Puppy Love

Photo courtesy of Megan VanParis

Springtime is the start of the season where people start adopting pets, especially puppies and kittens. Taking home a new furry family member is definitely exciting but there are some things new owners should know before the big day!


Socialization is key for any new puppy since the world is still a strange and unfamiliar place to them. Here are the most important things to remember for puppy socialization:

  • The more people and situations you can expose them to between 8-16 weeks of age is ideal since this is their formative period.
  • You can turn this into a fun game for your puppy by exposing them to a couple new things a day such as having them walk on a new surface (i.e. hardwood, carpet, grass) or getting them used to husbandry things such as playing with their feet, ears and checking their teeth. This can help later on when they come in for vet visits!
  • Also, having your puppy interact with other dogs will help teach them how to play appropriately and to be friendly with other dogs as they get older. Puppy socialization classes are a great way for your puppy to experience these things!


While all dogs have will have their own unique personality, when it comes to training you are their guide!

  • By beginning their training at an early age, you can teach your puppy behaviors that you want them to exhibit
    • Such as not barking when guests knock or how to be quiet in their crate when alone.
  • After your puppy has completed a socialization class, we recommend enrolling them in a basic training class.
    • These classes will help them learn simple commands such as recognizing their name, how to sit and lay down, and good manners such as not jumping on people and to not overly bark.
    • The basic training class will also help you bond with your puppy, and through positive reinforcement they will learn to trust you and associate training as a fun experience.


During house-training your pup, it may seem like it will never end, so you must remember that patience is a virtue!

  • Keep your puppy on a routine schedule so they will get used to when they are going out.
  • Use positive praise and reinforcement with treats when they eliminate outside. This will help your puppy understand this is what they are supposed to do!
  • If they have an accident in the house, show your disappointment verbally, but never in a manner that will scare them. Your puppy just needs to learn they did something incorrectly.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun with your new puppy! Set them up for success by keeping them active and happy!

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.