Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they even come with four legs and a furry coat! We’re talking about Christmas Puppies, and possibly the most exciting gift one can receive on Christmas day! Unlike the kitchen appliances and battery-operated toys under the tree, this gift does not come with a set of instructions.
Our Trainers are giving you our top tips for what to do if Santa delivered a Puppy this Christmas!
1. Ensure Your New Puppy Has Its Own Safe Space
Christmas often means 2 weeks of non-stop visitors and if you’re hosting Christmas this year, it can also mean one heck of a party! Still adjusting to its new surroundings, large and noisy groups of people can be quite overwhelming for a small puppy. Ensure you create a safe space for your puppy so that it can relax and take time out should your home be the setting of a large family gathering.
A crate in a quiet room can be a great method of creating space while also ensuring the puppy will be safe should you be unable to supervise.
2. Respect Your Puppy’s Nap Time
With children on school holidays and annual leave well and truly underway, you will certainly have more time and access to your puppy, but remember, they still need their downtime without interruption. With cuteness overload, it can be difficult to resist playing with, picking up and interacting with your new puppy but it is important to note that your puppy is just a baby, and just like humans, they need to sleep, A LOT!
After all, discovering the world around them is exhausting business. They need their sleep so they can do it all again when they wake.
3. Give Your Puppy Alone Time
Again, while on temporary hiatus from your regular Monday to Friday, access to your puppy is plentiful, but holiday bliss cannot last forever. In a week or so you’ll be back to your usual routine. Because of this, it is crucial to begin giving your puppy alone time so that they can become familiar and comfortable with being alone while you go about your normal day.
Spending every waking minute with your new puppy up until the time you return to work can be exceptionally confusing for them. They have become accustom to your presence and the sudden change in circumstance can create anxieties which in turn, can become behavioural issues.
By putting space between yourself and your puppy, even while you’re at home, you are promoting independence. An independent dog is more likely to be content and confident with being left alone and less likely to develop common issues such as separation anxiety or destructive behaviour.
4. Make The Most Of Your Holiday Time
Your puppy is developing rapidly and between the ages of 8 weeks and 16 weeks, socialisation and exposure is of the utmost importance. With time off work and school, this will be the perfect opportunity to safely expose your new puppy to as many sights and sounds as possible.
Exercise caution wherever you go and choose your environments carefully. Heavily populated and unpredictable places like off-leash parks and beaches will not be suitable for a young puppy however, a car trip to the local café could be a perfect start. Remember at Found By the Hound we always promote quality experiences over quantity. Whilst it is important for your puppy to have many new experiences, negative experiences can be detrimental to your puppy’s mental development.
Head to our blog on socialisation to learn more
5. Curious Puppies And Christmas Decorations
A puppy for Christmas comes with its own set of added responsibility, including puppy proofing! For one month of the year, your home is filled with decorations, gifts and of course, the tree! All these things are very appealing to a curious, mischievous young puppy. As puppies do not have boundaries until taught, it is imperative that they are always supervised. Using a lead is the perfect way to ensure you maintain control of the situation. A crate is also a great tool should you need to divert your attention elsewhere.
Giving free reign to a new puppy will almost always guarantee carnage, especially when there are so many exciting “chewable” items around the house. Puppies don’t have hands to pick things up to explore with therefore they will use their mouths. For their safety and for the safety of your possessions, always supervise.
6. Educate Your Kids On Promoting Calm Behaviour
With kids on school holidays, you may be expecting a few sleep overs and play dates. Kids are just as excitable as puppies and without meaning to, kids can involuntarily create behavioural issues by encouraging naughty behaviour. If you have a new puppy during a time where it will meet children, ensure you monitor every interaction.
Discourage games of chase, unwanted jumping, mouthing and biting. Explain to children the importance of being calm around your puppy. If you are expecting young children at your home where your puppy will be, this can be the perfect time to place puppy in their crate. This creates a safe space for your puppy while avoiding any unwanted behaviour when puppy is awake, ensure that puppy is on lead so that you can start to teach appropriate behaviour around children.