We are getting towards the end of the year again. Most of us would say good riddance to 2020. As puppies are a popular Christmas gift I thought it timely to post this blog about bringing a new puppy into your home.
It is a good idea to make sure you get the right breed for your lifestyle:
- Don’t get a high-energy dog if you are a bit of a couch potato.
- Don’t get a lap dog if you want to do long hikes.
- Don’t like shedding, then a doodle dog is probably more to your liking. Surprisingly some dogs are abandoned just because they shed hair.
- Don’t get a dog if you don’t have the time or financial means to support a dog. This includes behaviour coaching.
- Don’t get a puppy and leave it in the backyard when the cuteness fades.
- Do get a puppy if you want a loving, emotional, thinking and feeling animal to share your life with for the next 10 to 15 years.
Let’s talk puppy care! It is a good idea to prepare for the puppy before you bring him home. Do you have a crate or playpen, you are going to need one! Puppies need 24-hour supervision and putting them somewhere safe and comfortable when you can not watch them will prevent all sorts of problems. It is also very important for the puppy to have a safe place to go for sleeping, or just getting away from the chaos of family life.
Have you scanned the house and yard for poisonous plants or snail bait and rat poison? Check the garage, puppies tend to get into places you never thought they could. Ensure all medications are out of puppy reach. If you have children ensure that toys are kept out of puppy mouths, not only to keep the kids happy but save on costly vet bills to remove foreign items. Dog Coaches like myself are available to visit your home and show you what you need to do before the arrival of your new pup.
If your puppy has come from a reputable breeder all he has really ever known is his Mum, litter mates and the breeder’s family. Most puppies leave everything they have ever known at about 8 weeks of age and are introduced to their forever home. This coincides with a pup’s critical socialisation period, which is from 3 weeks to 3 months. What happens to the pup during this time will shape the dog he will become. Therefore, it is vital that your pup receives the appropriate socialisation. With some knowledge of canine communication, we can recognise how our new puppy is feeling. If the pup is stressed about certain situations it is our duty to remove them and keep them safe.
Puppies are not fully vaccinated until around 14 weeks and it is important to keep them away from dog-populated areas to ensure they do not pick up diseases. However, if we wait until they are fully vaccinated we have missed the window of opportunity for critical learning. Pups need to experience all sorts of different sights, sounds, smells and textures. If they are not exposed at this stage of their development they may be quite fearful as an adult dog. While your puppy is small you can carry them to different places where they can experience all of the above stimulus. Car rides at this stage will set them up for a future of comfortable travelling. Visits to friends’ houses with friendly vaccinated dogs are a good way for your dog to receive socialisation.
If you are introducing a puppy to another animal in your home this should be done slowly and carefully, giving the puppy and the other animals a place to retreat if necessary. The same applies to children, especially young children and babies. Children should always be supervised when in the company of a dog. Even your own family dog can bite if the kids play inappropriately with them.
If you are adopting a puppy from a rescue with an unknown origin it may be even more fearful than other pups. If puppies come from Puppy Farms they will have been born into disgusting conditions with no socialisation at all, so coming into your home will flood the puppy. It is a good idea to just give them time and space. Slowly introduce these little ones to the world they live in.
There is no such thing as a bad dog! If your dog does not behave the way you want them to then it is because they were not shown how. It is far better to get it right when a puppy is young than to try and fix the behaviour when the dog is older.
Check the pricing section of this website for puppy programs.