Choosing Your Puppy
Bringing a new puppy into your home is always exciting and can be a literally life changing event. Dog ownership has numerous benefits and should bring you happiness for years to come. Introducing a new puppy or dog into your home needs careful consideration so a few words of caution: always research the breed of dog you are considering very carefully – remember that a cute puppy grows into a headstrong dog in no time. I can provide advice on the right dog for you and your family - your lifestyle will have a major impact on the health and well being of your puppy. Once you have made your decision, source your puppy only through a reputable breeder, never ever buy a puppy online. If you are considering a rescue dog, please see below for individual advice.
As you introduce your puppy to their new home, it’s worth remembering these top tips for you and your new dog:
Who's The Boss?
It’s tempting to let your new puppy rule the house when they first arrive – they look so harmless. Don’t do it - everyone in the house has to know who the boss of the dog is and play by their rules. This means leaving the puppy alone for some downtime in a quiet place, not distracting them at mealtimes and following the routines the boss lays down – if that’s you, make the rules and stick to them. This is the start of you being the pack leader for your puppy, a crucial role in your dog’s life.
Meeting The World
To create a friendly, confident dog, you need to give them lots of new experiences from the moment they arrive. Take them out in the car, introduce them to everyone who visits the house including the postman, let them meet children, never tiptoe around them. This socialisation is crucial to their development and enables them to deal with whatever changes your life holds in the future.
Boot Camp From Day One
They are cute, they are cuddly and one day in the very near future they will be a big, strong, determined dog. Do not leave training until problems start to occur, put basic routines in place from day one. Use their name (is it something you will feel comfortable calling in the park?) to get their attention, give praise for good behaviour, introduce some basic commands. The more you do now, the easier it will be later.
Invest In Training & Nutrition
A well-behaved dog will be a pleasure to have around and the more training you do, the better your dog will behave. I run 1-2-1 and small group puppy training to help you get the best out of your dog, whether it’s a family pet or a working dog. Book your training the moment you get your puppy, it’s as important for your new dog’s health and wellbeing as those early trips to the vet. To keep your puppy in top condition with the nutrients that are needed for strong and healthy growth, I can highly recommend our sponsors Bob & Lush who offer great rates to my clients on this premium dog food.
I like nothing better than to see a rescue dog restored to their full potential and with so many dogs waiting for new homes, it’s a great choice for the right person with the right dog. I have rescues in my own pack that have made such remarkable progress, you would never be able to guess at their history of neglect. However, if you are considering a rescue, proceed with extreme caution - ask yourself why. Why get a dog? Why a rescue? Why that breed?
It’s a fact that through no fault of their own, the dogs in the rescue centre are there for a reason – more often than not it’s because, at some point, someone has lost control of that dog. As a dog behaviourist I know that many unwanted behaviours can be corrected with consistent, intensive training but just consider whether you want to put in the time and commitment needed to make those corrections? I would encourage you to think very carefully about your lifestyle and time commitments – rescue dogs can be great companions but need patience, reassurance and plenty of training to establish a good bond.
Before you make your decision, call me and we can chat through which breed and behaviour would be right for you. I’d much rather help with the decision beforehand than be helping to rehome the dog when things don’t work out. Rescuing a dog is a great choice, just make sure it’s the right one for you.
...A massive thank you to Damian for matching us with this gorgeous little spaniel...
Andy and Arthur the Springer Spaniel