Ditch the dish-consider feeding your puppy out of a food dispensing toy or puzzle to provide mental exercise and build confidence.
● Taking your puppy for a walk every day is a great way to exercise them but the walks should be short and fun. We want to tire your puppy, not build stamina or create an athlete! Allow your puppy to sniff along the way, you may only get 15 ft in 10 minutes but that’s okay! Sniffing is great for socialization and enrichment.
● If your puppy is hesitant to walk, try luring them forward with treats then drop treats on the ground every couple of feet to keep the momentum going. Often puppies are confused by the leash and collar at first so make it a positive experience by not dragging them or forcing them to go toward anything that is frightening.
● Puppies should go outside to potty after they wake up, finish breakfast, finish playing, wake up from a nap, finish dinner, and before bed. Make going outside to potty an enthusiastic and fun affair. When puppy potties outside, provide lots of praise while they’re going and give a congratulatory treat when they are done.
● Ignore any accidents inside that may happen. Just clean them up and take your puppy outside. Try not to be angry or punishing towards them as it will confuse them.
● Manage your puppy’s environment by keeping them near you and not giving them free rein of the house right away. Often they’re less likely to go potty inside in front of you so utilize gates, doors, and leashes to your advantage until they get the hang of it!
● The crate should be a safe space for your puppy to go when you’re away and never used for punishment. To teach puppy that it’s a fun place, consider 1-minute training sessions where you “play” with the crate by throwing a treat in then praising the puppy for going in and allowing them to come back out. Then do it, again and again, 5-10x a session to build the fun.
● Provide a special treat like a rubber KONG toy stuffed with a little kibble and peanut butter that’s been frozen and/or a little quick-to-eat but special jerky-type treat to create a positive association with the crate as a happy place and put the crate in the cozy areas of the house like the living room (not the laundry room).