Ah, puppies – they can do no wrong. They love to see you when you get home and greet you by jumping all over your legs. Seeing him spin in circles and dance in the air for his dinner is adorable! And who cares if he’s chewing on the couch? He’s too little to do any damage. Then they grow up. And suddenly, the behaviors we thought were so adorable are destroying the relationship we once had with our pups. These 3 simple tips will help to create a balanced puppy and a well behaved adult.
1. Who’s really the boss? Puppies, in the wild, are taught what’s right and wrong by the older members of the pack, such as their mother and alpha males in the group. Now that you and your family are his pack, you need to be pack leader. Allowing your pup to get away with anything shows him 2 things. One, there really isn’t any behavior that is bad or unacceptable. And 2, you’re definitely not alpha because he walks all over you – literally and figuratively. Any and all behaviors that are not allowed, no matter how small you may think they are now, should be stopped immediately. A loud, sharp “no” will catch his attention and stop him in his tracks.
2. Burn it off! Exercise is a huge part of a healthy dog’s lifestyle. Dogs are used to walking up to a mile each day in the wild to hunt, roam with the pack, find new territory, etc. Moving around and being active is an inherent part of a dog’s life. Most destructive behaviors manifest from boredom and lack of exercise. Get out and play or walk with your pup to get that excess energy burned off!
3. Boss eats first. The alpha of the pack is the one who controls the food. If the alpha doesn’t want you to eat, you don’t, or at least not from his kill. This controlling of the food supply is an easy way to teach your puppy who’s boss in the house. Make your puppy sit and be calm before you give him his meal. If he’s not calm and is jumping around all over the place, he doesn’t eat. He’ll catch on sooner or later. And realize in the process that you’re the boss!