• Sarah Groves

Top tips that every puppy owner should know - part 1

Updated: May 17

By Sarah Groves Dog Training - your puppy specialist covering Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea

Getting a puppy can be an overwhelming experience!

You make plans on the sort of dog you'd like and how your new companion might fit into your lifestyle - but sometimes ideas vs reality can be very different, and there's a lot to puppy ownership that no one tells you....

- The sleepless nights

- The worrying whether you will be making right decisions for your pup

- The hope that puppy will be social and confident


- And for many, many people - 'the puppy blues'

Here are just three common puppy concerns that I deal with on a daily basis, and what you can do to help!

Puppy problem #1 - my puppy won't listen to me! When I say 'NO' I get ignored!

This is a frustrating one for everyone.

The fact of the matter is, your puppy has probably been on this planet a handful of months, and doesn't yet understand your words or what you want.

Puppies are going to repeat behaviours they find rewarding, and at the moment, your puppy will be trying to fulfill a need of some sort.

So first things first, you want to discover what motivates your pup - once you find what motivates your pup, you will finally be speaking a language that they understand and giving a great reason to do what you want them to do.

Using this motivation, you can teach behaviours you want instead of the behaviours you don't want.

For example: Puppy is biting the skirtingboards and isn't listening to 'NO'.

It's likely that your puppy enjoys treats or his own food allowace, so use treats or your pups own food allowance to teach an 'attention noise' in a low distraction environment first, so that next time you can redirect your puppy away from the skirting board and get focus back onto you.

It's likely that you will see unwanted chewing because your puppy will be discovering the world with the mouth as well as seeking out pain relief for the teeth and gums.

Once you have your pup's attention, you can offer a tasty long lasting chew on a mat instead.

(More on how to teach your pup the attention noise coming soon!)

Puppy problem #2 - my puppy cries when I leave the room and i'm worried about separation anxiety

This is a common concern from new puppy owners - but let me reassure you that it is normal for a young puppy to want to be close to you at a very young age, and crying when you are in another room isn't neccessarily a sign that your pup is going to develop separation distress.

Infact, it's more likely that your puppy is crying out of frustration that they can her you but not see you.

What can you do about it?

Building the bond between you and your puppy is of vital improance right now, and we definitely want to minimise or avoid your puppy practising this frustrated behaviour when you leave the room.

When you need to be out of sight, for now give your puppy a long lasting chew or a feeding toy to keep them occupied.

And when you're not out of sight, start teaching your pup:

A) There is lots of VALUE in lying and settling on a mat/blanket/in a crate or plapen. Making this area an AMAZING place that your puppy wants to hang out in.

B) Independance. You can do this by hiding a tasty treat, chew or feeding toy in your pup's safe space when they're not looking, and then let them discover it in their own time.

Puppy will then learn that when they move away from you and into this space they get HIGHLY rewarded for it.

C) Build DURATION, DISTANCE AND DISTRACTIONS when pup is calmly lying on the mat/blanket/pen/crate.

(More on how to teach your puppy a settle on a mat coming soon!)

Puppy problem #3 - I want to make sure my puppy is social but don't know how to start

When we talk about socialisation, the first thing most people think about is the meeting and greeting of other dogs aspect - however there is sooo much more to socialisation than your puppy meeting other people and dogs.

I've created a free socialisation bundle on my online platform 'The Puppy Skill Up Hub' - you can check it out HERE

Check out my FREE puppy ebook - SOS PUPPY PROBLEMS UNLEASHED for new puppy owners!

COMING SOON - Top Tips for every new puppy owner part 2!

For this I would love to hear about YOUR puppy experiences and what questions/concerns you'd like answered.

Comment below or send me a message via Facebook @Sarah Groves Dog Training

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