Don’t treat a puppy like an old dog. Treat him the same way you would a new baby, with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch. The way you treat a puppy between the ages of 6 to 12 weeks is critical to his socialization. The following tips may help:
- If you normally work all day, don’t bring a puppy home while you are on vacation. While the idea of being able to spend a lot of time with him may be tempting, you should acclimate him to your normal daily routine as soon as possible.
- Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him or her on a regular basis.
- When you are unable to supervise the puppy, he should be in his crate so as not to get into trouble.
- An excellent way to supervise your puppy when out of his create is to attach a lunge line of approximately 6 feet to his collar and tie the other end on you. This way, you know where your puppy is at all times. When this gets to be too much trouble, he should go in his crate.
- Be alert for signs (sniffling and circling) that your puppy has to go to the bathroom, then take him or her outside immediately.
- When taking him outside, take him to the same area each day.
- Don’t punch an accident – never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won’t understand and may learn to go to the bathroom only when you are out of sight.
- Praise your puppy every time he or she goes outside.
- Feed your puppy a food formula that is designed for puppies (they need a nutritious and highly digestible food).