No-one can resist puppies with their huge eyes, soft fur, little kisses or energetic prances. You can visualize your partner’s eyes or the kid’s joy of excitement when you bring home the newest edition to your family.
The joy is often short lived when a pet is purchased on impulse. That cute little bundle cries all night for the first few nights, causing tempers to rise from lack of sleep, poos and wees in the home causing a mess. The kids fast outgrow the “new toy” because it bites. The puppy also quickly grows into a young juvenile, often with no education – running rampant through the home or garden. Then there’s the digging, biting and barking excessively. Suddenly the puppy is no longer welcome in the home and the nuisance must go.
Most people think this won’t happen to them. But the unfortunate truth is it does. Unless you do your homework first, there’s chance the pup will end up at a shelter or pound looking for a new home.
When adopting a puppy we must remember ‘WE ARE ITS GUARDIAN’. It is up to us to understand that raising a puppy is a lot like raising children. Dogs are not children but need to be taught how to behave appropriately around the family and in public, as well as to respect others. They need to be able to understand rules and we need to provide boundaries to set clear consistent guidelines for their behaviour. In order to set our dogs up to succeed in life we must teach them the survival skills required to live in a human world. This means educating yourself before and after you adopt a puppy. Just doing a puppy preschool is not enough. The education is ongoing!
Do your homework. Don’t impulse buy. Look for reputable breeders where you can view both mother and father. Where possible, please adopt. There are many amazing puppies sitting in shelters right now who would appreciate your loving home.
When looking for a trainer, look for one who is qualified. They hold a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and work with reward based training methods. Professionals like this can help you with training and guide you to a physically and behaviorally healthy puppy. This helps set you up for a happy and healthy home that includes your needs as well as those of your new puppy.
Written by Dee Scott, Positive Response Dog Training