There is nothing more exciting than bringing a new puppy home. Even though bringing your pooch home for the first time brings a lot of interesting and new things, you need to keep in mind that you have a lot of new obligations. More than with adult dogs.
The first thing you will have to manage is the moods your new puppy might get since he or she changed its environment and got separated from its mother and siblings. Another thing is all the training you need to plan for your puppy.
You need to give them a couple of days to get used to all the new things surrounding them, and to warm up to you. When they figure out that you are their new ˝mom˝ and that they can count on you, you need to prepare yourself for your puppy to be overly demanding of attention.
Because of this, one of the main questions that new dog owners ask themselves is, ˝How much attention does a puppy need?˝ Luckily, we are here to help you out.
We prepared all the information you might need in order to solve your problem.
How Much Attention Does A Puppy Need?
When thinking about giving your puppy attention, a lot of the time, people only think about playtime. But, in fact, there is so much more to it. When you think about it, you are bringing a new family member into your home.
Even though they are cute and raise your hormones of happiness, young puppies need a lot of work in their beginning stages.
Learning new tricks, bathroom habits, socialization, etc. can get difficult for both you and your dog. But, on the other hand, all these make great times where you can bond with your puppy and show them attention.
Another thing as to why teaching your puppy these things is good is because it will show your puppy that you are their parent and that they can completely trust you.
Once that bond is made, everything will be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Here is a short list of things that can make your puppy feel like it is receiving enough attention, and almost every one of these doesn’t require training classes – just your good will.
Feeding And Drinking
Creating a feeding schedule for your puppy is one of the most important things for house training. Sometimes, it is harder to make a schedule that your three-month-old puppy will follow correctly.
The important thing is to give them their food at the same time every day. Sometimes, they won’t rush to eat at the exact moment, but they will come at some point.
The important thing is for them to see you while putting the dog food in the bowl.
You can make a cute experience for them while teaching them the schedule. Try singing out their name in a fun tone, and generally speak to them on a higher pitch with a welcoming tone.
This way, they feel that they are getting the attention they need, and both you and your puppy end up having a bonding experience that will make both of your day better.
Since your puppy will need to be fed three or four times a day, that is a good amount of attention that your puppy will receive from you, and at the same time, learn something that will be important to them when they get older.
Drinking water is also important for young puppies. Sometimes, they tend to forget or neglect the amount of water they drink. That is when you and your fun tone come in handy. The same as with food, every hour or so, offer them water by making it playful.
The advice we have for you is to remove the bowl of water at night. If they drink during the night, they might have accidents inside the house. As soon as you wake up, offer them water.
We are sure they will enjoy the experience.
Bathroom Or Potty Break
This is the most important habit and routine they need to adopt. Since they have a small bladder, their peeing sessions will be quite frequent. Potty training is an amazing part of puppy training since this is the best way for you to bond with each other.
Sometimes, it will be trying for you, but it will pay off. If you live in a flat, this experience will be amazing for your dog. Why is that? Well, every time, at the beginning stages, when your dog starts showing signs that they need to go to the bathroom, you will probably need to carry them down the stairs.
You don’t want an accident in the hallway, do you? All this carrying of your dog will assimilate playful and possible cuddle time. Teaching them not to do ˝their business˝ at home includes more frequent walks, which your puppy will love the most.
Every two to three hours should be set aside for a potty break. A three-month-old puppy needs shorter but more frequent walks. These walks can turn into playtime in which both of you can bond even more.
An interesting fact is that a puppy can control its bladder up to one hour for every month of age, according to the Humane Society. That means that a four-month-old puppy can hold it for about four hours. Holding their poop might be a bit easier than holding their pee, but it is still for short periods of time.
Even though some people don’t consider urinating time to be bonding time. We hope we have proven them wrong.
Sleeping Or Crate Training
This depends on your preference. Will your dog sleep in a crate next to your bed, or even in your bed cuddled up with you? If you decide that your dog will be sleeping in a crate, you are probably in for some potential difficulties.
