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How to handle your puppy

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Your puppy should already be used to being handled by their breeder and this positive experience should be repeated daily once you have taken them home. This will ensure they are used to being held and become well socialised, happy adult dogs.

When they are small, regularly look in your puppy’s ears, eyes and mouth, then run your hands down their legs and pick up all 4 feet and their tail. Remember to be gentle and if your puppy shows signs of distress or discomfort, stop straight away.

This is a great bonding experience for you and your puppy and it will also help the pup to feel more relaxed during visits to the vet or the grooming parlour.

Spend time with them

Puppies need plenty of love and affection to grow into well-rounded, well behaved adult dogs. It’s essential you spend plenty of time with your puppy in order to build a bond between you.

Cuddle your puppy regularly and let it sleep on your lap. This will make him or her feel safe and secure around you.

Where possible, take your dog with you when you go out, as this will help them socialise. Whether to the park (vaccinations permitting), to your friends’ houses or in the car, they will enjoy spending time with you. Never leave your puppy in a hot car unattended, as heat stroke can quickly be fatal.

Praise them

Use positive reinforcement to help your puppy learn what kinds of behaviours are acceptable and which are not. When your puppy does something good, such as using their training pads or responding to a command, give them praise and a treat.

Never shout at your puppy, especially for something that happened hours ago that you just discovered, such as a toilet mishap. Your puppy won’t have any idea what you are shouting at it for and may easily become distressed.

Exercise

Puppies have a lot of energy, so you need to spend a lot of time exercising them so they can burn it off.

If they have not had their vaccinations, play games at home. If they have had their vaccinations, take them for a walk or to the park, where they can socialise with other dogs.

Remember to be patient

Training a puppy requires plenty of patience. Give your dog time to learn how to act and behave in its new home. Try to understand that, even in the most frustrating moments, everything is new to your puppy and they are learning every day.

Try your best to remain calm, even when your puppy doesn’t behave the way you want it to. Remember that the dog wants to please you, but it just needs a bit of time to learn.

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