Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
At 12-16 weeks, your canine whippersnapper will be growing in confidence and energy. Perhaps they’ve gained new hobbies such as using the furniture as an assault course or chewing your favourite pair of slippers.
At this age it’s important to reinforce positive training techniques, even when this requires impeccable self-will. That little puddle on the kitchen floor is pesky, but punishment often falls on deaf ears so master the art of patience even when their behaviour stops being cute.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
In testing times, the first question you may be asking yourself is: why? Why has Boris nipped my finger? Why has he made the living room look like a crime scene? Why has he pulled the fluff out of his favourite toy? Why won’t he sit nicely? Why can’t be like Sheila’s puppy? Why is he always peeing on my nice floor? Why didn’t I just get a goldfish instead?
These thoughts are all natural as you realise the cute puppy of your dreams can also be very testing when he or she wants.
One of the reasons puppies can be so naughty at the beginning is due to their short attention spans. They are just beginning to navigate this exciting world and all the exciting smells, sounds and sights are just too good to resist.
It’s best to run daily bite-sized training sessions which last no longer than 15-20 minutes and keep it simple.
Prevention is better than cure
The best way to stop your puppy from doing pesky things, is to remove this option altogether. For instance, if you don’t want your puppy to chew the sofa upholstery, invest in a puppy play pen.
Praise, praise, praise
In the words of Fatboy Slim, you’ve got to praise [puppy] like you should. Avoid using punishment and fear tactics and instead keep all experiences happy with treats, toys and a positive attitude. By rewarding good behaviour, there is a better chance of this being repeated.
Practice makes perfect
Put the time in and ensure that your dog is exposed to all kinds of surroundings when being trained. For example, if you are training your dog to come when you call, don’t just practice this in your living room, put them in a situation where there are lots of distractions as this is where they are likely to forget. As with all pursuits in life, practicing every day will make a difference to progress.
The 12 to 16-week bite-sized feeding bible
#1 Between 12-28 weeks, a puppy will develop adult teeth and just like us humans, is likely to experience teething pain. If your pup is struggling to chew their food, try soaking it in some warm water to make it easier for them to eat.
#2 Although it’s important to exercise positive reinforcement with treats, don’t go overboard as this sets the scene for overfeeding and rapid weight gain. Instead allocate a set number of treats within their daily allowance and take this out of their main meal.
For example, if you were feeding Bailey 100g of food per day and had 20g of treats, that would leave 80g for all main meals.
#3 Variety is the spice of life. When used in moderation, vegetables provide a fantastic source of nutrients for developing pups. Frozen carrots are excellent for soothing gums.
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