Socializing your puppy is very important if you want a dog that fits into your home and a dog who is a good companion who is enjoyed by everyone. When you bring your new puppy home, hold and pet him so that he knows that he is wanted and loved. Do not play with him constantly, though, as he is very young and needs time to rest up and sleep. Keep him to as regular a schedule as possible, as he will respond best to structure in his world. If he knows that you rise at 7 a.m. every day and that you let him out at 7:05, he will learn to wait for you to let him out before relieving himself in his crate. Pity the foolhardy new owner who decides to sleep until 9 a.m. on the weekend!
Habits, and that includes both good and bad ones, that are learned at an early age become lifelong habits. It is best to start out on the right foot. Don’t let your pup chew on the leg of the old kitchen table and think that its cute, because before long he will have chewed on the leg of your expensive dining room table. Gnawing on an old boot can only lead to puppys eating your favorite Gucci loafers next week. Set limits and make sure that the pup sticks to them. Make sure that all members of the household know the rules and enforce them.
Keep the Collie pup confined to a specific area, such as the kitchen or den, until he is trained and reliable. Use baby gates to create boundaries and he will quickly learn that he is welcomed in certain areas of the house and not welcomed in other areas. And, of course, put him in his crate when you leave home for a few hours, as he will be comfortable in his house and he should settle down and sleep until you come home.
Next Step: What’s in a name?
Reprinted from Breeder’s Best: Collie © 2004 Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.