The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Rolan Tripp of the Animal Behavior Network will greatly assist you in having a positive long-term relationship with your newly adopted dog. For more information, please visit www.animalbehavior.net for online behavior training courses.
Never use physical discipline. Dogs don’t hit each other and do not understand the behavior. Striking a dog will result in the wrong behavior as the dog ages. It causes a loss of trust.
Help the puppy to succeed. New puppies should be either on leash or confined when indoors. The leash is tethered to you as you move about the house. Take the puppy out every few hours to the toilet area. Use food or praise as rewards for correct elimination.
Keep accidents hidden. Don’t let the puppy see you cleaning up any accidents, since the human attention may be a social reinforcer of the habit.
Begin socialization early. Isolation may adversely affect the puppy. Enroll in puppy classes at 8 weeks of age or thereafter. Allow to meet and greet other humans and dogs as much as possible.
Day Care. Enroll the puppy in a day care program at least once a week between 3-6 months of age, then one day a month until two years of age to improve socialization, intelligence, exercise and reduce chance of separation anxiety later in life.
Begin “gentling’ exercises daily. A combination of handling to develop the puppy’s personality into a calm, trusting, friendly and compliant pet. It establishes a positive human leadership without fear or domination. You may want to give a small treat before and after each session.