So, you just got a new puppy. Congratulations! And now you’re wondering, what’s a puppy licence and does this mean that there’s paperwork to fill out? The good news is no, there’s no forms to fill out here! Instead, think of a Puppy Licence as an L plate for learner drivers – you know how it is, we see the red plates and give them a wider berth, we understand they might make a mistake and we have a certain margin of tolerance.
It’s the same with puppies. Other dogs and owners may excuse certain behaviours because puppies are still learning the rules of the road. Luckily, puppies who are bred responsibly and ethically, can rely on their mum as their instructor. It’s mum’s job to teach her pups bite inhibition, calming signals, appeasement and a good understanding of what is and what isn’t appropriate.
Avoiding Penalty Points on a Puppy Licence
So, what happens when you bring your puppy home? Well, you are now responsible for making sure your puppy can drive safely, without angering or endangering other dogs or their owners. But let’s be honest – it takes practice to be perfect. So here are some simple tips that will help you and your puppy to avoid any accidents during their “learner” period.
Just as you wouldn’t drive without your seatbelt on, don’t let your puppy run up at other dogs. Not all dogs will welcome your puppy bouncing all over their face or back-end, and the last thing you want to do, is for one bad experience to put your puppy off getting back on the road again. Always ask the other owner for permission to let your puppy greet their dog, and if they say no, don’t take it personally.
No Passenger Seat Driving
Sit in the driver’s seat and actively get involved in your puppy’s training and development. Don’t rely on other dogs, especially dogs you don’t know, to tell your puppy off or to put them in their place. The trouble with this kind of teaching method is that it could have car-crash results that can be hard to overcome.
Don’t be Afraid to Pull The Handbrake
If your puppy’s behaviours are out of control – such as nipping at other dogs, clambering all over them, humping them or jumping in their face, don’t be afraid to pull the handbrake until you regain control of the situation. Teach your pup basic commands such as “look at me” to get their attention or “wait” if you can see they are about to go from 0 to annoying. Just shouting no won’t teach them anything. Give them alternative, positive behaviours to practice instead.
Puppy Licence Privileges – Expiry Dates
Just as puppies don’t stay small forever, their puppy licence privileges will also run out as they start to mature. Use your time with your puppy to create a strong, positive relationship. Bond with them, play with them, be the most fun person in the world to them. Reward their good behaviours, teach them with compassion and empathy. This is how you will set them up for a lifetime on the road to success.