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  • Richard Chan

Puppies are soooo cute!

If you have never had a puppy before, you need to know that a puppy requires lots and lots of time, energy, commitment, and knowledge.

You either put in the time in the beginning to raise the puppy the right way, or you will put in lots of time to deal with the problems later, possibly for a very long time.

Valentines Day is not a day to give a puppy as a gift, either is Christmas or on someone's birthday.

If you do have a puppy, there are several things l would like to recommend, which speaking from experience, could possibly help to prevent a lot of headaches later.

- Firstly, please do not think that socialization is all about puppies chasing and wrestling with each other in a free for all fashion.

You want to raise a confident, strong, engaged, thinking dog, not a hyper reactive out of control dog who ignores you every time he sees another dog. A relentless dog is not a well behaved dog.

- Secondly, do not say hi to other dogs on leash. Saying hi to other dogs on leash is not how you build confidence. It is not how dogs should meet. It can creat lots of problems. You can raise an awesome dog without ever once say hi to any dog on leash.

- Moreover, please do not allow strangers to pet your dog. Many people do not know how to interact with dogs properly. Again, this will not help your dog to become well socialized; it can actually cause your dog to become anxious.

- Please do not let your puppy drag you on a harness (unless he is still really young) everytime you go for a walk. Instead of using a harness to make pulling more comfortable for the puppy, teach your puppy how to walk next to you so he won't pull any more.

- Please do not wait till his is fully vaccinated before you take him out. Show him the human world and expose him to our scent, sound, early as possible.

You can do all that without letting him sniff another dog or be touched by another human.

- Please take your puppy out to potty. Do not treat him like a cat. Walk your puppy, do not just use pee pads. Do not think that it is okay to leave your puppy 8-10 hours alone in a house just because you have a busy job. It is not okay.

- Furthermore, please leave your puppy alone when he first arrives. Do not ask all your friends, neighbors, and relatives to come see him. Just give him some space and advocate for him.

Please do not cause additional stress and anxiety by treating him like some sort of exotic exhibit.

He just left his litter mates and his mother. He is scared, nervous, confused...don't make it worst by overwhelming him with high pitch voices and non stop fussing.

- Most importantly, l know they look very cute but please please do not get two or more litter mates. You will have your hands full with one puppy. Having two is a very demanding task even for a lot of experienced dog owners.

- Please remember your best friend's dog may be the worse doggie friend for your puppy. Better to not build bad association and learn bad habits. It is quality over quantity when it comes to playmates. If you are not sure, don't. It is your job to screen who get to interact with your puppy.

- It is not true that your dog needs to meet lots of dogs or else he will become aggressive or fearful.

A very large percentage of dogs that came to me for reactivity/aggression issues had been extensively "socialized" in dog parks and other similar puppy group settings.

- Lastly, freedom is to be earned. Misplaced and unearned freedom at an early age could spell disaster.

Please train yourself to look at your puppy as a dog, not a stuffed animal or a human baby. Do not think it is mean to put him in a crate.

If you are a responsible owner, you will give your puppy lots of guidance early on so he can integrate into our world seamlessly.

Put a line on him at all time in the house, and put him in the crate when you cannot watch him. No free roaming.

Teach him how to properly behave now so he can enjoy massive freedom as he matures.


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