Before we dive into our guide about raising a puppy… From all of us here at the Pupster Passion team. Congratulations on your brand new pet puppy!
This article will share lots of handy tips for raising your young puppy into a dog you can live with.
But before we do that, we just wanted to take a moment to celebrate your brand new puppy.
All dogs are totally amazing, but let’s be honest…
Puppies are just the absolute cutest, funniest bundles of love, and it’s always amazing to welcome one into your family and your home!
How to Raise a Puppy Step-By-Step
Here is a list of vital jobs you need to tick off your list as you care and raise your puppy into a well-trained, happy, healthy, and easy dog to live with:
- Puppy-Proof Your Home to Keep Them Safe
- Consistency, Repetition, Patience & Positive Reinforcement are Essential
- Potty Training is the Most Important Job
- Consider Using a Crate for Your Puppy
- General Dog Obedience Training for Your Pup is Vital
- Start Off Feeding the Puppy Four Times Per Day
- Speak To Your Vets About the Vaccination Schedule
- Start Human and Dog Socialization Nice and Early
- Puppy Play is More Important Than You Might Think
- Exercise is the Key to Long-Term Health for Your Pup
So, coming up next, we will look at each one of these tips in detail so you can learn why they are important for your new puppy.
Tips on Raising Your Puppy (In-Depth)
Puppy-Proof Your Home to Keep Them Safe
If your new dog has not arrived in its new home yet, you should take some time to puppy-proof your home.
There are two reasons why this is important. Firstly it protects the puppy from danger. Secondly, it protects your home and possessions from your new puppy!
Some things to think about:
- Tidying up, hiding, or protecting electrical cords.
- Putting any dangerous chemicals, cleaning products, or tools out of reach.
- Removing any valuable items from the puppy’s reach to stop them from being chewed.
- Making sure your carpets are all well nailed down so your dogs can’t pull them up.
- Close off any small gaps or spaces that the dog could get stuck in.
A lot of this is common sense, but if you can give these steps some attention before you get the puppy, you will reap the benefits.
(Life tends to get very hectic very quickly for the first few weeks of your new pup!)
Consistency, Repetition & Positive Reinforcement are Essential
These are the core principles of training dogs:
- Consistency – You must be as consistent as possible in the way you treat them.
- Repetition – You must repeat each task until the desired behavior is fully habituated.
- Positive Reinforcement – Rewarding them for the good stuff they do is more effective than punishing them for the bad things they do.
Obviously, you will not be perfect at any of these three, but the closer to perfection you can be, the easier the training will be.
Puppies are simple creatures. You don’t need to overcomplicate things. Stick to these principles, and you will not go too far wrong.
Potty Training is the Most Important Job
When raising a puppy, potty training is definitely one of the most important jobs that you can do.
It should be one of the first things you do when you bring the dog into your home, and you should work on it every day until they are fully house trained.
Here is a quick guide to help you with housetraining young dogs:
- Pick a spot that you want the dog to use for their potty; it might be a pad indoors or an outdoor area.
- A few minutes after your dog wakes up, eats, or drinks, take them to that spot.
- Wait for them to pee or poop, as they do repeat your command word (such as “go potty”).
- Once they have finished, give them a treat and a lot of vocal and physical praise.
- Repeat this multiple times per day until it is fully habituated into the dog’s behavior patterns.
In a nutshell, it really is that simple.
The sooner you start and the more effort you put into it, the sooner your dog will be fully house trained.
Consider Using a Crate for Your Puppy
Many pet owners do not like the idea of using a crate, but in our experience, most puppies are fine with it, and once they get used to it, they really love their crates.
You are guaranteed to have some dirty crates to deal with at least once or twice, but having a crate-trained dog can make life much easier.
Here is a great video with some excellent advice on crate training for dogs and puppies:
General Dog Obedience Training for Your Pup is Vital
Dogs need to know their place in the pecking order. They need to have rules to keep them safe and rules that make it much easier for people to live with them.
