Monday, July 26, 2010

Supplies? Check. Dog? Check. Now What?

So you adopted a dog. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Are you ready to help him or her become a happy and well-adjusted dog?

Keep Calm
Many new dog owners are so excited to show off their new friend that they forget that a newly adopted dog will need some time to acclimate to a new house, a new family and a new routine. When your dog first arrives at home, he or she will need a few days to investigate each room (with your supervision, of course) and get to rest up. When you leave the house, make sure you are clear about which areas are off-limits to him using gates.

A Place to Call His Own
A crate, while a safe and stimulus-free environment, can also be lonely and confusing for a new dog. Transform it  from a prison to a haven with a few steps. First, position the crate in a low-traffic, distraction-free area of your house. Then add some comfortable bedding and toys that he can make his own. Finally, reward your dog with a treat-stuffed toy every time he goes into the crate. This will reinforce the positive nature of the crate and provide entertainment.

Whether your dog received regular or intermittent veterinary care before you got him, make sure to make him an appointment to see a certified vet within two weeks of his arrival in your home. This will assure that your puppy is in good health and will open the door to breed or age-specific recommendations the vet may have for your specific dog. At 6-8 weeks of age, a puppy should receive his first set of vaccinations, including distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus and parainfluenza. Other issues your vet can assist you with early on include spaying or neutering, pest control and the ideal diet for your dog.

You should also begin basic training with your dog very early on. For example, make sure to supervise his behavior while he is getting used to his new surroundings, and provide acceptable chewing or playing alternatives to your precious possessions. By providing a treat when asking your dog to do something, you will be effectively communicating with him, and he will love it! Morris K9 Campus offers a wide variety of formal training classes for dogs at least 20 weeks of age to help make them model canines!

Socialization Our last post discusses the importance of socialization, particularly at a young age. Please read this post to make sure your dog is as well adjusted as he can possibly be.

Exercise and Play
As you probably know, brand new puppies need to expend LOTS of physical and mental energy, but you might not realize that adult dogs do, too. No matter what their age, dogs require an outlet for their energy and emotions. Some good options include fetch games and basic obedience. Just be sure to regularly rotate the toys and activities to maintain your dog's interest.

What Else Can I Do?
Even if you provide all the best for your dog, some canines just crave more structured activity and/or rewards. If you think this is the case, you might consider signing up for one of our beginner agility classes. To learn all about agility, please read our agility blog post or give us a call.

The Goal
Obviously the goal of all of your hard work acclimating your new pet to his new lifestyle is to make him and YOU happy! By following the guidelines above, you will ensure that you have a close relationship with your very confident, obedient and loving dog.

No comments:

Post a Comment