We’ve talked preparing yourself, training and socializing, and all things to make it easier on us to enjoy our new puppy. For our last chat I wanted to talk about how to help them enjoy YOU. When you have a happy and tired puppy with their needs met all will be right in the world!
When looking to make any dog feel fulfilled I look at three things:
Body – physical exercise / health
Mind – mental / problem solving
Soul – genetic fulfillment / enrichment
If your dog is getting all of these things you are lowering your risk of behavioral issues, destruction, and overall frustration between you and your puppy. Sometimes if we’ve had an especially rough day I’ll noticed I’ve missed one of these three things.
Your puppy needs lots of free exercise. You do not need to work them out, but letting them move their bodies and expel some of their energy on their own or with play is important for growth and overall health. They will also eat more at this time than when they are adults. Talk with your vet if you’re concerned about how much or when to feed but I find with most puppies 12-16 weeks old it’s hard to over feed them.
Physical and mental energy are two different things. If you feel like your puppy never gets tired even after running for what seems like forever, they likely need to work their brain instead. This can happen through short training sessions or toys or play that encourage problem solving.
Most dog breeds have a “job” they were bred for. Doing this job makes them HAPPY. Not doing this job can cause frustration which can lead to behavioral issues. Research your dog breed if possible (add this to things to do BEFORE you bring a puppy home
) and try to find things that would make a good outlet for their genetics. For example retrievers may like to play fetch, herding dogs may prefer a larger herding style ball to roll around the yard, while a hound may prefer an enrichment style ball stuffed with smelly treats to find. If you don’t know the genetics of your dog just give them space to do things they enjoy! For some dogs that’s just a long sniff walk or swim, for some it’s hours of fetch and tug! This is about making space for your dog to have fun how THEY want to have fun. Not how we think they should.
After all of this you are more than ready to take on your 12-16 week old puppy! YOU’VE GOT THIS!
If you want more one on one help with your puppy feel free to
– Trainer Morgan