Educate yourself so you can educate your puppy
If you have your heart set on raising and training a puppy, do

make sure you train yourself beforehand. Remember, it

takes only a few days to ruin an otherwise perfect puppy.

Without a doubt, the most important developmental deadline

comes before you even think of getting your puppy—your

education about puppy education!

Many first-time puppy owners are surprised when they

discover their new companion bites, barks, chews, digs, and

marks the house with urine and feces. Yet these are all perfectly

normal, natural, and necessary doggy behaviors.

Your canine newcomer is just itching to learn human house

manners. He wants to please, but he has to know how to please.

It's no good keeping house rules a secret. Somebody has to tell

the puppy. And that somebody is you.

Before inviting a puppy to share your life, surely it is only

wise and fair to find out beforehand what you might expect

from a normal developing puppy, which behaviors and traits

you consider unacceptable, and how to modify the pup's

inappropriate behavior and temperament accordingly.

Specifically, owners need to know how to teach the

youngster where to eliminate, what to chew, when to bark,

where to dig, to sit when greeting people, to walk calmly on leash,

to settle down and shush when requested, to inhibit his

otherwise quite normal biting behavior, and to thoroughly

enjoy the company of other dogs and people—especially

children, men, and strangers.