So putting the time in to make sure your dog is well trained and obedient is highly recommended.
Fortunately for us, it’s actually a lot of fun working with your dog, yes it can be frustrating, but mostly it’s entertaining and ultimately really rewarding.
Start Off Feeding the Puppy Four Times Per Day
With a young puppy that has just been taken away from its mother and litter-mates, you should start off feeding them four times per day.
Once they get to four months old, you can drop the feeding down to three times per day.
Then when they twenty-four months old, you should only feed them twice a day (plus snacks).
We recommend that you feed them specific puppy food, as younger dogs have different nutritional needs from adults.
Be sure to keep an eye on whether or not the water bowl is getting empty. If it stays full, it could be a sign the dog is not drinking and this could lead to dehydration.
Speak To Your Vets About the Vaccination Schedule
When you get the dog from your breeder, ask them for advice about vaccinations, and then as soon as you can, take them to see your local veterinarian get started on this process.
The sooner you get them vaccinated, the sooner they will be protected from deadly diseases, which will mean you will be able to start the process of socialization.
NOTE – Please be aware that vet bills are often bigger than people expect. Owning a dog is not cheap!
Start Human and Dog Socialization Nice and Early
For a pup to grow up into a well-balanced, friendly adult dog, they need to be really well socialized as a youngster.
What does this mean? It means giving them lots of happy and fun experiences with other dogs and people so that they get really comfortable around human and canine strangers.
Puppy Play is More Important Than You Might Think
Puppies don’t just play for the sake of it. Play is actually a really healthy and effective training tool.
So make sure you allow plenty of time for your pup to play both with people and with other dogs. It will help them to grow up into better-behaved adults.
Exercise is the Key to Long-Term Health for Your Pup
If you want your pet to have a long and healthy life, exercise really is the most important thing you can do for them.
Exercise gives your dog two main benefits:
- It keeps them mentally healthy.
- It keeps them physically healthy.
Getting lots of steps in when you take them for walks, letting them run around with other dogs in the dog park, play fighting, running around the house, playing fetch is perfect.
NOTE – Not many dog owners are aware of this, but it is actually possible to over-exercise your dog, so please speak to your breeder and your veterinarian to make sure you get the balance right.
Does It Get Easier to Raise a Puppy as They Age?
YES is the very short answer! Just like raising a child as your young dog gets older, they are usually much easier to look after, and there is less work involved.
This is especially true if you spend time from an early age teaching them the house rules and training them how to behave, so they don’t get in as much trouble or make as much mess.
For example, if they are well potty trained, you will spend much less time cleaning up little piles of poop and puddles of pee.
(House training saves so much hassle and money spent on cleaning supplies for those little accidents!).
If you have trained them to walk on the lead nicely, then taking the pup for walks will be much less stressful.
And if you have trained them not to chew everything in sight, such as household items (making sure your home is puppy-proofed for extra safety).
Then you are much less likely to come home to your favorite shoes/book/sofa/jumper chewed into tiny pieces.
And yes, the nighttime whimpering will eventually stop once the puppy becomes comfortable in its new home with its new pack.
More Useful Puppy Raising Tips and Advice
We have shared some great advice from a professional dog trainer and her gorgeous Golden Retriever puppy Poppy, a well-behaved young girl, and a very good dog to finish off the post.
That is the end of this guide to raising puppies. Obviously, we couldn’t cover everything you need to know.
But we hope that it helps you care and nurture your young canine companion into an easy to live with, well-behaved adult dog.
Thanks for reading this post. Living with a puppy is a great experience; we hope you really enjoy it.
And please feel free to take a look around the rest of the site, where we have shared tons of great free advice for dog owners.
The Pupster Passion Team
PS – When raising a puppy, investing in baby gates can be a great idea for controlling your dog and keeping them in or out of a certain area of your home while still allowing them some room to roam (much better than a crate for long durations of time).