What should I NOT do with my puppy?

This FAQ has a lot of details on what should be done with puppies, but we need to add a short list of what not to do, thing that others may encourage you to consider or you may not realise could be bad for your puppy.

  • If the puppy wees or poos inside, never rub its nose in it!
    • This is a common practise amongst older people. While it may work in training the puppy to wee and poo outside, it has strong links to increasing timidity as the dog matures.
    • We have a effective plan for “house training” a puppy, described elsewhere in this FAQ
  • Keep your puppy away from stairs and similar sharp moves, until 6 months old
    • While the puppy is growing fast, the jerks that come from stairs (and rough play) can cause damage to their delicate joints
    • This include jumping from anything higher than 50cms (for example a human’s bed)
    • Instead, carry puppies up and down stairs, and lift them down from higher places
    • After 6 months of age, there’s no problem with these things, puppies can do them on their own
    • Children should sit on the floor to play with the puppy, not pick it up
  • Never hit / slap / punch / whip your dog
    • Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!
    • While dogs can be trained with violence, it’s cruel and unnecessary
    • Dogs want to please you; liberal praise and small food treats awarded for good behaviour are more effective and kinder
    • The only exception is, if the dog is attacking someone (very unlikely, with good socialisation). However, sometimes an angry voice growling at the pup is appropriate, eg, eg to stop play-biting / nipping which all pups do at first. Children usually cannot stop this, adults must intervene, a time-out room may be necessary (3-4 minutes, must be promptly). Shake the puppy’s head (grab side of face).