You have a new puppy! What were you thinking?
I bet that thought has crossed your mind a few times already. What sounded like a great idea at the time is now racing around your home, peeing on your carpet and eating through your favourite shoes. Congratulations on your new addition! It’s a good job they’re cute, right?
You’ve brought a different species into your home and they have different social norms to you. They think it’s perfectly acceptable to sniff you and your visitors rather than go with the traditional handshake and they will wash themselves wherever they damn well please, while you feel the need to take yourself off to another room, lock the door and stand under a pathetically tiny waterfall. They don’t necessarily want to sit and chat to everyone who comes running at them when they’re out and about, actually, you probably have that in common!
If you would like them to be able to operate in your human family, you’re going to need to teach them what’s expected in this new culture they’ve found themselves in. You can’t sit and explain it to them as they have no idea what those sounds coming out of your mouth mean. Yet since the moment you drove that wriggling furball home and gently plonked them onto their new bed, you have been teaching them something. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
You see, everything you do teaches your puppy something.
You don’t have to spend hours training, actually, scrap that. You have to spend 24 hours a day… mentoring, coaching, teaching and being a friend. Getting a puppy is a lifestyle choice. The way you interact with them from this moment on will determine the relationship you have with them. You brought this little (or not so little) bundle into your life, so now’s your chance to make them a promise. Just promise to do your best and to be kind in the process. That’s really all any of us can do.
Just like with any relationship, there are testing times and there are miscommunications. However, at the heart of any successful relationship is kindness and patience. Your puppy will do their best to help you figure this out, so learn from them and enjoy them.
In order to do your best, you might need a few pointers. We have some top tips in our free leaflet and you can download it here.