Your very first puppy: Turning around bad habits

Bringing up a puppy is similar to bringing up a child; the habits learned in its early years will stick for the rest of their lives. Today, Bondi Vet shows you how to instil good habits.

If you’ve been following this series, you’ll have heard some great advice from Dr Chris Brown in Part 1 on what to look out for when you pick up your new puppy. In Part 2, we found out what to do when you bring your puppy home for the first time. Most recently in Part 3, we learned some excellent home training tips.

In the below episode, Dr Chris Brown explores the issue of teething and what to do when your puppy wants to bite just about anything.


What to expect:

Your puppy will feel some discomfort when his teeth start coming through. His gums may become inflamed, and you could notice that his mood is low. It will be natural for your puppy to want to chew things to alleviate the pressure of his new teeth, so it’s a good idea to be prepared to find a lot of your possessions chewed to pieces. If it’s important to you and you don’t want it chewed, keep it out of your pup’s way.

What to do to help your pup:

It’s inevitable that you’ll lose one or two things to chewing in the teething process, but you can offer your pup suitable alternatives in the form of puppy toys. Did you spot your puppy chewing on something he shouldn’t? Be firm and tell him, ‘No!’ and offer him a chew toy. Initially, give your puppy chew toys under supervision. If your puppy has issues with direct commands at this early stage, consider using a high-pitched alarm when he bites something he shouldn’t. This should stop the behaviour immediately.

Time for teething:

The teething process (and subsequent chewing and biting) should be done by the time your puppy is six to seven months old. By this time, your puppy will have 42 teeth! Get your pup accustomed to people looking in their mouth and touching their teeth and gums – this will help when you want to start brushing their teeth, but it will also help you track their teething process.

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Resist the temptation to give your puppy access to all areas

Another major challenge is resisting the temptation to give your puppy access to all areas of your home, such as the bedroom. If you want your dog to sleep in the lounge room as an adult, you must teach him to sleep there as a puppy. The more access you give your puppy, the more expectant he will become that places like your bedroom are also their room too.

Teach your pup good food habits

The kitchen is also an important area to get it right. We all love to slide a bit of human food under the table to the new puppy, but that can quickly become a habit, and it can get very annoying after a while. Try not to feed them from the table at any time, and if you have to, put the puppy outside during meal times. In the above video, Dr Chris uses an air horn to make the point that jumping up at the table is a bad idea.

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