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Got a New Puppy? Here is how to get their behavior on the right track from the get-go

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Getting a new puppy is both a joy and a challenge, especially for first-time puppy owners. There are a number of common behavioral issues that occur in new puppies: excessive barking, chewing, chasing, biting, and more. Dog behaviors that are seen as problems are often misunderstood and therefore mishandled by dog owners. Understanding the underlying logic to these issues is the first step to solving and preventing them.

Fortunately for both you and your puppy, these challenges can all be easily prevented with foresight, supervision, consistent training, and good quality dog products to aid the transition process. When I got my first puppy, it quickly became apparent that we were going to have to work diligently on providing the right kinds of toys for her to chew on so that she would not go after shoes or dangerous electrical cords. Once she got the toys that she needed to redirect her attention, it became much easier to keep her away from the things that I didn’t want her chewing on. You will soon see that providing your new puppy with safe alternatives to harmful habits will allow you to guide their behavior and keep them safe as they learn and grow. Here are some common behavioral concerns for new puppies and suggestions for how to combat and redirect those behaviors:

1. Barking

As they do not have the vocal cords necessary to produce speech, most dogs bark, howl, and whine to some degree in order to communicate their needs to you. Excessive barking, however, is considered a behavior problem. Much like with a crying baby, rather than getting frustrated by the noise, you should think about what might be causing it. Has your puppy eaten? Do they need to go outside? Are they scared because you left them alone?

If you want to exert more control over your dog’s barking, you should consider teaching the “bark” and “quiet” commands. You will need to be consistent and patient to succeed in training your dog to be quiet when you do not wish them to bark.

2. Chewing

It is natural for puppies to chew on anything and everything, as it helps them develop their adult teeth and keep their gums in good shape throughout their lives. But that does not mean that your belongings need to be destroyed.

Provide your dog with plenty of chew toys in order to encourage her to chew on the right things. You should also consider keeping valuable personal items up and away from your dog. If you catch your dog chewing the wrong thing, you should quickly correct her with a sharp noise and then replace the item with a chew toy.

3. Digging

If given a chance, most dogs will do some amount of digging – it’s a matter of instinct. Dogs can dig holes for a variety of reasons, including to create a cool place to rest when they are hot, to feel less confined, to entertain themselves, to hunt, or deal with anxious energy. Once you determine the cause of your dog’s digging, then you can work to eliminate that source. A few good options to reduce unwanted digging are to get your dog more exercise during the day, fill their holes with their poop to discourage further digging, or sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper on the ground where they tend to dig.

If digging is unavoidable, you may need to set aside an area where your dog is allowed to dig freely, like a sandbox.

specially for first-time puppy owners

4. Chasing

Dogs like to chase things because it allows them to display their predatory instincts, which are deeply ingrained. Most dogs like to chase other animals, as well as people, and cars, which can all lead to unsafe and even devastating outcomes.  While you may not be able to stop your dog from trying to chase, you should certainly take steps to prevent disaster.

  • Unless you are directly supervising your dog indoors, they should remain on a leash at all times.
  • You must train your dog tocome when called.
  • Stay aware and watch for potential triggers that might cause your puppy to bolt: cats, cars, and loud noises are all common triggers.

5. Jumping Up

Dogs that jump up can be annoying and even dangerous. It is often attention-seeking behavior, so any acknowledgment of your dog’s actions provides a reward and enforces the behavior. The best method to break your dog of jumping up is to turn away and ignore your dog completely until he calms himself. When he relaxes and remains still, reward him calmly.

6. Biting

Puppies bite and nip on other dogs and people as a means for exploring their environment and learning their place in the pack. Responsible dog owners absolutely must teach their puppies that mouthing and biting are not acceptable behaviors. The best ways to reduce the likelihood that your dog will bite are through proper training, adequate socialization, and breeding practices that prioritize the wellbeing of the puppies and dog mamas.

7. Aggression

Aggression in dogs is exhibited through body language combined with vocalizations: growling, snarling, baring teeth, lunging, and biting. Canine aggression can be a serious health and safety problem, especially for dogs that live near other dogs in apartment complexes and neighborhoods. Consult your vet to see if there is an underlying health problem or seek the help of an experienced dog trainer.

8. A comfortable bed!

Just like for yourself, a good night’s sleep matters for your dog. What happens when you haven’t slept well? You are going to get up crabby, and – figuratively speaking – may manifest a bit of aggression, barking or biting!

On the flip side of things, when it comes to a dog bed, you need to think of yourself as well. If you’re dealing with a chewing and digging puppy, you would want the kind dog bed that they cannot destroy. Very easily. (Otherwise, add another chore to your list of things to do that come with getting a new puppy: replace the dog bed weekly and clean up the mess)

Here is our humble contribution to this part – after surviving this stage of dog ownership, we have come up with a bed that is both soothing, comfortable, and … virtually indestructible!

Your dog will love it: three (!) layers of comfort: soft, cuddly orthopedic foam (yes, THAT one!), plush, but tear resistant nylon and a waterproof layer to prevent smells. You will love it: it’s been over a month since any detected damage to the dog bed, and we re still counting! Plus, no zippers or Velcro, to make to comfortable for your dog to sleep in, and a breeze for you to wash when needed.

These indestructible dog beds are perfect for redirecting negative puppy behaviors into positive habits while reducing the damage done to your household. See for yourself!

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