Before bringing home your new puppy....Prepare Yourself!

Before you bring your new puppy home.....visit your library to read and review the many different puppy training books on a variety of methods and perspectives on puppy training. 

You'll find books available from many dedicated authors, each one hoping to help you be successful with your new puppy.

You don't have to feel that you have to follow the recommendations of any single author, but feel free to explore the many viewpoints on training and pick and choose the methods that not only appeal to you, but also pick the methods that you can actually use in your home with your new puppy.

An excellent book by the Monk's of New Skete titled, How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend is a worthy reading. Their newer book, The Art Of Raising A Puppy dwells upon the stages of a neonate puppy before it comes to your new home, making it a nice read, but not a must have training book. 

Don't pass up reading books aimed at the current dog owner who is having training difficulties because reading about those problems that were a direct result of accidental inappropriate training methods is invaluable in helping you avoid those very problems yourself !

Michael Evans wrote, People, Pooches & Problems that details in easy step-by-step solutions ways to resolve, for example:  the dog that won't come and other common training "oops" that need resolution. His steps, if followed, will solve probably every common training difficulty that you might encounter down the road with your puppy.

When you've absorbed every book on puppy training published, check out books on dogspeak!  Stanley Coren's How To Speak Dog is great. Dogspeak is another one.
If you've never had a puppy before, educating yourself is of paramont importance. Even prior dog owners can benefit greatly from re-reading texts on puppy training -- dog owners adding a second pup should benefit from learning about multi-dog environments.

Training starts the moment you take your new puppy home!  Don't wait!  Get started today!  Remember to be consistent!  There's at least a dozen books waiting on the shelf at the library right now for you, check filed under Dewey Decimal System number:  If you're on a budget, but prefer to own your books, offers books pre-owned at a discount as well as new. 

After you've brought your new puppy home.....if you took my suggestions to heart, then there isn't much for me to reiterate here.....but I'd be remiss if I didn't include a few reminders.....

Never let the puppy inadvertently injure itself, the couch and a bed are too high for a puppy to navigate!  The orthropedic veterinary's rule of thumb is to NEVER let a puppy or a dog jump down from a height greater than it's own shoulders' height to avoid injury.  

Playing with a tennis ball against a wall, or any other injurious repetitive action that creates the need for the puppy to be constantly "braking" repetively is known to cause damage to the joints.  Play with your puppy responsibly to avoid trauma induced injury.

Never over-exercise your pup, veterinarians recommend only moderate exercise until your puppy is full grown, which isn't until about two years of age for a large breed puppy.

Never pick up a puppy solely by its front legs, it can cause injury.  

Remember to bring your puppy in for its' recommended schedule of vaccinations. Be
prepared to provide proper veterinarian care when needed.

Puppy proof the area(s) that your pup will have access to before your puppy gets into trouble.  Limit your pup's freedom to eliminate accidents.  For tips on easy crate training, see Crate Training Tips.

Feed quality puppy food to ensure your puppy's proper nutritional needs are met throughout it's growing years to ensure proper growth, especially important in large breed puppies.

Don't be hesitant to modify the suggestions or concepts that you've read in books and adjust what you've learned to make solutions that work in your home with your new puppy. If you've researched puppy behaviour, you will be able to recognize dominance play.  Do not roughhouse with your puppy, what may be cute with a tiny pup is not cute with an adult dog.

And, in my opinion, it is never the puppy's fault, look to yourself to prevent whatever happened from happening again.  Well, let me re-state that....innate activities like digging, vocalization, love of life, dominance play and curiosity and teething - chewing  are all part of the puppy package, which is why you should be prepared to successfully modify or safely re-direct such behavior as it may be encountered!
Puppy training classes are available at your local Pet Superstore and are also held at many Animal Shelters.  They are a wonderful opportunity for the new puppy owner to learn basic training methods and are an opportunity to socialize their puppy.  Puppies must have completed all their vaccinations before enrolling in such classes).

Remember, Train-Train-Train and then Train-Train-Train some more! 

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This page is by no means complete nor comprehensive -- it's just lightly skimmed the surface of the subject of bringing home a new puppy -- my purpose is to point you toward the wealth of information readily available to you (for free at your local library) and at your fingertips online that will educate, entertain and marvel you if you truly love dogs.  

updated, revised April 2003, by Sandra Underhill, LabsToLove