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Raising a puppy can be challenging for a new owner (or even an experienced one!). We need to find the line between being overprotective and providing the puppy with a safe environment to let his personality develop.A few of the don’ts about puppy rearing:

Puppies love to play, but don’t get too rough. Be careful playing games like tug-of-war to ensure you don’t hurt your puppy’s developing teeth or allow him to swallow pieces of rope or fabric. Also, pups need to learn how to be appropriately rough when playing. This is all part of your dog’s socialization.

Don’t give your puppy too many treats. They can alter your growing puppy’s appetite for his better-balanced, nutritious meals. Also, you don’t want to spoil him. Puppies quickly learn that by begging, crying, and acting out, they may get their way.Treats can be used in moderation as training rewards and should never be high-caloric, human junk food.

Don’t change the rules. Decide which furniture or parts of the house are off-limits and be consistent. Don’t scold a dog one day for being on the couch and then let him up there the next.

Don’t allow your home to be a place where your puppy can get hurt, where he may fall or become trapped, or where he may blunder into substances that can sicken him (the garbage, medicine on nightstands, pesticides in gardens, rodenticides, and so on).

Don’t let him go untrained. That cute puppy misbehavior will become a lot less cute when he’s older. Make sure you teach your dog good manners—the Canine Good Citizen is a perfect starting point—to help him have a happier, healthier life.

Do you have a new puppy at home? We know it can be just as overwhelming as it is exciting. We also know that learning is always helped by seeing. The AKC training DVD is as close as you can get to having a 24/7 trainer in your home.

More like this:

How to Give Your Puppy a Head Start on a Great Life 

Keep Up with Your Dog’s Training Through the Winter
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Tips for Responsible Dog Owners

This e-book is a great resource for anyone who's considering dog ownership or already owns a dog. Download for tips on how to be the best dog owner you can be.
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