Settling Your Puppy Into Family Life

The first weeks of life together will set the pattern for your pup’s behaviour in future years and lay the foundation for the relationship you have with them. The way puppies react and adapt to their new surroundings will be unique to each pup. Their behaviour will be molded by a combination of factors, including genetics from their parents, early environmental influences and early social interaction with dogs and other animals.

Settling Your Puppy Into Family Life
Settling Your Puppy Into Family Life

Dogs live in groups or ‘families’ in the wild. To help them feel secure within your family you need to give them clear and consistent rules so they understand how they fit into your group. The most important thing to remember when interacting with your puppy is consistency. Everyone within the family needs to treat the dog in the same way and thereby reinforce the rules that you have set.

It is important to remember the significance of activities such as eating and sleeping when determining how the puppy best fits into your family. Try not to give human food from the table or from your plate as a puppy’s nutritional needs are different from our own. Train your puppy to sleep in a crate and give the pup its own bed. This allows the puppy to have a safe place of their own. Any rules you set for your puppy (for example – no tidbits from the table) should be reinforced by all family members in order to avoid any potential confusion for your puppy.

Behavioural problems are a common reason for breakdowns in the pet-owner relationship. You can help to prevent these problems by remembering that your puppy is not a person! You are in the best position to prevent problem behaviours and now is the time to start. If you experience any problems with your pet’s behaviour or consider its reactions to be inappropriate, very annoying or even dangerous, do not hesitate to seek advice from your veterinary practice.


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