This part of puppy training is usually difficult and a bit more stressful. Of course, this depends on you, but this is the hard part for both you and your bonding time.
You can try to lay next to the crate at the beginning so they don’t lack attention at night.
Sometimes, a good thing is to sing to them or play some soothing music, but they will probably prefer the sound of your voice rather than music.
If you decide that the best sleeping option for your dog is on a dog bed next to your bed, you will have more time to shower them with attention at night. You can always give them your hand as if it is a security blanket. You can also cuddle them until they fall asleep.
The option that will give them the most affection is for your puppy to sleep with you in the bed. It turns into cuddle time through the whole night. But, this is the option that people tend to choose the least.
This is an important step of dog training that will determine your puppy’s behavior and, all in all, their quality of life later on. The first step of socializing is making sure that they greet you properly first.
You are the person they will be surrounded by the most, so the first impression is always important. When you see that they are getting used to you and that they are starting to show you that they love all the attention you are giving them, you can introduce them to the outside world.
Meeting other people and dogs, and all the new environments can get quite stressful for them. This is why it is important for them to bond with you first because you will be their safe place when all the socialization begins.
This will prevent them from developing any bad habit in the future, like barking, biting, and even aggression. Even reputable breeders start to socialize their puppies while still being in the kennel, so they can prepare them for you. Socializing is important for every dog breed no matter the size or the energy level.
Playtime is probably your puppy’s favorite thing. Playtime can include training like bringing the ball, giving the paw, sitting, etc. When your puppy first arrives, that might be too much for them, but you still need to give them some mental stimulation.
Playtime and outdoor exercise are the best ways to make a bond with your dog and keep them happy and mentally satisfied. If you decide to play with them outside, you are automatically teaching them bathroom habits and socialization all while providing them with a good time.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Attention
Unfortunately, yes – there is such a thing as too much attention. But, you need to understand that this isn’t the end of the world and, for sure, it isn’t the worst thing you can do to your puppy. It is completely normal that you want to shower your puppy with all the attention and love you have.
It is also normal for your puppy to ask for all the attention that it has been receiving, especially when they just arrive at their new home. But, there are some things that might happen if they are given too much attention.
One of the things is that your dog might get too dependent on you. Because of this, they might develop some bad habits and bad behavior. The worst that could happen is developing a mental disability.
All of these can affect the quality of life of your dog. Their social life could be very bad since most dogs don’t like to be surrounded by other people and animals – only you. This mostly means playtime only with their owner.
Leaving them alone will become impossible. All in all, it can be bad for both you and your dog. We understand that you will do anything for your dog, but there should always be a balance when it comes to giving them attention.
We have listed two things that could be the worst that could happen to your dog if they receive too much attention when they are puppies.
Separation anxiety with dogs usually comes with disruptive, destructive, and whiny behavior. This can also happen with dogs that aren’t getting enough attention, but it is more common with dogs that have received a lot of attention.
Since they got so used to your attention and you being around them, they just find it incredibly difficult to be alone. When they feel like they have been deprived of such attention, they will do a lot of bad things to get your attention.
Some of these things include peeing and pooping, eating your underwear, and destroying your couch, pillows, clothes, etc. All of these can also negatively affect you.
Another thing that might affect we dog owners is seeing them all shaky and whiny before we need to leave the house.
Sometimes, this can be cured, but most of the time, it will leave some consequences. This is why it’s better to be moderate when giving attention when they are young puppies, and then gradually make changes in their life.
This is the second thing that can affect both you and your dog’s life. Some of the things your dog might do are the same as with separation anxiety. But, besides that, your dog will not leave your sight.
If you take them on a playdate, they won’t even notice other dogs. Their eyes will only be fixated on you.
An example of this is when you take your dog to the vet. No dog in the world enjoys going to the vet, and that is when they get in panic mode. Whether it is a yearly examination, vaccinations, or anything else – the only thing that will be on their mind is getting attention from you.
They will desperately try to reach you, and say with their puppy eyes to save them from the situation. This is normal behavior, and this is the perfect time to give them all the attention you have in order to make them feel safer.
