|GET STARTED ON THE RIGHT "PAW"|
WITH YOUR NEW PUP OR DOG
A new pup or dog is a major commitment and responsibility which starts the day you decide to bring them into your home and continues for the life of the pup/dog. Additionally, when you bring a new pup or dog into your life and home this means enormous life changes for the pup/dog and your family.
The new pup is separated from their Mom and littermates for the first time. This is a dramatic adjustment and can be more than a little traumatic if not handled properly. For example, a pup who has always slept with their littermates and now is "alone" can be very afraid and even disoriented. Leaving them in another room when we are home and most especially for their night sleep, this is VERY traumatic for the pup. They will cry, whine, and bark. This is what they have always done when they were "lost" or afraid when they lived with their Mom and littermates. This is a pup's way of calling for help and asking their Mom and/or littermates to come and "find", save them.
Additionally, a young pup has very limited life experiences and coping skills. This means almost all of the things they encounter in your home are new, different, and often frightening because it is the first time they have encountered and experienced each of these things. A pup encountering new things is HOW they learn their "coping skills". It is crucial that you handle their exposures to these new things properly so they can learn and develop "appropriate" life skills AND coping skills. Keep in mind that the first days, weeks, and months of their life with you constitute the IMPRINTING stage of their mental and emotional development. This creates the basis for how they will perceive, interact, process, and cope with situations and circumstances for the rest of their lives. Make certain that you help your pup develop life skills and coping skills that will serve them well for the rest of their life.
The single most important rule is to have a tremendous and endless store of PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, and CONSISTENCY!!!
My HOUSETRAINING and CRATE TRAINING articles explain that the pup should be crated in your bedroom during their adjustment period. Actually, I believe they should be crated in our bedroom (with their pack) for night sleep even after they have adjusted and until they are reliable to be left uncrated at night. These articles explain the process of getting through those initial days and nights.
You must understand what a new pup or dog goes through mentally, physically, and emotionally when there is this level of life and environmental changes. Look at their circumstances as they do, not what makes sense to you. Whatever the pups/dogs communicate is real and true to them. Even if it seems irrational to us, it IS their "reality"!
A new dog (older pup or adult dog) also has major adjustments and must acclimate to their "new" pack and pack environment. Every sight, sound, and smell is new and different for them. Their senses are "bombarded" non stop until they have fully acclimated. Depending on what their life was like BEFORE you brought them into your family, they may have some issues to work through. This is really no different than all the issues pups go through just growing up. My article UNDERSTANDING YOUR "ADOPTED" DOG…A DOG WITH A PAST will explain much of this.
You should be fully prepared for the responsibilities of bringing a new pup or dog into your home, your life, and your family. This includes "preparation" for bringing your new family member home. My article PRAPARING TO BRING HOME A NEW PUP OR DOG will be helpful. Consider that when you bring an infant home from the hospital, you KNOW things will be different and your life will no longer be your own. Your life will be governed by the needs of your new baby and ALL of the time, effort, and responsibilities that entails. It is NO different with a pup (who in many ways is like an infant) or for an older dog who finds themselves in a new pack and pack environment. You need to be prepared for and accepting of the fact that your life and lifestyle, your schedule, and your routines will be dramatically impacted and changed. There is no excuse for irritation or agitation because you should have considered all of this BEFORE you made the ultimate decision. You should fully understand and accept what having this new family member in your life means to you and your life.
You MUST prepare your house and your yard. Look around your home for anything and everything that could be an issue for your pup/dog. This means viewing your home on the pup's/dog's "level" and through their eyes. Put away and/or secure anything they could get into or hurt themselves on. Walk your yard inch by inch; again viewing it through a pup's/dog's eyes and perspective. Consider that when you have an infant who is beginning to crawl or a toddler who is starting to walk (or one who is visiting), you make certain that they cannot get into things they should not and ensure there are NOT things or situations that could cause harm to the child. Do this same thing for your new pup or dog!
Purchase some baby gates to help you block off the room(s) your pup/dog will have access to WHEN you can watch them 100%. You should have a pup/dog "play pen" and/or "secured" pup/dog play area for when you cannot watch them 100%. Pups/dogs should NOT be "crated" except when you are gone from the house AND for night sleep. This is why you must be able to block them into the room with you where you can watch them 100% OR have them in their play pen or secured play area. Everyone knows that when a toddler is out of your sight for two minutes, they ARE into something. I can positively guarantee that the same is true for a pup and even a new adult dog who is investigating and exploring their new environment.
RECOMMENDED ARTICLES FOR A NEW PUP OR DOG:
The following articles are recommended for owners of new pups or dogs. There may also be additional articles on my website that you will find useful and insightful. My articles contain so much important information that I recommend you read the articles, print them off, re-read them and "highlight" key areas, and then make yourself a checklist of these key points to keep you on target!
PREPARING TO BRING HOME A NEW PUP OR DOG
HOUSETRAINING (My mantra regarding housetraining is that when a pup or dog has an accident, it is NOT THEIR accident. It IS OUR accident!)
HOUSETRAINING AN ADULT DOG
UNDERSTANDING YOUR "ADOPTED" DOG…A DOG WITH A PAST
ALPHA…ALL DOGS NEEDS A PACK LEADER
COME, ROVER, COME
OTHER HOUSESOILING ISSUES
PUPPY MOUTH PROGRAM
PUPPY AND YOUR FEET
CONSULTATION SERVICES AVAILABLE:
You may want to consider an e-mail or phone consultation to ensure you are on the right track with your new family member. Phone consultations are by far the most productive because of the give and take aspect of the conversation process. Consider that "starting off on the right paw" is far easier than trying to correct issues that could have been avoided OR could easily be handled if addressed in the earliest stages. The proper approach with your new pup/dog is crucial in the initial stages because you are laying the FOUNDATION for your life and relationship with your new pup/dog. It is this foundation that everything will be "built on" for years to come. Lay a "solid" foundation, not one built on sinking sand. You and your dog deserve to have a solid foundation that your many years together will be built on.
I wish all the best to you and your new family member. Always know that when you do your part, they WILL do theirs. Your pup/dog deserves no less and they truly are at YOUR mercy. They cannot do any of this and cannot accommodate what you want and need without YOU. I can guarantee that all of the time, effort, patience, understanding, and love that you expend and give to your pup/dog will be paid back "tenfold"! I ask you to please INVEST in your pup's/dog's life and your relationship with them. You may want to read my article DOG/PEOPLE COMMUNICATION to fully understand what I mean.
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