Bringing up a puppy is a big job, but many first time dog owners don't realize that until after they've brought their new puppy home. They get taken over by the heat of the moment when they first locked eyes with their chosen puppy, and reality just fell away, until later...
A huge amount of dogs get returned to breeders and shelters every day. Worse yet, a lot of dogs are abandoned and left to the mercy of the environment, just because they are no longer cute puppies, and as dogs they just proved to be 'too much' for their dog owners.
I'm not here to paint a picture of doom and gloom, but one of reality. The point I'm trying to make is that just like with everything else in life, if you invest a little bit of time into researching and planning before you made your decision, you are giving yourself and your chosen pooch a much better chance of long term relationship...
Then when you've made sure you are a good match, you can dive into the whole raising a loving dog thing, and your chances of swooping success are tenfold!
So here are my top secret tips on how to ensure that you raise a happy and healthy dog, that will be a pleasure for you and your family.
1. Make sure to consider each dog breed and its characteristics, to allow you to pick the one that suits:
- Your lifestyle;
- Your personality type;
- Your budget capabilities;
- Your living space;
- Your time availability.
2. Consider which obedience training method you want to use.
This is important because there are so many out there, and you should try sticking to one method only. Consider each of these, and then decide which ones suit you and your dog most. Avoid flipping between methods as this may confuse your dog.
- Clicker Training
- Dog Whispering Method
- Ultrasonic Whistle Method
- Positive Reinforcement Method
I would personally recommend using the Positive Reinforcement Method as it allows you to train your dog, establishing authority, but maintaining a loving healthy relationship that relies on cooperation, rather than fear.
3. Consider what main bits of training you need to take care of to ensure your puppy grows up to be a well balanced dog.
There are some things even I didn't think of when I first got a dog, so this one is worth a few minutes of research or at least ask your vet about these.
- Potty training
- House training
- Crate training
- Proper socialization
- Training in basic obedience commands right from day 1 - like SIT, GO POTTY, NO, OK, COME.
- Creating special feeding times, nap times, potty times, and play times - all part of your dog's routine, and all very important for his mental and physical health.
- Training him right from the start not to jump on you, nip or bite you, bark excessively, chew or dig in unwanted places.
4. Plan ahead for your puppy's health care.
I don't need to tell you that your puppy's health is very important. What you may not have considered is the different parts of his health care you need to provide for. So t make it easier, here is another brief list for you:
- His first vet appointment
- His required vaccinations
- His routine treatments like flea, worm, and tic prevention pills
- Any other vaccinations you may want to consider
- His daily health and care (grooming) - like brushing his teeth, grooming his coat, baths, and monitoring his overall well being
- Accident and emergency treatments if needed
- Taking care of chronic illnesses
I've listed everything very briefly above, so that you can use this a checklist when you are looking after your puppy or dog. Go though the list and dig deeper into the items you feel you're unsure of. You can always research on the internet - there are many excellent puppy and dog training sites. And when you're unsure of something, or you need specialized advice - ask your vet for direction and advice.
Just remember that a puppy can be with you for up to 20 years of your life, so you owe it to him and yourself to make sure as much as possible that you and him are a good match - the rest is up to loving and caring, and fun...