Don't expect your puppy to know your standards, teach them what you want. Don't take good manners for granted, praise good behaviour and ignore bad.
Time spent educating your puppy now is an investment for the future!
Why do dogs make good companions
One of the reasons is that, like us, they tend by nature to live in groups. From the moment your puppy became aware of their surroundings, he or she became part of a pack. When joining your household, your puppy will be readjusting to fit into a new pack. Just as your puppy will rapidly become 'one of the family' for the humans in your house, from your puppy's point of view, all the people and other pets in your household are part of a new 'family-pack'.
Even at a few weeks of age, the individual characters of each puppy begin to express themselves and the litter your puppy will be leaving would have been organised into a structure with a top, middle and a bottom with Mum as the overall pack leader. Your puppy will expect their new pack also to have a structure and will be looking to you to show them where they fit in.
Who is pack leader in your house
The answer to this question should be you. It is important that the pack order is established from the very beginning. Get this right, and you will have the basis for a good relationship with your dog that is rewarding for both of you.
Following a few basic pack rules will establish from the very start that people rank higher in the family pack than your dog.
Not that you love them any less, but that you love them in their correct place.
What is a pack leader
The leader of a canine pack is the top dog, the boss. The position brings many privileges; pack leader eats first and has the pick of the resting places, but also carries many responsibilities. The leader of the pack is responsible for protecting the other pack members and for making the rules and ensuring they are followed.
A pack leader fulfils their role by guiding other pack members and rewarding them for behaving in the appropriate manner. The good pack leader can be firm when necessary and fun when suitable. Most important, a pack leader must earn the pack's respect by being consistent, deciding rules and making sure everybody understands and follows them.
Suggested rules for your pack to live by
Higher ranking pack members sleep in the best places.
Provide your puppy with their own comfortable bed and teach them from the start that this is where they sleep. You have every right to stand in their bed if you choose to as you are the boss, but they are not allowed on your bed. If you choose to allow your dog onto the chairs with you, that is fine but remember that dogs do not understand the difference between clean and dirty. It is not fair to allow your pup to leap all over the chairs some of the time and then expect them not to jump up when wet from a walk. If you do decide to allow dogs onto the furniture, make sure your puppy waits and asks before allowed up and take care to lift them off when you get up. Have one set of rules and stick to them.
What is the puppy learning - You control the resting places.
Higher ranking pack members eat first.
In any wild dog pack, the leader eats first and the lower ranking pack members have what is left. Make sure that your puppy knows you control the food. Do not leave their meals down all the time, or they will think they are able to eat what they want when they want. If meal times coincide, prepare the puppy's meal in front of them and leave it within sight while you eat your meal. Once you are finished, they may then eat. Anything they do not finish should be lifted and not offered again until the next meal Do not feed your puppy table scraps, not only will this teach them to beg but it will tell them that they are allowed to eat at the same time as higher ranking pack members.
What is the puppy learning - You control the food, not them.
Give your puppy lots of attention, but on your terms.
Don't wait until your puppy demands a game or a cuddle, you be the instigator. Call them to you and make a fuss of them, play with them and train them. If your puppy tries to demand attention, ignore them and avoid eye contact. Once they have given up and gone off to amuse them self, call them to you and play a game.
What is your puppy learning - You are their hero!
Always control the games you play with your puppy.
Keep special toys and bring them out to play with them often. You start the games and you finish them, removing the toys at the end of the play session and placing them out of reach. Always stop before your puppy becomes bored so the toys retain their novelty value and they will always be on the look out for another game. An additional benefit is that your puppy will become excited when you bring out the special toys and they can be used as reward in training.
What is your puppy learning - You control the best trophies.
To handle and groom your puppy is a privilege you extend to them.
Whatever the length of your dog's coat, they will benefit from a daily groom. Start teaching your pup to accept being handled all over. Wait until they are tired from a game and begin by stroking them gently and talking quietly to them. Gradually introduce a gentle brush. Short, pleasant grooming sessions will help to reinforce the bond between you and clarify your position as pack leader, whilst teaching your puppy that human hands are not a threat.
What is your puppy learning - You have the right to groom them.
Higher ranking pack members walk where they wish
If your puppy is lying in a doorway you wish to walk through, make them move to let you pass. Do not walk round them to get to a destination. If you are passing through a door or gateway with them, make sure they allow you to pass through first.
What is your puppy learning - Stepping aside is a mark of respect.