Dog ownership. Part 1
Some people (like myself) will only adopt from shelters or rescue organizations. Others want to get a puppy and train from scratch. Regardless of your preference, all dogs need structure. It begins with their DNA. They are pack animals, and pack animals have a leader. The leader is now you! Once weaned from their pack or brought home from a rescue organization, they look for structure. Dogs want to please; they don’t do well thinking for themselves. So, they look to us.
Follow these, and you’ll have a great, well-behaved dog. Without supervision and leadership, you’ll end up with a misbehaved dog. Neither owners nor the public want a bad dog.
So if you have rescued, congratulations! If you brought home a puppy, congratulations! Let’s ensure you understand the next steps of dog ownership.
If you adopted, remember that the dog has already had at least two homes. The original home, the foster/rescue organization and now you. You are most likely the third home. Either way, it’s a huge change for them. Like children, they are afraid and may not adapt to a new environment. With puppies, they are reacting to being severed from their parents. Exercise special care and a lot of patience for your dog to live peacefully in your home.
Here are a few tips to ensure your new fluffy friend will be a family member forever.
1). Get Ready! Make sure to have everything ready when you get home: bed, leash, poop bags, treats, blankets, and where he’ll sleep. You will have enough to deal with without, so have the essentials ready.
2). It’s a Family Affair. Your dog needs consistency in training and habits. All family members must be aware of the rules. Make sure to discuss: eating times, training, couch privileges, treats, cleaning up after the dog, toys, etc. You can’t have one person keeping him off the couch and another letting him on. If you give mixed messages, he’ll never learn.
3). Give him the proper amount of time he deserves. Take a few days off (not just the weekend) to get your dog used to the routine. Expecting him to behave after a weekend is unrealistic. If you can, take 4-5 days — at least — to spend time with your new dog training.
4). Take lots of walks. Praise him with a treat each time he goes potty. It shows that this is the proper place to go. Walks are a great way to develop communication between you and your dog. It also provides necessary exercise. Dogs love sniffing everywhere, and walking provides an opportunity for socialization with people and other dogs.
5). A new name! If you want to rename your dog, use the old name and the new name for a week. Let’s say, “Peppy-Baxter.” (I did this). Then drop the old name and use the new one.
Look for Part 2 for more tips.