A long time ago…before I even thought about adopting a puppy from the shelter I thought about how to raise the perfect puppy.
Throughout my life I’d always wondered what it would be like to have a perfect puppy. After reading dozens of books (if you can only buy one I recommend puppies for dummies (affiliate link) which I’ve read multiple times and own all 3 editions) and sifting through hundreds of articles across the internet I realized the idea of a perfect puppy was up to me. If I put the time, effort, and devotion into properly raising, training, and socializing my puppy then I would end up with “my perfect puppy”.
Raising The Perfect Puppy
Linus was my first puppy as an adult. Before Linus I had seen many of my friends adopt puppies. Some of them did a great job training their puppies and ended up with wonderful well-behaved dogs. On the other hand others did not put the time or effort to work with their puppies. Unfortunately, some of these pups ended up being not so perfect and often times became backyard dogs or ended up adopted by another family.
I wanted Linus to be the perfect puppy. I set out clear rules on exactly what I wanted him to be and do. Later I learned that a lot of the rules and behaviors I set forth for Linus were in line with what we teach our guide dog puppies in training. Here are some of the objectives set forth for the puppy raisers in our guide dog group:
It is the objective of each puppy raising family to raise a puppy who shows overall good obedience skill and excellent house manners. Your puppy should be house broken and be able to relieve on leash, as well on all types of surfaces. Your puppy should be well socialized, not only with people, but dogs as well, and have been given the opportunity to be exposed to all types of environmental stimulation. Your puppy should be able to be examined by veterinarian and be calm and easy to handle.
Whenever someone asks me what kinds of things do you teach your guide dog puppies? I often refer back to this short paragraph and say:
As a puppy raiser we teach our puppies:
- Overal good obedience skills.
- Excellent house manners.
- Socialization skills with people and dogs.
Of course I usually go on and into more detail about exactly what we do as puppy raisers (I could go on and on), but in a nutshell those are the things we try to teach our pups. As I said, when I look back, those 3 basic skills are the exact same skills I tried to teach Linus way back before I knew a whole lot about puppy raising and training.
So how do you raise the perfect puppy? I think you need only look at the puppy raiser objectives and think about the 3 skills mentioned above and teach your puppy: Overall good obedience skills, excellent house manners, and socialization skills with people and dogs.
I worked extremely hard with Linus on his puppy raising and training. He’s almost 8 years old now and I think he’s an excellent dog. He does have his faults, but in my eyes he is a perfect puppy!
Do you have the perfect puppy? Do you have any tips on how to raise the perfect puppy? I’d love to hear about your pups in the comments section below.