..... the workshop helped me to realise that we should think more in terms of how dogs see and experience our actions, our communication...  

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A puppy? not just for Christmas
Decision | Preparations | The drive home | @ home.... | Do's and Don'ts | Children and Puppies/Dogs |
Here are a few “Do and Don’ts”
  • Remember to be calm, convincing and consistent. Be a good role model for your dog
  • The puppy will still sleep a lot - puppies sleeps +/-20 hours or more er 24 hours.
  • If you have children, keep kids toys out of reach as the puppy will not know the difference between his  and theirs.
  • Only leave the puppy unattended if in a safe and dog proofed space – once the puppy knows it is safe on his own, try not to be away for longer than 2 hours – this can gradually be extended.
  • If the puppy is doing something undesirable, whether chewing a piece of furniture, a shoe, pulling the bottom of a curtain .. Distract him by giving him/throwing a good chewable toy.. 
  • Always take him out to toilet as soon as he wakes up, after playtime and +/- straight after food.
  • NEVER play tug-of- war with your puppy or dog
  • Do NOT let the puppy/dog get over-exited.. just wait until he is "quiet" (wihtout a word or looking at him) once he is "quiet" put the bowl down and walk away - let him eat in peace.
  • Water –  always have water available for your puppy/dog.(With a puppy you may need to keep levels low and refilled often as he may play/topple the bowl often!).
  • Do not leave the puppy in the sun with nowhere else to go – he must have shade but no drafts (puppies are susceptible to colds)
  • Never ask your dog to come to you and then do something he does not like, your dog may never come again!  Make the request to “come" to you positive-every time.
  • Do FAMILIARISE your puppy as soon as possible with lots of sounds and sights by taking him with you in the car ... in your arms... Do this calmly and do not force anything on your puppy (eg sit in front of a school playground - not in the middle of the kids - where the pup can hear and see the kids rushing around but will not be frightened by them).  Take him out often and for very short different experiences - the more often you do it the better it is...  but do not let him become overwhelmed.  In this way, you will have allowed your puppy to know that it is safe to be out there with you....and he will trust you to make the right decisions... slowly but surely in this way you will "vaccinate" him allowing him to cope with every day life.
  • If you have a fenced in garden allow him time to experience "is it a bird, a plane... superman?"
  • Remember our puppies (and dogs for that matter) watch and observe us constantly, they are therefore learning all the time and we may therefore often "teach" a puppy something inadvertantly.
  • A curious puppy is a HEALTHY puppy so let him explore and discover.  He will use his mouth to do this so it is up to ou to make sure he can do this securely.  Offer him lots of safe things to chew, cardboard boxes are great so are tied up old tea towels... your imigination is the limit ..
  • Do not say “NO”to him, it frustrates and stresses him, makes us angry and frustrated, whilst giving him attention and therefore inadvertently we are “reinforcing” that behaviour.
  • Give him a balanced life in terms of both mental and physical excercice.  Remember no walks before he is 3 months and then you start with +/- 10 minutes and add +/- 5 minutes per month until 6 months.  
  • Only use a harness and long lead (minimum 3 metres) when out on walks (if not in a secure area).
  • So MOST of ALL, Allow your puppy to develop at his own rhythm, let him investigate and make choices (within boundaries of course... if he finds a pair of shoes to play with it is not HIS fault but YOURS!), cultivate his curiosity that is how he learns.
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