Most people can’t resist a puppy’s ferociously wagging tail, tiny barks and energetic leaps—not to mention that oh-so-soft puppy fur! Puppies are so cute that sometimes it’s difficult to consider what you need to do as an owner to ensure they will grow up to be well-adjusted and happy adult dogs.
But research shows that a dog’s personality develops a lot in those early weeks. In fact, by 16 weeks, a lot of that personality will be starting to set in stone. As dog veterinarians in Egg Harbor Township, NJ know very well, there are some clear action steps you can follow to make sure your puppy is set up for a great life:
- Bring in some noise: Many dogs are afraid of loud noises like vacuum cleaners or fireworks. Though this makes for some entertaining YouTube videos, your puppy will have a happier life if you expose them to loud noises from a young age. This early exposure, coupled with rewards for a calm puppy, will help you show your dog that the noises are not something to be afraid of.
- Teach the value of touch: As with the noise phobias, you’ve probably seen dogs that won’t tolerate things like nail clipping or teeth brushing. Though this is a natural reaction to some types of intrusive touch, if you show your dog from a young age that touch is gentle and positive and not scary, they will be more likely to allow you to take care of those important tasks. To do this, gently touch your puppy frequently all over and make sure to reward them when they accept that touch.
- Dress your puppy to the nines: Another behavior dogs need to learn is wearing clothing and special collars. Putting clothes on your dog from the beginning will again allow them to get used to the feeling. Practicing this skill can also allow for some cute photo ops!
- Get out and about: A well-adjusted puppy is one who wants to get outside and see new things. To inspire this type of behavior, you need to practice by bringing your dog as many places as possible. The more you can expose your puppy to the places you frequent, the more it will become routine for your furry friend as well.
- Encourage your puppy to make friends: As you’re exploring your community—or as people visit you—show your puppy that it’s fun and not scary to interact with the diverse people around them.
Throughout all of this practice, make sure to give your puppy lots of treats, and consult a trusted dog vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ if you’re unsure about your puppy’s reactions. One veterinary practice that would love to help is Newkirk Family Veterinarians. We have over 30 years of experience in helping pets live their best lives.
Newkirk Family Veterinarians offers anything you could need for your pet, whether it be general checkups, surgery and rehabilitation, chiropractic care or dentistry. Call today for more information or to schedule an appointment!