While many of us love dogs, not many know how to handle them, or are aware of what steps they need to take when bringing the new member home. While adopting a mature dog has its own pros and cons, bringing a puppy home carries with it a set of its own rules.
The first week is critical for both the pup and its owner. Spending time with a new member is exhilarating, but it’s also likely to be unnerving. However, the transition can be made easier by doing a little advance planning.
Bringing a dog home is a big commitment. Before taking the plunge, it is pertinent that family members sit together and work out the details of who does what when the pup comes home. To avoid confusing the pup, hammer out the house rules ahead of time.
Speaking to this correspondent, Srinivas Jakkani, Owner and Co-founder of The Doggie Professor shares a few tips:
Top things one needs to remember when bringing in a pup or dog home for the first time
Puppies need to be taken care of. Make sure you are financially and mentally ready to take care of them. While they may look cute, they require a lot of work, which includes feeding them on time to cleaning after them.
Other things prospective owners need to remember is to puppy proof the house and also find out if they are allergic to dog hair, dander etc.
It is also important to remember that the puppy needs to be socialized. It can’t stay forever inside the house even if it’s a toy breed.
How does one choose a breed? Are there any specifications to the personality of a person and the kind of dog they keep.
What's in a breed? A Lot!!! Before I help people get dogs for their household I always try and figure what kind of household it is. It is of utmost importance to have a sort of compatibility between the dog and its breed and the humans it will stay with.
Always try and match the breed you want to get with your lifestyle. Imagine a lazy person getting a Belgian Malinois or a person with an active life getting a Neapolitan Mastiff!
Tips to choose a pup
Find the size of a dog you want. They come in various sizes. i.e. toy, small, medium, large and giant.
Find the breed that you want. Don't stick to just aesthetic appeal of the breed but also temperaments. Some breeds are more difficult to maintain than others.
Find good ethical breeders. Never get a dog from a puppy mill. Alternatively one can also look at local shelters.
Get information about the parents and meet them if possible. The pups will have a lot of mothers characteristics. So if the mother is friendly high chance the pup will be too.
Never get home a pup before at least 60 days of its age. It is important that the puppy stays with the mother for learning good behaviors.
Nature and nurture are two different parts of a dogs life. What you get is nature, how it grows up learning from you is nurture.
Right age for a dog to be adopted:
A pup can be adopted or bought from a breeder post 60 days of age. A lot of breeders find it tedious to maintain pups till 60 days of age and sell them or give them away earlier than necessary. This can cause behavioral and immunity issues in the puppy. The first 60 days of a puppy's life are critical in determining how it will act later, toward people and other dogs.
As for adult dogs are concerned they can be adopted at any age post compatibility matching.
Things one has to keep ready in a house when adopting a dog or bringing a puppy home:
Similar to a human baby, puppies need hygiene too. Keep the house sanitised.
Another important thing to remember is to be ready with the contact of a reliable vet. This is the first place to go once you have bought a puppy into your home.
Dog food, food bowls, teethers, grooming brush, dog tags etc are some of the things owners need to be ready with.
A Crate if crate training the dog for toilet habits. Puppy pee pads for the puppy to pee/poop till the vaccinations are complete and the puppy can go for walks.
What is the basic training one needs to first give a dog? The correct age to start training:
Training gives the dog and its family a chance at communicating and bonding. Basic commands include commands like ‘Sit, Down, Heel, Stay and Wait.’ Most of the commands are simply to make communication easier and should be mixed with words like dominance etc. Bonding happens on trust and understanding. Training a dog using harsher methods is simply installing fear into the dogs mind and should be avoided at all costs. There are several ways to train your dog positively, select the ones that your dog responds to the most.
You will be training your puppy from the moment you bring it home and start to house train. Puppies start learning from birth and good breeders begin handling and socialization right away. Some training can begin as soon as the puppy can open its eyes and walk. Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age.
What is better, to bring in a puppy or a senior dog?
Puppies normally require significantly more attention than do older dogs. They should not be left alone all day and typically will need to pee every couple of hours.
Pee training can be difficult unless the puppy is supervised in the house and taken outside at regular intervals to pee.
Puppies require training in the basic commands which mature dogs often know.
During the teething process, where razor sharp puppy teeth are replaced by adult teeth, puppies can be especially destructive. Anything within reach is at risk of becoming a new source of fun and festivity for exuberant puppies – like your favorite slippers or sunglasses. As with any dog, an ill-behaved or poorly socialized puppy is not a pleasure to be around. On the other hand, a puppy can be a joy to live with – especially in homes with children or other companion animals or where the owner has a flexible schedule. Puppies can be easier to train than older dogs that are set in their ways. Puppies also are free of the mental, physical and/or emotional scars that older dogs can bring with them. If you are thinking about adopting a puppy, be sure that your lifestyle and living arrangements are compatible with an energetic bundle of love.
That being said, mature dogs can come with emotional and behavioral baggage, particularly if they come from an abusive home. The new owner of an adult dog whose history is unknown must be patient and committed to working with their new companion with a consistently gentle hand. Abused dogs often are fearful and shy in unfamiliar situations and with unfamiliar people. They require a calm, secure living environment and time to develop trust in their new guardian. Adult dogs may not live as long as a puppy, but that will depend on chance and a multitude of other factors. Many people relish the opportunity to provide a safe and loving home for older dogs that deserve a second chance.
Mature dogs often fit seamlessly into a new home. This is especially true if you have information about the animal’s past so that you can avoid potentially problematic situations. Adult dogs typically are potty trained and many know their basic commands. Dogs are intelligent creatures and quickly pick up on the ins and outs of a regular household routine. While adult dogs still require daily attention, they do not require the constant supervision and mental stimulation that puppies demand....