Giving your dog the best possible start in life, be he or she a bundle of 8 week old joy or an older rescue dog, will help you greatly in having a well behaved and well mannered friend who is both easy to live with and a pleasure take out in public. It will also give your companion a full and happy life.
Buyer beware ...
Before reading my advice below about how to get your puppy to best settle in your home and to ensure good training and behaviour, please see my previous article about responsible puppy purchasing which will help you avoid buying your puppy from a commercial puppy farm or any breeder who does not have the welfare of both the parents and your puppy as a priority.
Why is it a good idea to seek advice before bringing your dog home …
By gaining early training and behavioural advice, your family and your dog will get off to the best possible start for a long and happy relationship with your new friend and, as above, result in a companion who is a pleasure to live with.
Whether you are getting your first puppy or an older dog then a home visit with me before his or her arrival will help you set up your home, buy essential equipment for house training and other training, and agree on suitable house rules for your new arrival. This avoids confusion for your dog and helps you, your family and your new friend to start off on the right foot (and paws) as soon as he or she arrives.
Once you have your dog …
If you have missed the opportunity of pre-arrival advice and you already have your little (or large) bundle of joy in your home then early help with training and behaviour will still really benefit you rather than waiting for undesirable behaviour to begin.
It is so much easier to prevent bad habits and unwanted behaviour than it is to stop it once it has started – although I do, of course, deal with that a lot as well!
A one to one session can really put you on the right track to a happy dog and a happy home …
Some of the things we cover in the pre-puppy or pre- older dog consultations are:
- If you have not already chosen your dog then advice on how to best choose a dog which is both suitable for your household and how to buy responsibly.
- Setting up your home to help your new friend settle in quickly and without stress.
- Discussing health issues.
- Socialisation – how to maximise the ‘socialisation’ period with your puppy even before vaccinations are complete, or how to do likewise with an older dog to improve or maintain confidence.
- Equipment you will need to ensure good house training, control, and general obedience training.
- Which toys and how to use them to help you bond and play with your dog.
- Advice on up to date dog law.
- House training – setting up equipment and a daily routine to ensure your dog learns in optimum time to toilet outside so as to avoid bad habits of indoor toileting.
- How to reduce play-biting and chewing.
- Learning to spot the signs of possible aggression – you may be surprised that some young puppies will demonstrate this and it is better to know the signs and so be able to ask for immediate help with any such issues. Contrary to popular (optimistic!) belief dogs do not ‘grow out of’ unwanted behaviour.
- Advice on correct amount and type of exercise to avoid damaging your dog’s joints.
- Feeding advice.
- How to avoid stress of car journeys (the initial collection and ongoing).
- Advice on a sensible daily routine for you and your dog.
- Advice on ongoing training for your dog to ensure he or she is a pleasure to be with both at home and in public.
Further on-line help and getting in touch …
Please also browse my web articles for more advice on training and behaviour or get in touch directly.
I look forward to hearing from you and to helping you raise your puppy or older rescue dog to have a full and happy life together.