Puppies are an exciting new addition to any household!
Learn everything you need to know about how to get your life with a new puppy off to a great start.

Puppy Socialisation

Little puppies are naturally very inquisitive and greet new experiences and other creatures in an open, friendly way. When a puppy reaches 16 weeks, however, it will greet new things much more cautiously, even fearfully. This means that you have a relatively small window of opportunity to introduce your puppy to his new world and you stand a much better chance of avoiding problems in the future if you have already exposed him, in a controlled way, to as many new situations and experiences in the early weeks as possible, while his curiosity is still strong.

House Training

A vital part of raising a puppy and to be effective, it has to be done consistently and with a positive approach.

An 8 week old puppy needs to relieve himself/herself every 1-2 hours when awake. This can be more frequent if being exercised, excited or having been fed or after waking from a nap. On average, he/she needs to go 8 times a day.

Keep a close eye on your puppy indoors. He/she will return to the place where he/she did his/her first wee. You will get to know when your puppy needs to relieve himself/herself. Nose down, sniffing and circling is a warning sign. Keep newspaper or puppy pads by your back door and praise/reward him/her when he/she has a wee in the appropriate place. Never scold your puppy for relieving himself/herself in the wrong place. You will only teach him/her to wee out of your sight. Simply place the puppy on the puppy pad/newspaper.

When training a puppy to go outside, stick to a routine. Don’t let the puppy out alone, go with him/her and praise and treat him/her when he/she does what he’s/she’s supposed to do. As he/she relieves himself, say ‘wee wee/be quick’ or whatever you feel comfortable saying as long as it is the same words every time. Immediately when he’s/she’s finished, praise him/her and give him/her a treat. Everybody in the family should adopt the same routine immediately when they see the puppy go.

Please be tolerant of accidents. There will be some and it is important to be patient and not undo all the good work by getting angry. Praise the good and ignore the bad!

Any urine in the house needs to be cleaned up thoroughly otherwise it is an open invitation for your puppy to go again on the same spot. Use a biological cleanser to remove the enzymes in the urine so there is no lingering scent.

Crate Training

A crate will offer your puppy a sense of security. When employed properly crating is helpful with house training, preventing destructive behaviour and teaching your puppy to settle and relax. Teach your puppy to love his crate through positive reinforcement and the crate will be his own safe place much like a bedroom for a child. It is a place where he can go and not be bothered and a safe haven when he is tired or nervous. Dogs have a natural instinct for a den and a crate is ideal for this. Some puppies like to have a blanket over their crate which blocks the view from three sides. A crate can help with bladder and bowel control as a dog is very reluctant to foul his den. A crate will prevent your puppy from getting into trouble when you can’t supervise him and teaches excitable puppies and dogs to expect and enjoy some downtime and encourages relaxed behaviour. Offering your puppy a chew, bone or stuffed Kong will keep your puppy happy, secure, relaxed and out of mischief for periods of time.

Choose a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down in comfortably and for a puppy a bit larger so that you can make a toilet area. The crate should be somewhere where both you and your puppy can access it easily but out of the way enough that it is not going to be tripped over constantly. Introduce your puppy to the crate gradually.

Your puppy or dog must have access to water 24/7. Purchase a water bowl that attaches to the side of the crate. Never leave your puppy in his crate with his collar on. There have been serious incidents involved puppies wearing collars in their crate.

Acclimatise him to the crate by throwing in a treat and leaving the door open so that he can enter and exit freely. When he is happy doing this you can close the door for a second or two before letting him out. Gradually increase the amount of time you crate your puppy for. Put a bed or mat that your puppy really likes in the crate and your puppy’s favourite toys inside. Essentially you are making the crate a nice place to be. When your dog is going into the crate willingly you can add a verbal cue such as crate.

Be patient and don’t push your puppy. Slowly and consistently is the key here. If your puppy whines or cries wait until he is quiet before opening the door.

High Value Treats

The Best Ever Liver Cake
High value treats are needed for training and in our opinion live cake is the ultimate training treat! No dog will be able to resist your charms when you carry a pocketful of liver cake! Try this liver cake recipe and see for yourself!

  • 450g raw liver – any but we use chicken
  • 450g granary flour (or gluten-free flour for dogs with allergies or grind your own porridge oats)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • One teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • Dash of water if needed

  1. Liquidise liver with eggs, water and oil in blender until smooth. Add to flour and mix well.
  2. Bake in the oven for about 45 mins at 180 degrees
  3. Alternatively put into a microwave dish and cook on full power for about six-ten minutes.
  4. When cooked, the cake should bounce back when pressed lightly.
  5. Cut the cake into slices or small pieces and freeze. Take out of freezer when required and defrost fully before use.

Note: For dogs who cannot eat liver, you can substitute fish or tinned tuna.

Children and Pets

This can be a match made in heaven or a complete nightmare and this will depend on the ages of the children and the temperament of the dog. Clear ground rules are needed!

Children and dogs should always be supervised by and adult. Both can be guilty of unsuitable behaviour if not watched.

  • No hugging or cuddling the puppy! Puppies don’t like it. Children need to be actively taught that their dog has feelings and is not just a cuddly interactive toy.
  • Your puppy is not a doll don’t pick him puppy up! This is a role for adults only and only if necessary. Most puppies feel very insecure when picked up. Feeling insecure can lead to aggression.
  • Do not disturb your puppy when he is sleeping. It is important that children realise dogs need time to rest. All dogs should have a quiet place that they can retreat to when they’ve had enough excitement! A crate or bed which is the puppy’s domain only is a good way of handling this.
  • Puppies need to learn that children are not fair game for puppy play biting and boisterous play. The puppy needs to learn that children are not siblings. Encourage children to do calm things with your puppy and avoid situations where the puppy gets over excited. Teach children to stay calm and still if their puppy becomes over excited. Tell them to “be a tree” and call an adult to call the puppy away.
  • No rough and tumble games or chasing games as this will encourage your puppy to bite and treat the children as a toy. Chasing games can result in children being knocked over or result in the puppy biting at clothing or ankles.

  • Get the children to play fetch, frisbee, football and hide and seek with your puppy. Your puppy will love these games forever.
  • Take your dog to a training class and get your children involved with what you have learned.
  • Get your children to feed the dog.

Second Dog

Treat a second dog as if it is your first dog. Second dogs are more likely to show aggression to other dogs on a walk than first dogs so get your puppy out walking on his own and meeting other dogs as much as possible. Spend time training, playing with and grooming your puppy without your adult dog present. Build that individual bond with him.

Play with, groom, walk and train your puppy without your adult dog present. You need to be more important that the adult dog to your puppy and in order to do that you need to build an individual bond with him.

Your puppy must respect his elders. It is not appropriate for your puppy to pester an older dog simply because your adult dog won’t tell him off. If you don’t discipline your puppy he will become like a spoilt child and sooner or later he will get into trouble out walking when meeting other dogs. Intervention between your adult dog and puppy needs to be frequent and consistent. Stopping the fun is enough. Don’t punish your puppy. You need to be the referee particularly if your adult dog seems to be too tolerant.