Your puppy didn't read that book!


In some ways, your first puppy is a lot like your first baby:

No amount of book-reading will prepare you for it.

Like children, every puppy is unique. That's part of what makes having a dog as your best friend and constant companion the rewarding experience that it is.

It is also a character-building experience for your children. There is something so very enriching about growing up loving animals. Dog lovers are kindred spirits, all of us with something intangible yet wonderful in common.

Nevertheless, getting from puppyhood to full-blown canine adulthood is a road beset with many challenges. You never thought you would be all about poop, but believe me, the state of your dog's poop is of monumental importance. Because if the poop's not good, life is miserable. After all, poop is what they do!

There are many behavior challenges that come with puppies. When that little furball first comes home, he is undergoing a massive change to which he must adapt. New family, no more brothers and sisters, no mom. Everything is different. The puppy is a little cautious at first, but it doesn't take long before the new wears off. The new family has been very nice, and the nature of the puppy's interaction with the family members, especially with the very young ones, may start to take on a new flavor. The little pooper that was so sweet a few days ago now has a sense of entitlement that rivals Brittany Spears.

If you've never had a dog before, I always suggest having a trainer come out to your house, right away, as soon as you get your puppy. There are so many things you can do that will help you have a well-behaved dog, and it's critical to get off to a good start. Even the layout of your home has an effect on the puppy's perception of his freedom. For example, you can use gates to set boundaries. Physical boundaries help you establish mental boundaries, or at least helps set the stage to be the leader in your pack, because as soon as you walk through the door with a puppy, that is what your family is - a pack.

If you don't want to have a trainer come over, or if you are determined not to let a six pound ball of fur run your life, then you better get busy teaching bite inhibition.

Yes, it's true and should not come as a shock, but puppies explore their worlds with their mouths, just like babies. But the big difference is that puppy teeth are extremely sharp and can be painful. Teaching your puppy that you and your children are bosses and not peers will help you get past this stage with as little pain and as few physical scars as possible.

Please refer to this fantastic article for assistance: Teaching Bite Inhibition

I also recommend that you download this wonderful and free book:

After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar

And don't forget…..The book is for you; the puppy didn't read it!