|Kid and puppies combined = Extra Commitment|
Many people choose to add a new pet in the spring/summer because of the abundance of puppies or the extra time families will have with summer vacation. Wether you are getting a mutt or a pure breed these are important things to consider.
Puppy or adult? I am assuming that you will do your homework and research the best personality of dog for your lifestyle and activity level. Bring in a professional or take some online quizzes to help you figure out your best fit. Picking a dog is NOT like buying a sweater ! You are making a decision that has a commitment of many years.
Don't get two puppies at one time! Many people think this is a good idea and they will have a playmate while you are at work. Two puppies at one time are quadruple the trouble. Unless you have two people in the house willing to take full responsibility for their respective pup you are in for a huge job.
Puppy's will need lots of attention and training for at least two years. You get the joy of raising your pup but also the fun potty training, chewing, nipping, adolescent behaviors. Just because you get the pup young does not guarantee your dog won't have issues that will need to be dealt with.
Adult dogs have already "grown up" so any training dealing with bathroom habits, nipping, chewing, etc... Are shorter term. The bonus of getting an adult dog is that you know what you have in a mature dog. If there are issues they have most likely already manifested. However, if the dogs issues were not dealt with appropriately or they were ignored then you may have have some extra training time in store.
Choose a dog/puppy that wants to interact with you. We call this sociability. This dog will bond easier and develop a relationship with you. Relationship is very important when owning a dog.
|Consider a stuffed dog! Less time no training.|
No poop to scoop!!
Regardless of whether it's a puppy or adult the following expectations are realistic.
- Adjustment Period: When you first get your dog, she will spend the first few days just trying to get adjusted. This is the “honeymoon phase.” If your dog has any bad habits from her previous home, these may not appear in the first few weeks. I constantly remind clients that it takes 45 to 90 days for a new dog/puppy to acclimate to the new home.
- Potty training: Young puppies are not potty-trained, and an adult dog might not be either. You don’t want her having accidents in the house, so keep an eye on your new dog constantly so she can’t make a mistake. Pretend like the dog is not potty trained until he proves himself.
- Chewing: Your dog doesn’t know which things are her chew toys and which aren’t. Limiting house freedom will help you keep an eye on her so you can redirect to something on which she is allowed to chew.
- Teenager Phase: This lasts from about 6-18 months depending on the dog, and you will wonder why your previously wonderfully behaved dog has suddenly started to test her limits. This is normal. Just be consistent!
What to Do:
|Senior dogs need loving homes too.|
- Set Consistent Rules: Decide as a family what the rules are and enforce them from the beginning. If it’s not going to be cute when your dog is 10, don’t let him do it when he’s 10 weeks. Sending a consistent message to your dog is an important part of training.
- Establish a Routine: Dogs respond well to routines, so while they are adjusting to their new home, try to keep meal, walk and bed times as consistent as possible.
- Be Positive: Positive-
reinforcement training is a great way to teach your dog the rules while establishing a solid relationship. Be patient. It’s hard to adjust to a new home.
- Socialize: If you have a puppy, make sure to socialize him to other dogs, people, children, skateboards and everything else you don’t want him to fear. Adult dogs need to get out and explore the world too.
- Take a class to find out what your dog is good at and channel your dogs energies into something you both enjoy. Tracking, agility, obedience, hiking, biking, etc...