A New Family Member– Frustration Or Joy?

You have set out on a fantastic, exciting and eventful period of time. A period which will be marked by joy, worry, laughter and tears. You have taken a heavy responsibility, both for your little SM puppy, and your surroundings. Be aware that a baby dog is a prospect whose future nature is depending on you and your family members. In a very short space of time the little one must develop into a family member who fits in exactly with your everyday family life. Without doubt, the puppy period is rather demanding and it is important that already from day one you start a goal-directed work for your mutual future.


Setting Bounds In General.

The foundation of any successful dog upbringing is that you act with consistency. What you don't want your dog to do as a grown- up, should NEVER be allowed as a puppy, either. Excuses, such as "Oh, well, he's so little and sweet" or "just this once" will invariably result in a frustrated SM, showing adjustment difficulties. He will not understand that sleeping in beds and sofas is allowed when he is dry and clean, but totally prohibited when his coat is full of dirt and grime. Neither will he grasp why tid-bits are only served at table on Christmas mornings or on other special events, whereas in everyday life during the year he is being punished for begging. No, consider carefully what you will allow your dog to do when grown up before you give your puppy the go. A piece of good advice – imagine the little puppy in full, grown-up size, and mark the bounds accordingly. Remember that all correction must be done in the moment of 'crime'. You must always catch the little bastard in the very act, in order that he takes notice of what he's doing is wrong.  Try as much as possible to put yourself in the puppy's stead. He will not understand the difference between munching "daddy's" old slippers and "mummy's" brand-new, suede bootees. All gnawing at anything but his own toys is "Yuck". Use words such as "NO" or "YUCK" in a dark and firm tone of voice to correct unwanted behavior. PRAISE in another, friendlier tone of voice immediately you get response. If the young offspring is of the more stubborn type, then pinch him by the ear, bend over and say "NO" very firmly. DON'T give in. Don't avoid catching the culprit in ALL situations. Never hesitate, because if the troublemaker gets the impression that you are insecure, he will at once detect a possibility of success in taking over the boss position. Do not forget that dogs are gregarious animals, and it is of the greatest importance that your dog IS NEVER in doubt that he is on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Of course we are not talking of cowing him, on the contrary, a dog who knows his position in the family hierarchy will feel secure and well at ease.