Once you have brought home your new dog, where do you go from there? There are so many different things you should work out before you bring home your new dog. There are decisions to be made about training, feeding and caring for your new addition. Let’s consider a few of these.
It may not seem like a big deal, but where will the dog be fed? It may not seem like such a big deal, but this is a decision to be made before the dog comes home. Will the dog’s food and water dishes be kept in the basement, or in the family’s eating area? Who will be responsible for feeding the dog? You should decide this early, so the dog doesn’t get fed too much, or not at all.
Will the dog be allowed table scraps, or not? Personally, my dog does not get “people” food. It is not good for her, plus it only encourages begging. Which is something else to consider – where will the dog be expected to stay while the family eats? It may not seem like a big deal while the dog is young, but it does get to be a drag having a dog begging at the table, when the dog is big enough to reach the table top. Consider teaching the dog that there is a specific place (s)he should be during meal times. Bandit lies in the family room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, but not in the eating area. This makes for a pleasant experience for all involved.
Also, where will the dog’s bed be?
Will the dog sleep with the family, in the basement, in a different room? There are many different ideas about where the dog should sleep. Some feel it is very appropriate for the dog to sleep in bed with you, or the kids. Others feel the dog has a place, well away from the family and that’s best. I believe in crate training and our dogs slept in their crates, in the finished, warm basement until they were old enough to be housetrained and not chew on things. Now, Bandit has a place she prefers in the bedroom, at the foot of the bed, on the floor.
None of my dogs has shared my bed, probably because I prefer dogs that are on the large size. Another thought to consider is that dogs are pack animals and prefer to be with the pack. There is no harm in allowing your dog to sleep with you, as long as you have taken the time to consider all the consequences.
Where will the dog’s bathroom be?
Will we have a schedule worked out? You want to make this decision early on. It should be an area that is easily accessible to you, and your dog. This is so the dog will readily use their “bathroom” and you can easily clean up after your dog. By having a schedule worked out, many conflicts can be avoided.
Don’t they come trained already? Unfortunately not, and the only way to avoid the initial training is to acquire an older dog through rescue or shelter. Even if you do get a dog that is trained, this training must be reinforced and refreshed.
Obedience training isn’t the only training you need to consider. Do you have a dog that is very energetic, intelligent or bored? There are many different types of training to look at for this. You can consider rally obedience, agility, herding, carting, and the list goes on. Please feel free to share your experiences by starting a discussion, or joining one that is already established.