Dogs have truly earned the title “man’s best friend,” and with 78 million of them living as pets in America, they’re not going anywhere soon. They serve and protect in the military. They act as utility animals for people with disabilities. First and foremost, however, they brighten our lives. Dogs are as much a part of our families as our children or siblings. They share our good times and our bad, all the while standing true and loyal, letting us know they will never leave our side.
Prepping the House
Prepping the house for the arrival of a new puppy is basically the same as baby proofing your home for an overactive, furry toddler. Things that can be chewed on or gnawed must be put up and out of reach. Food must be kept away from the edges of stoves, counters and tables. Electrical cords must be neatly tucked behind or under furniture away from sharp teeth and claws. Designate areas for the puppy in each room of the house they are allowed to enter. This will help keep them off of furniture.
For the outside of your home, things get a little simpler. All chemicals should be stored in cabinets to prevent puppies from spilling them, even seemingly safe chemicals like fertilizer have the potential of hurting a puppy. Inground swimming pools can be a hazard for small puppies. Make sure they do not have access to the pool, either by putting up a small fence or blocking the entry with a gate or other large object. As they get older, allowing the dog to swim with the family may be a good way to spend quality time together during the hot summer months, but they should always be supervised.
Choosing the Right Breed
Before considering a dog, take a close look at your family and the dynamic in the home. Active families who spend a lot of time outdoors will do well with a dog that likes the same thing. Black labs for example, love to run and play. They will swim, hike trails and do almost everything their owner does.
Families who are less adventurous should opt for a dog who is more settled and down to earth. Cocker spaniels and poodles will do well in this environment. They tend to be calmer than other dogs and settle well in a quiet atmosphere. One thing to keep in mind is how much care a breed will need. Cockers and poodles need to be trimmed and bathed to keep their coats soft and manageable.
Older couples will often choose small dogs that like to cuddle and have attention lavished on them. Families with small children often choose to avoid the littler breeds because of their demeanor. Make sure whatever breed dog you choose is capable of living your lifestyle. Dog breeds were developed for a purpose. Terriers were used for hunting, while shepherd dogs are more suited for herding animals, or small children.
What to Expect During Training
No matter the breed, puppies are curious. They love to explore and will most definitely get into things they are not supposed to. Don’t expect them to know the rules from the beginning. Puppies are quick learners and will respond well if all family members are on the same page when it comes to discipline. A firm voice when scolding will be the key to letting them know they have made a mistake. Treats and displays of affection work well when praising for a job well done.
Potty training must be started immediately. Taking the puppy outside after each feeding and also several times in between, well help the puppy understand the importance of going outside. Puppy pads should be placed throughout the area and can gradually moved towards the door as the puppy becomes more proficient in their use.
Crating puppies overnight or when you leave the home prevents them from destroying property when left unattended. It also gives them a safe haven to go to if they feel they need to get away from children or things that bother them. Crating a puppy can also make the transition from one home to another much easier and stress free.
Bio: Val Heart – The Real Dr Doolittle, Val is internationally known as an expert animal communicator, teacher, author & master healer specializing in resolving behavior, training, performance, and health problems, and assisting with end of life situations. Learn Animal Communication in One Weekend Virtual Retreat [email protected] http