At a minimum, you should plan on hiring a trainer and a veterinarian for your dog's care. Depending on your schedule, lifestyle, and the breed of your new dog, you may also need to work with groomers, pet sitters, boarding facilities, dog walkers, or even daycare operators.
Be aware that with the exception of veterinary medicine, all of these professions are unregulated. Do some detailed research to find qualified and trustworthy pet professionals in your area who can provide your pet with the best possible care.
By Casey Lomonaco owns Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training in Binghamton, NY.
Many New York City residents want to adopt and bring a furry cutie friend into their lives. There are a few key points to consider before giving that big step of adopting a dog, ESPECIALLY a puppy.
Your puppy will grow up very quickly. Know how to train him right and he will become a good natured and well mannered adult dog.
Before You Search For A Puppy
Before you get a new puppy, make sure you know exactly what kind of puppy to look for and how to raise and train him. If you are still
searching for a puppy, please read BEFORE You Get Your Puppy, which is available for free download from www.dogstardaily.com,
openpaw.org, and siriuspup.com. And if you haven't done so already, purchase a dog crate, six Kong chewtoys, and some freeze-dried
liver treats before your puppy comes home.
Deciding Which Type of Puppy
The breed, type, size, activity level, hair color, hair length, and sex of your
prospective puppy are personal choices and best left entirely up to you and your family. Once you have all agreed on a choice, go to your local humane society or dog training school to look for and "test-drive" at least six adult dogs of the type that you have selected. Testdriving adult dogs will teach you more about what to expect from a puppy than any book or
video. Also, the experience of test-driving will ensure you know how to teach and control adult dogs before you get your puppy. Really, the process of choosing a dog is not much different from choosing a car. First, you need to learn to drive, and second, you want to choose a car that looks and feels right to you. You will probably have read lots of well-meaning advice from pet professionals that advise you, for example, not to get certain breeds if you have children, not to get large dogs if you live in an apartment, and not to get active dogs in the city. In reality, all breeds and types of dog can be wonderful or problematic with children. It very much depends on whether or not the puppy was trained how to act around children and the children were taught how to act around the puppy. Because of their lower activity levels, large dogs adapt more quickly to apartment living than little dogs. Big dogs just take up more space. And active dogs can live in cities just as active people live in cities. In fact, city dogs, for example, New York City, tend to be walked and exercised more than suburban dogs. In the long run, it will be you who will be living with your puppy and teaching him to adjust to your lifestyle and living arrangement.
Selecting Your Individual Puppy
It is vital however that you know how to evaluate whether your prospective puppy is physically and mentally healthy. Research your prospective puppy's lineage to confirm that his grandparents and great-grandparents all lived to a ripe old age, and to check how many of his doggy family suffered from breed-specific problems. Long life is the best indicator of overall physical and behavioral health and the best predictor that your puppy will have a long life expectancy. Research well; you want your puppy to enjoy his sunset years with you. My first malamute died when he was just five years old. Heartbreaking. In terms of behavioral development, by eight weeks of age your prospective puppy should be
housetrained, chewtoy-trained, outgoing, friendly, and sociable, and at the very least, know how to come, sit, lie down, and roll over. Any signs of fearfulness are absolutely abnormal in an eightweek-old pup.
Check that the puppy was raised indoors, around human companionship and influence. Check that the puppy uses a dog toilet, rather than urinating and defecating all over the floor (which he will continue to do if you take him home). Check that hollow chewtoys stuffed with food are
readily available. Ask the breeder how many strangers, especially including men and children, have handled and trained the puppies. Check for yourself how easy (or difficult) it is to hug and handle (restrain and examine) your prospective puppy. Also check how quickly (or slowly) the
puppy learns to come, sit, lie down, and roll over for each family member.
Raising and Training Your Puppy
The first week your puppy comes home is the most important week of her life. From the very first day, start an errorless house training and chewtoy-training program so that you prevent any future house soiling, destructive chewing, excessive barking, or separation anxiety problems. When you are not at home, leave your puppy in a long-term confinement area (puppy
playroom), which has a comfortable bed, fresh water, several chewtoys stuffed with food, and a temporary indoor toilet. Long-term confinement prevents mistakes around the house and maximizes the likelihood your puppy will learn to chew chewtoys and use her toilet. When you are at home but cannot pay full attention to your puppy, confine her to a small, shortterm confinement area (doggy den or dog crate) with a couple of stuffed chewtoys. Confining your puppy to a den prevents any mistakes around the house, maximizes the likelihood your puppy will learn to chew chewtoys, and allows you to predict when your puppy would like to relieve herself. Knowing when your puppy wants to go makes house training easy because now you can show her where to go and reward her for going in the right spot. Confining a pup to a den temporarily inhibits elimination, so that every hour, you can take her to an appropriate toilet area. When she promptly pees (and sometimes poops), give her three liver treats as a reward. Confinement is a temporary management and training measure. Once your puppy has learned household manners, he may enjoy full run of your house for the rest of his life. If you are still searching, read BEFORE You Get Your Puppy. If you already have a new puppy, read AFTER You Get Your Puppy and Doctor Dunbar's Good Little Dog Book, and watch
the award-winning Sirius Puppy Training video, all available from your local book store or www.amazon.com.
BEHAVIOR BLUEPRINTS from www.jamesandkenneth.com
New Puppy, New Adult Dog, Housetraining, Chewing,
Digging, Barking, Home Alone, Puppy Biting,
Fighting, Fear of People, Dogs & Children,
HyperDog, Puppy Training, Come-Sit-Down-Stay,
Walking On Leash, and Cat Manners
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