I acquired a new puppy Monday, and I have been busy working her into my pack. She is a female mix, about 4 months old. I have named her Savannah.
I already have two altered males. My aussie mix Brooks about 9, and Baxter is a shepherd mix about 6. They are silently suffering her puppy assaults and bad manners with dignity and an occassional growl, snap or bark when she gets too rambunctious.
The most important thing when working with a puppy is to keep it occupied. I’m fortunate that I can spend a good part of the day with all of my dogs, but you can do it too.
- Socialize your puppy. Let her meet other dogs, people, children etc. Take her places that look and smell different – hardware store, parks, pet stores – the more the better she will be able to tolerate change.
- Start off immediately discouraging biting or jumping up. No matter her size. She has to know that it is not acceptable on humans. Other dogs will let her know what is acceptable for them.
- Puppies chew. A LOT. If you do not provide something for them to chew, they will find things – like your shoes, couch, fingers, etc. Redirect her to a chew toy.
- I have a children’s pool that I fill with water for “pool play days” in my yeard. If you have room, and if you have a terrier especially – a children’s pool filled with sand (or sectioned off area) is a great place to allow your puppy to dig. Put old bones, toys, etc. in there and let her dig around. If you have a digger in your apartment, there are toys that help your dog work off that energy.
- If you are gone all day, make a point of setting a playtime with her. Thirty minutes does wonders to help her control her energy and bond with you in a positive way, rather then being corrected.
- Walk your puppy. Even if you have 20 acres for them to run on. Walk with them daily.
- Obedience classes help to increase the dog/human connection, and help dogs work off mental energy.