No one can resist the sad puppy eyes – no one. Even if we are talking about Pugs, a very odd looking breed to say the least (which is why we love them so much), a cute puppy can melt anyone’s heart. It’s so easy to fall under their charm, but be careful and don’t get too carried away.
Although innocent and cute, your Pug puppy can get himself into tons of trouble. If anything, you should be more careful with him while he is young and his energy level is only matched by his curiosity.
During this stage it is your job to make the conditions just right for him to grow into a happy, healthy and well behaved dog. Now I’m not going into details on every single thing your puppy will need. Each puppy is different. So I’ll just go over the general guidelines that I would tell anyone who just brought home their own Pug puppy.
Past the innocent look and behind those cute puppy eyes lies a little trouble maker at heart. If he finds something within his reach and it can fit in his mouth, it’s very likely that it will end up destroyed. So pug-proof your home A.S.A.P.
Luckily for you, Pugs are a little more limited than other dogs. Since they are not that tall, jumping up and stealing things from most tables or counters is not that easy for them. Their flat face also doesn’t make it any easier. Where most other breeds could use their nose to open doors or cupboards, their short nose makes it a little more challenging.
Having said that, you should still be careful about keeping dangerous or expensive things out of reach. At the very least you need to hide away all cleaning supplies, loose wires and cables and anything else that’s a potential hazard.
If he shouldn’t be playing with something, then it should probably be out of reach – at least until he learns to behave himself.
Surprisingly, not a lot of owners actually do it. Instead they just lock up their Pug in a crate or a single room for the whole day. It does work in a way that it stops the puppy from destroying the rest of the house, but it also leaves the little guy with not much to do – and eventually boredom will lead to destructive behavior.
Taking your pup to see a vet should be pretty high on your list of priorities. You want to make sure that your new puppy is perfectly healthy. This means regular checkups and the necessary vaccinations are a must.
On top of the obvious benefits of taking your Pug to the vet, you will also have the opportunity to ask the vet some of your own questions. A lot of people shy away from asking too many questions in fear of looking stupid, but trust me they don’t mind answering questions – as long as the answers aren’t easily found with a quick internet search.
The best time to teach your little Pug some social skills is while he is young and curious. Of course being a cutie can’t hurt when making new friends. Take him with you whenever you have the chance. This can include…
It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as he gets to spend time with you and others. Just make sure that the place you take him to, or the people that will be there, don’t mind pets.
Dogs that spent more time in social situations, whether it is with people or even other animals, while young will grow up to be friendlier with others when older. Those that spent more of their puppy days locked up at home will tend to view strangers as a threat. You can use that as reason to spend your Saturday mornings at the park with your pup.
Of course it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes you have to lay down the law and play the role of a Sheriff. Even though your Pug is too cute to punish, you can’t let his behavior get out of control. The best way to do that is to start training early.
If you catch him doing something he isn’t supposed, like chewing up your shoes for example, don’t let him get away with it just because he’s too cute to punish. Give him a firm “No” and take the shoe away. If he sees you laughing about it because you think it’s funny, he will assume that he has your approval and will do it again in the future.
Step back from all the excitement that comes with owning a puppy and think about how you would want your Pug to behave once he is fully mature – and come up with some basic rules. For example:
Once you know those rules, stick to them and avoid making exceptions. This will give your dog the opportunity to learn your rules early. It will also show him that you take those rules seriously and if he wants to make you happy, he needs to follow them.
It might seem that I’m contradicting what I said previously when I’m telling you to keep things fun, but I’m not. Training shouldn’t be focused on punishment but on rewards – whether its praise, treats, or just approval.
Remember that, at least for now, you’re dealing with a little puppy who wants to explore, play and make new friends. Your goal is to allow him to do all that while keeping him healthy and happy.