So you’ve got a puppy – congratulations, you’re living the dream.
But now that you’ve got that lovely small ball of fluff to care for, you have some training work to do.According to a survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by puppy training coaching app Zigzag, nearly half (45%) of respondents thought nipping was a behavioural issue.
While it’s obviously not ideal, having a puppy that is a bit mouthy is actually totally normal.
It’s very important that people are aware of this, given that over a quarter (27%) of dog owners would consider giving up their puppy if they displayed behaviour mistakenly identified as ‘problematic’ for their age.
‘This research is incredibly alarming,’ said Lorna Winter, director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter and co-founder and head of training at Zigzag.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: There are 49 domesticated rabbit breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
‘Over 3million of us are considering getting a puppy, however many have idealised views of companionship and simply aren’t prepared to put in the work when it comes to training or researching what is normal.’With that in mind, Lorna has put together some tips for puppy owners on how to train their little buds out of nipping.
Don’t just use hands and feet during playtime
Print out and keep this handy chart of what foods your dog should NOT be given.
Yes, it’s very easy to horse around with your pup with your own hands and feet, but it’s not a great idea.
Lorna says: ‘Never play with your puppy using just hands or feet (however tempting it is) as your puppy will not be able to differentiate this from their toys.
Keep toys handy
Further to the above, you’ll want to keep distracting toys within reach.
‘Always have toys to hand to redirect those teeth onto,’ advises Lorna.
‘Long, soft tough toys are better as they will increase the distance between your pup and your hand.’
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Forty-five percent of pet owners say they occasionally (or frequently) buy presents for their animals.
Make sure they get enough sleep
Animals are a lot like humans – they need their sleep.‘Sleep can also be a huge contributing factor,’ says Lorna.
‘Your puppy should have somewhere safe and quiet to sleep for between 18-20 hours per day – this ensures they are not restless and will reduce the chances of problematic behaviour.’
Keep playtime short
It will be harder for your four-legged-baby to control themselves if they’re overexcited.
‘Control playtime, so it doesn’t get too boisterous or go on too long,’ Lorna says.
Celebrate Your Pet at Every Age. Everyone loves a new puppy or kitten, says Dr. Becker. “They’re wildly kinetic, and humorous. An older pet is thinner, bonier. Their coats aren’t as soft, they might have bad breath.” But, like people, a pet’s needs change with age. They may be less active, preferring a leisurely stroll to a rollicking tug-of-war. “Our old retriever, who’s blind, still wants to retrieve.” Adapting to their changing needs will ensure your old friend remains a healthy and happy member of your family.
‘Keep your play sessions short and not too exciting.’
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