While they might be some of the most gorgeous creatures to ever walk the earth, be under no illusions – having a new puppy is not easy. Especially because we are our own worst enemies and will bombaries our pups with confusing information which can lead to terrorising behaviours. Here are some of the common complaints:
- Toiletting wherever, whenever
- Nipping (with needle sharp teeth)
- Jumping up (okay you might not be worried about that, but it is a problem)
- Stealing things
- Chewing your stuff up
- Crying when left on their own
- Not leaving your kids/other dog alone
If you are dealing with a combination of the above you might even be asking yourself whether you have made the right decision, bringing this puppy into your life.
All of these above behaviours are pretty normal. They are all part of a puppy getting to grips with life in a human environment and learning what’s okay and what isn’t. Plus adapting to our comings and goings, and establishing what they need to know about and what is nothing to do with them.
You see a pup’s view of the world is totally different to our own. Want to find out what I mean? Read this article on the true nature of dogs.
I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is that your puppy’s hellish behaviour isn’t likely to just get easier by itself (I’ve written another article on this here if you’d like to read up on why not).
The good news is that with the right boundaries and guidance in place, your puppy’s behaviour can significantly improve. Plus (potentially more importantly) you will prevent your puppy from going further down the path they are on and becoming a stressed/dominant adult dog.
Why that bit’s more important.
While I am really keen for you to get past this challenging part of dog ownership and regain some kind of stability in your household, I have spent over 11 years now working with a lot of dogs who have gone quite a long way down that path. Some who’ve been on it for many years.
What’s consistent with every dog owner that I help is that they love their dog (although they might not like him/her from time to time) and want their dog to be happy. What is also consistent is that their dog is believing that it has deep responsibilties for the overall wellbeing of the pack and is taking life much more seriously than they really need to. When we discuss this in detail, it becomes abundantly clear that the owners had wished they’d known what was going on sooner, so that they could have nipped it in the bud and prevented unnecessary stress for their dogs.
Where to start
A great starting point is to get yourself a copy of “The Puppy Listener” by Jan Fennell. Have a good read, discuss with your family and start applying what you’ve learnt. If you’re not seeing improvements after a couple of weeks, you might want to get in touch with a dog listener like myself for some 121 help.
If you feel things are already chaotic enough and you just want to get me booked in, then please get in touch. I still recommend that you read the book if time allows, but if you are at your wits end, I am happy to help straight away.