What If My Puppy Needs Attention All The Time?
It is completely normal for your puppy to want attention from you. After all, you are everything that they have and the most important person in their life. But, we need to be honest with ourselves – sometimes they seek attention more than they actually need it.
You can notice this when after all the attention you gave them, they still cry and whine a lot. They can even become a bit frustrated and bark more than usual.
We have listed two things that have been proven to be the best solutions for puppies that need attention all the time. It is better to prevent something rather than to try to heal something that can be bad for your dog in the future.
1. When you see them behave, give them a treat, and then calmly begin to give them some attention.
2. If you see them getting too excited, start the process again.
We wish you all the luck!
This might be the most effective way, and the way that will relieve you from a lot of stress. Sometimes, nothing works except hiring a professional. There are options in which only a professional works with your dog.
But, the other option that we like more is to train your dog alongside a professional trainer. This way, your puppy will immediately know that you are the one who they need to listen to. Sometimes, if left only with a trainer, they can get confused when they come home.
And, don’t worry – this doesn’t make you a bad pet owner. Everyone needs help from time to time.
Owner vs. puppy. Who will win this battle?
We hope you will be the one with bigger willpower. The only tactic you have for this battle is to ignore it. This can get extremely difficult, so don’t let those puppy eyes make you stumble.
You should not talk to them, look at them, or even pet them. The only time you can give them attention is when you see them calm down a bit. If you talk to them or pet them or even look at them when they are barking, crying, or being destructive, it can be mistaken for a type of reward.
How Much Alone Time Is Too Much
Showing too much attention to your dog can be bad, but giving them too much alone time is bad as well, if not worse. Although they sometimes might even show that they want to be alone, after all, dogs are social animals, and they need human attention. Life in isolation is something that dogs can’t handle.
A dog that is tied up outside all day, put in a kennel for the majority of time, or put in an isolated room like a basement can do a lot of harm to the dog’s mental health. Some experts say that dogs should be alone for no longer than six to eight hours.
And, this does not include puppies. You need to gradually prepare them for being alone for long periods of time. If they are alone a lot, they can develop depression, and as a result, they can become antisocial and even aggressive.
Some of the signs that a dog may show you if left alone a lot are misbehavior, sometimes refusing to eat, other times gaining weight, and sleeping most of the day.
If you are considering buying a pet, and you have a job that takes the majority of your day, try to take some time off so you can be fully dedicated to your new puppy.
Don’t worry if you have to leave them for an hour or two. It would be best that you ask someone you know to be with them while you are gone, especially in the beginning. But, if not – your puppy will be able to handle that, just don’t do it often when the puppy has just arrived.
What Should I Do If I Don’t Have Enough Time To Spend With My Puppy?
If you know that you will be busy and absent a lot from home at the time you plan to get a puppy, it is best to postpone it. Your puppy will need a lot of your presence, and not having enough time with you can be bad for your puppy.
If you think that you won’t be present that much, try to ask your family members or friends to jump in while you are gone. But, don’t let that be for too long because in the beginning, they need to bond with you the most, and being surrounded by a lot of people can confuse them.
Do I Need To Play With My Puppy All The Time?
It is good to spend at least two to three hours playing with your new puppy, but if you are not able to do this, being with them and showing them affection can be enough.
Don’t let this be repeated every day, but cuddle time is sometimes all they need. Playtime is a good way to bond with your dog, and it is also good for the development of their socialization skills. Otherwise, two or three days without playtime can be bad for them.
Puppies do need a lot of your time and energy. Bringing a new furry family member into your home is both exciting and tiring. You need to find a way to include them in your day-to-day schedule, which sometimes can be hard and confusing.
The main thing that most new dog owners ask is, ˝How much attention does a puppy need?˝ We truly hope that we have given you all the answers you were looking for. The main thing is to stay calm and you will figure it all out step by step.
We wish you and your puppy all the best luck, and we hope that you will spend many beautiful years with your new dog. Don’t stress yourself out too much.
Everything is going to be just fine.