Dec 23 2017

So You Got a New Puppy. Now What?

Congratulations on the new addition to the family! A pet is a lifelong commitment and requires care, socialization and training. If this puppy was purchased for a child, YOU should expect to be the one managing the care of that pet. Children and pets naturally go together. However, the pet’s care requires adult love and supervision. This way, the child learns the proper way to raise the pet. 

So, what’s next? First, the puppy needs to be seen by the veterinarian. This is a critical step that ensures a proper foundation for a a lifetime of wellness. But, there are steps to take to prepare your pet for that visit. The way your puppy perceives his or her first visit to the veterinary hospital will greatly influence the way the pup will respond here for the rest of its life. Puppies are sensitive to emotional cues from their owners. How you react to new situations tells the puppy how to react as well. 

Therefore, you can interpret for the puppy the way it should respond to new or traumatic situations, such as this first veterinary visit! To do this, behave the way you want the puppy to behave when he/she is an adult dog. For example, if you want the dog that tolerates veterinary visits, even enjoys them, act cheerful and upbeat before, during, and especially immediately after the treatment. If the pup yips or yowls during a procedure, talk to it in a jolly tone of voice until it wags its tail. Do NOT coddle, coo, make sympathetic noises or soothingly pet the pet, or you will teach him to be worried and concerned, instead of cheerful and matter-of-fact. This tactic works in other new situations, such as trips to the park for socializing with children and adults, puppy kindergarten classes or when other dogs and strangers approach. A dog that is relaxed and confident in any situation is an ideal pet, and an ideal veterinary patient as well. 

Secondly, all new puppies must be properly house trained. This is a critical step in ensuring your puppy adjusts well to the routines of the household and does not cause damage to the house. Every member of the household must be consistent in house training. This consistency helps the pup to respond appropriately and properly learn to urinate and defecate outdoors. For information on properly house training your pup, click HERE. 

Next, all puppies MUST be taught basic obedience and be socialized. There are several resources available for training. This video series is an excellent way to start. Click HERE to begin the video. Also, we have basic training and socialization information on our website. Click HERE for more information. Dogs that have not been properly trained and socialized are often surrendered to animal shelters because the owners can no longer handle them. Most of these dogs never make it out of the shelter! 

Do I Go Home Today? by Sandi Thompson

My family brought me home cradled in their arms. They cuddled me and smiled at me, and said I was full of charm.

They played with me and laughed with me, they showered me with toys. I sure do love my family, especially the girls and boys. 

The children loved to feed me, they gave me special treats. They even let me sleep with them, all snuggled in their sheets.

I used to go for walks, often several times a day. They even fought to hold the leash, I’m very proud to say.

These things I’ll never forget – a cherished memory. I now live i the shelter without my family.

They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe. But, I didn’t know the difference between the old ones and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rag, for hours we would tug. So, I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bedroom rug.

They thought I was out of control, and would have to live outside. I did not understand, although I tried and tried. 

The walks stopped one by one; they said they hadn’t time. I wish that I could change things, I wish I knew my crime. 

My life became so lonely, in the backyard, on a chain. I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane. 

So they brought me to the shelter but were embarrassed to day why. They said I caused an allergy, then kissed me goodbye. 

If I’d had some classes as a little pup. I wouldn’t have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.

“You only have one day left,” I heard the worker say. Does that mean a second chance? Do I go home today?

PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR PUP! There are lots of books and videos to help you with dog behavior and training. Invest in obedience training, especially if you have not trained a dog before. And, if you have problems or questions regarding training or behavior issues, please give us a call! Most behavior problems can be cured if they are dealt with early. 


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