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How to Raise the Perfect Puppy

Mira Gibson

Every responsible puppy owner wants to raise the perfect puppy. Trained puppies feel confident. Socialized puppies know the world is a fun, friendly place. Without training and socialization, a puppy will only grow to be a fearful and potentially aggressive dog. 

In this article, PuppyBuddy covers the 5 basic criteria for raising the perfect puppy.

HOUSEBREAKING

When a puppy arrives at his forever home, he likely won’t be housebroken yet. In other words, he won’t know that he shouldn’t go to the bathroom wherever he wants inside the home. 

“Housebreaking” a puppy refers to training the puppy not to go to the bathroom inside the home. Puppies need to develop the ability to “hold it” until their owners let them outside. 

Try to be both consistent and patient during the housebreaking process. Your puppy will probably have “accidents” here and there. We don’t know of any new puppy parents who successfully house broke their puppy without a single incident of their fur baby pooping or peeing inside. That being said, housebreaking your puppy shouldn’t take longer than 4 – 6 months.  

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING

“Positive reinforcement” means rewarding your puppy when he behaves in the manner you want. Generally speaking, young puppies respond well to positive reinforcement training, because it helps to focus them on wanted and desired behaviors. 

Can you use positive reinforcement to get a puppy to stop performing unwanted behaviors? No. There’s really no such thing as “rewarding” your puppy for “stopping” an unwanted behavior. The puppy will associate the reward with the behavior, and not with stopping the behavior. 

To help your puppy make the decision not to perform unwanted behaviors, negative reinforcement is needed. Negative reinforcement focuses on what the owner should do to the puppy as a consequence of the puppy doing something the owner doesn’t want him to do. For example, if your puppy keeps jumping onto the counter, saying, “off!” then taking your puppy by his collar, backing him away from the counting, and then saying, “sit,” is a negative reinforcement. Once this is done, simply release your puppy. See what he does. If he jumps on the counter again, repeat the process. Before you know it, your puppy will decide for himself that jumping on the counter isn’t worth the price he has to pay when he’s “backed up” and told to “sit.”

As you live with and train your puppy, you’ll probably notice that his good behavior far outweighs his bad behavior. Consistently apply positive reinforcement to the good behavior, and use negative reinforcement to eliminate the negative behavior. 

PUPPY SOCIALIZATION

Socialization is a vital aspect of raising the perfect puppy, yet not too many people place special emphasis on it. Yes, socialization happens naturally, but as a puppy parent, it’s also important for you to organize times to socialize your puppy to ensure that all the bases are covered. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What is socialization? 

Puppy socialization is the process of introducing your puppy to other dogs, animals, people, children, and environments and situations. In each interaction, your job is to closely train your puppy by offering positive or negative reinforcement depending on your puppy’s behavior. This will teach your puppy to know what is acceptable and unacceptable. 

The reason we suggest that you organize opportunities for socialization is because your puppy might not naturally encounter other dogs, for example, or children. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to organize a doggy play date or take your puppy to a park where children play. This way, you can closely train your puppy as he meets others for the first time.

BASIC COMMANDS

There’s no getting around it. Teaching your puppy to “sit,” “stay,” “lie down,” and other basic commands is the backbone of puppy training and raising the perfect puppy. Being able to communicate with your puppy is a precursor to experiencing the joys of having a well-behaved adult dog. Learning these basic commands has to happen during puppyhood since it’s difficult for adult dogs to change their habits. 

During the puppy training process, you can use positive reinforcements and negative reinforcements, as we covered in the last section. At times, using punishments may be necessary, but should only be used as a last resort since negative reinforcement typically gets the message across.  

MAINTAINING THE “RULES”

One of the most important things to do when raising the perfect puppy is to remain consistent. Never give in to your puppy! Remember, you are the leader, the master, and the rule-setter. You have house rules within your home. You have rules regarding when and where your puppy will eat his food. And you have rules about the furniture, and where your puppy can and cannot go within and around the home. The specifics of those “rules” can be anything you like. The point we would like to make here is that you must be consistent with the rules you create for your puppy. 

Puppies actually like rules because their nature is to please their owners and receive love in return. When owners assume that their rules are “too hard” for their puppies, or that their rules “hurt” their puppies feelings, things go haywire. Puppies and dogs generally don’t take things personally. And they won’t feel “mad” or “upset” if you consistently tell them, “sorry, but you can’t do that,” by using negative reinforcement. 

You never have to “get mad at” your puppy, either. Never hold a grudge. But have the attitude of, “Every time you jump on the counter, I’m going to back you up and make you sit. I’ll do this all day until you decide for yourself not to jump up on the counter anymore.” Then simply remain consistent. Your puppy will test you. Don’t cave, and you’ll be able to maintain your house rules in the long run without effort.   

PERFECT PUPPIES FOR SALE AT PUPPYBUDDY

PuppyBuddy proudly carries healthy purebred puppies. Our purebreds are registered with the American Kennel Club. We work with ethical dog breeders in Boca Raton and across the nation. And we’re open about the puppy breeders and hobby breeders we work with since they exceed our high animal welfare standards. All of the dog breeders we work with are USDA certified and have no direct violations. We take pride in our commitment to raising healthy, well-socialized puppies.

For lovable, small breed puppies for sale in Boca Raton, check out PuppyBuddy’s:

Our best hypoallergenic dogs for sale in Boca Raton include:

For lovers of large dog breeds, PuppyBuddy also carries:

That concludes everything you need to know to raise the perfect puppy! Here at PuppyBuddy, we believe that no amount of reading can compare to putting into practice all that you’ve learned. Are you ready to start training your puppy? 

Puppy training can and should be a full time job. Every time you go for a walk with your puppy, you are training him not to pull, to check in with you, to listen to your cues, and to respect other people and dogs out there. Likewise, every trip to the dog park is more than a chance for your puppy to play. These experiences help to socialize your puppy. 

It’s amazing, but older dogs really do train puppies! By exposing your puppy to other dogs, the other dogs will use body language and play tactics to give your puppy feedback about his behavior. If your puppy is too rough, intense, or over the top, the other dogs will correct him, using their doggy language.

To support your puppy training commitment, PuppyBuddy offers 6 Weeks of Free Puppy Training to all of our new puppy parents! With a strong program like our free puppy training course, you can easily raise the perfect puppy. The tools that you’ll learn from our professional dog trainers will help carry your own puppy training efforts at home. Customers who have taken advantage of this free opportunity have raved about the benefits. 

We hope to see you soon in Boca Raton Florida to help you pick out the best dog breed for you and your family!