people, places and things. For example…

Go to puppy school.
Visit dog-loving friends.
Take your puppy on errands with you, but never leave him in the car in warm weather.
Invite people over to your house, as socialisation is about creating pleasant associations with new events
and faces.
As soon as your vet says it is safe, introduce your puppy to the sights and sounds of his world. Make this
experience fun by praising him and taking along some dog treats.
Grooming and handling

Grooming and handling your dog daily help make him a calmer, better-behaved, more tolerant companion.
Make grooming a special time for you and your dog. So whether he needs it or not, brush him daily with
much affection and reassurance. He will love this time together.

When your puppy is tired, gently handle his paws, look in his ears and open his mouth. Use your finger to
gently massage his gums. This prepares him for having his teeth brushed. Praise him warmly when he
allows these things.

Get him used to all this early and grooming him later in life will be a breeze.

Utilise every opportunity to socialise your puppy. Make feeding time a happy experience by praising your
puppy for being a good dog as you put his dish on the floor. Considerable puppy-owner bonding can occur
through positive feeding experiences.

Feeding can also help you train your pup. As you put his dish on the floor, give the command, ‘Come.’ This
introduces your puppy to an obedience command in a very positive way.
Never forget

A little praise goes a long way in helping your puppy become a loving – and eminently lovable – companion.

Leaving your puppy home alone can be a distressing experience for both of you. A bit of preparation before
that first time apart can go a long way in alleviating any stress.

Combating separation anxiety

Separation anxiety occurs when  your dog becomes greatly distressed every time you leave. Scratching at
the door, chewing things up, barking hysterically are just a few of the signs. Most dogs want to be close to
their humans at all times and those that haven’t been taught how to stay alone may exhibit unwanted
behaviours. The best approach is to gradually adjust your pet to being alone.

Preventing Separation Anxiety

Here are a few simple steps to make your puppy comfortable home alone:
Start by introducing your dog to his crate. Crate him for short periods while you are present and gradually
increase the time crated.
Reward quiet behaviour with calm praise and perhaps a treat such as a piece of dog food. Start leaving
your puppy alone. At first, just a few minutes at a time and then gradually increase it. Limit your attention
when you are home so it isn’t such a shock when you leave.
Reward your dog with a piece of food and attention when he lies quietly away from you.
If you work, consider hiring a walker to give your dog a midday break.
Keep your schedule similar on weekends and workdays can help make things easier for your dog.
Plenty of exercise helps dogs who must be alone for long periods.
Most puppies aren’t ready to be given unsupervised freedom in your home until they are a year-and-a-half
or older.

Leaving and arriving

Do make leaving and arriving uneventful. If you make leaving a big production – lots of hugs and goodbyes
or asking if he’ll miss you – your dog will assume it’s a big deal.

When you return, don’t go directly to his crate and make a fuss except if your dog is a young pup or has
been left for many hours. In these cases, take him outside straight away as he may really need to relieve
himself and making him wait can lead to a wet crate. If you can, wait until your dog is calm and quiet, then
casually go greet him and praise him for being calm and quiet.
Signs of Serious Separation Anxiety

Most dogs, especially puppies, may whine or cry a little when left alone. True separation anxiety is defined
as destructive or disruptive behaviour, including tearing up the room, constant barking and whining or
housetraining mistakes every time you leave. This often starts immediately after you leave.

In such cases , you may want to consult a qualified dog trainer or behaviour professional.

Dog obedience is crucial for a happy pet/owner relationship. Learning a few basic tricks will have you well
on your way to successfully training your puppy.

Puppy Training Foundations

Motivate your puppy
As soon as you bring your puppy home, step into his mind frame. Dogs are pack animals and like to follow a
leader. If you act like one, your puppy’s biggest motivation will become making you happy.

Keep it Consistent
The only way your puppy will ever learn is if there is a clear and consistent connection between your puppy’
s actions and your reaction.

If your puppy does something right, reward and praise him lavishly. If he does something wrong, make it
clear you’re not happy or ignore him.  

For example, if you don’t want your puppy on the furniture, say ‘No’ loudly and guide him off every time he
climbs up. Then praise him every time he gets on the floor.

If you fail to be consistent, your puppy will be too.

There are no free rides when it comes to treats. Make your puppy earn every one of them.

It’s best to avoid handing out a food reward every time. Start gradually replacing the treat with praise.
Once your puppy has learned a command, give the treat every other time, then every third time, always
praising lavishly. Pretty soon, your puppy will work for praise and the very occasional treat.
Correcting mistakes
Dogs are not spiteful. If your puppy is doing something wrong, it probably got the idea it was okay. You
have to teach your puppy otherwise.

First, catch him in the act. Dogs can’t connect a punishment to an action hours or even minutes ago. Never
hit your puppy. Instead, when you see your puppy doing something wrong, say, ‘No’ in a sharp tone. When
your puppy stops, praise him and give him something else to do like ‘Sit’ or ‘Come’. Praise him abundantly
for responding.

Remember, training does not have to be harsh. With so many different training methods available, choose
one that best suits you and your puppy. If it doesn’t work, just try another one.
Basic Training
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