Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network

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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409


You have a new puppy but now what? We at the Bloor Animal Hospital present you with the true facts about how to raise your pup.

Leaving their mother and brothers and sisters behind can cause the puppy stress.

FACT: Dogs are social animals and live in packs. You and your family will be replacing his dog-family so be sure to provide a welcoming and social home, they will want to form bonds quickly.


The only things my puppy needs are quality food, shelter and a bit of love.

MYTH: To ensure that your puppy always shows good behaviour it is your responsibility to make sure your pup has proper outlets for all of the animal things (both good and ‘bad’) it likes to do. Puppies are supposed explore, chew, eliminate and have social interaction regularly. When you do not provide with opportunities to do so appropriately it can set up your puppy for ‘bad’ behaviour. If you tend to all of your puppy’s needs you’ll both be happy.



Puppy training should begin as soon as you get home.

FACT: The sooner you start training your puppy the more responsive they will be.


Each family member should have his or her own training routine for the puppy.

MYTH: Training should be consistent. Before you bring the puppy home you should sit down as a family and discuss training, limitations on where and what the puppy is allowed to do and other important puppy rules.



As a new member of your family your puppy should have free reign of the house just like everyone else.

MYTH: Puppies need to have limits set for them. This reinforces you as the master and him as subordinate. Set up an area that is puppy-proof, comfortable and some place where he gets some social interaction.


It is best to avoid physical training techniques.

FACT: Physically reprimanding your puppy sets up a fearful relationship between your puppy and ALL other humans. Training should focus on the positive things you want your puppy to do and not simply on the things you don’t want him or her to do.


You’ve found a chewed pair of shoes and as soon as you find Buster you should promptly punish him.

MYTH: Unfortunately the ONLY proper time to punish your puppy for bad behaviour is WHEN it is OCCURRING otherwise the puppy does not understand what he is being punished for. Not only can this lead to more inappropriate behaviour but can also make the puppy unnecessarily afraid of humans.


If you want your puppy to exhibit a certain type of behaviour it must reinforced at all times.

FACT: Allowing your puppy to crawl into bed with you as a reward, sit up on the couch or jump on you leads the puppy to believe this is acceptable behaviour. When this occurs you should immediately redirect your puppy to the good behaviour you want them to exhibit. This way they will understand what you allow and what you do not allow.



He is just a puppy it’s okay if he doesn’t know proper walk etiquette yet.

MYTH: The behaviour your puppy learns when she is young is the behaviour she will exhibit when she is older. The role of you as a leader should be established from the beginning, your puppy should never lead and you should wait for your pup quietly at the door if it is time to go for a walk. Take action and take hold of the lease – You are Alpha in this relationship.


Remember the best training is the kind that sets your dog up for success, so always reward rather then reprimand whenever you have the chance. Good luck and bring the lil’ guy in to see us, we’d love to meet him!

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