Of course, it is a major step to take on the responsibility of raising a dog, and it is a lifelong commitment and that should be something you fully accept and understand. If you understand what is involved and you are happy to bring a puppy home, here are a few tips to help you get to know your new best friend.
- Call a family meeting – It is important for you and other family members to create some rules about the puppy. You might not like the dog to get on the furniture, or perhaps you would like to teach the dog not to go upstairs, or you might give the dog the freedom of the house, which some homeowners do. If everyone knows the rules, then the dog will not be confused about what he can and cannot do, plus you need to decide what the best response is when the dog does not behave and this should be a standard followed by all occupants and that will help the dog to understand the rules.
- Essential Equipment – Of course, the puppy will need a collar and a leash, plus a food and water bowl and a few chewy toys, which should save your shoes. Your puppy should have toys that he can chew; rather than trying to stop the dog chewing, you should give him toys that he is allowed to chew and once he is aware of that, you should not have a problem about chewing. You can acquire everything you need from T.O. Dogswear, who are a leading supplier of dog related items at very affordable prices.
- Puppy Training – Of course, you want a well-behaved pet, one that won’t embarrass you and training starts from the very first day the puppy comes to your house. If you are not confident to train your dog, then enroll in a local puppy training class and you and your dog can learn how to be with each other. The course might last a couple of months, with a session once a week, plus the instructor advises you how to behave at home and teach you tricks on how to gain the dog’s trust and obedience. Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach a dog, by that, we mean to give him lots of affection when he does something right and to withhold that affection when he misbehaves. Never hit your dog, no matter how angry you are, as this will impact your relationship and it might even foster aggression, which you do not want. Click here for information about the ingredients for a balanced diet for your dog.
- Exercise – As a general rule, the bigger the dog, the more exercise he will need, so a small dog would be fine with a short walk around the block morning and evening, but a Labrador would need a lot more exercise that just a walk around the block. If there is a park nearby or a small wooded area, these are great places to take your dog and before you go out with your dog, you should have the control to call the dog to you at any given time. A dog that does not get enough exercise would likely exhibit behavioral problems, which you would not otherwise see.
- Vaccinations – Your dog should not be exposed to other dogs until he has had his shots from the local vet and the Internet is full of resources about all aspects of pet care, so you can educate yourself on what is needed to be a good pet owner. Registering the puppy with the vet is the first step and we advise you to have the dog microchipped, which can help if the dog gets lost. Like humans, dogs should have regular check-ups and we recommend taking out some form of pet insurance, with several plans that range from emergency care to comprehensive insurance that even pays a portion of the cost to train the puppy.
- Private Space – Your dog needs to have his own private space, where his bed is located and most people choose the kitchen to be the dog’s domain, where his food and water bowls would be situated. You can order a dog bed from the online supplier and this will always be a place where he can chill out.
If you are prepared to invest your time in the training of your dog, you and the puppy will benefit is many ways and over the years, your 4-legged companion will bring you a lot of satisfaction. Here is some California State information about the laws regarding dogs, which you should read. If you have yet to choose the puppy, don’t forget the many dog rescue facilities, where young dogs are waiting for a second chance at a good life, which, with your help, can be reality.