A lot of people don’t think too much about it.
But when you are bringing a new dog home, you need to prepare for it.
It’s like having a baby: you will need diapers, bottles… I don’t know what else, I don’t have a baby 🙂
Preparing is key to success, know what you’re dealing with, the dog’s history, age, breed, will be fundamental on deciding how you will need to prepare your home and your life for that little being that will have only you from now on.
First Things First…
Have you investigated to make sure you can accommodate that particular dog into your life?
As I mentioned in my previous post, different dogs will have different traits, personality, temperament, exercise, mental stimulation and space needs.
So make sure you and your family are choosing the right companion, because if not, you are going to risk not being able to handle it and feel tempted to give the dog up… and the dog doesn’t deserve it. NO DOG DOES!
So once you’ve made up your mind, it’s time to plan what sort of training you are going to be doing and gear up before bringing your new pup home.
Each case is particular, but somethings are an absolute must!
If you are divided between doing or not doing crate training with your dog…. the answer is do it!
Crate training allows you to teach your doing to be more independent and enjoy spending time alone. Teaches them to relax, which is not something that we remember doing a lot and it’s amazing for toilet training as well.
If you want, I can write a post describing how to do crate training step by step!
Yet, if you are not keen on doing the proper crate training, having a crate is still a great idea.
Most people see a dog in a crate and they feel sorry for them.
This way you can carry your dog’s safe haven around and provide them with the sensation of security wherever you go, specially if you are taking them somewhere new and you will need to maintain them calm and under control.
Mia’s crate goes everywhere with me. It’s not necessarily light, but it’s collapsible so it fits in my car. I use it to have her in my puppy classes and bring it back home so she can sleep in it when I’m away..
Works like a charm!
If you have no idea what this is, get acquainted.
Kongs are one of the most important dog training tools you will have.
Basically: dogs have evolved working for their food and, in nature, they spend most of their active time hunting or searching for food so, when your feed your dog from a bowl, you are literally depriving them of their natural source of mental stimulation!
(don’t know how to write the sound of your minds blowing hahah)
That’s where the Kong gets in.
On top of being virtually indestructible, kongs are hollow and allow you to fill them up with food.
So I use them INSTEAD of the food bowl!
That’s right, I don’t have a food bowl at all. All of her feeding is done by hand and kongs.
Generally she gets them when I’m leaving the house or when she needs to stay in the crate. That makes separation a lot easier, as she looks forward to having the Kongs and doesn’t mind me leaving too much.
I start with just food inside to get them to understand how to work them and then move to frozen kongs, which are much harder to empty, therefore keep your dog entertained for much longer as well.
Mental stimulation is key to having a happy healthy dog and working to empty a Kong replicates a dog’s natural source of it: working to eat!
They love it!
I find long leads are also an essential training tool.
Australia has a huge off lead culture, but the truth, is your dog needs to be prepared to be off lead.
Most dogs here, are not!
Being off lead, by no means, is the same as doing whatever they want. I often say that if your dog charges up to ANYTHING (people, birds, other dogs), they are not ready to be off lead.
It’s very frustrating to have a reactive dog safely on lead and have an extra friendly off lead dog bolt towards you.
On lead, dogs naturally tend to be more reactive and another one inadvertently run up to them can cause a fight and dogs to get hurt.
Once the dog is free, as soon as they decide to run you’ve lost control and there’s no teaching to be done, only damage control.
Other than that, running away from you can be a great game for your dog, which will be very hard to undo, regardless of the treats you may have brought along.
Finally, you can actually lose the dog if the chase a bird into the middle of the road, for example. So the long lead is a very smal investment for such a great return.
Ready, set, go!
With these very handy tools you can successfully start the journey to having a very calm, well trained dog, with amazing recall.
Remember that whether you’re bringing home a new rescue dog or a puppy, you’re going to have to set rules and make sure your furry friend lives by them.
Having a dog that understands that, will allow you guys to have an amazing life together.
Let me know if you want to know more.