Today’s the day you’ve promised the kids a trip to the local animal shelter to find a new friend. You walk in and there he is— the cutest puppy you’ve ever seen. The friendly little guy trots over, happily slobbers all over your hands and jumps for joy, tail wagging 100 rpm. The kids are smitten and so are you. You pay the adoption fee and off you go, with your newest family member.
That is the easy part.
Stopping Unwanted Chewing and Jumping
So it begins — your daughter catches the dog chewing her mom’s expensive new sandals. Shoes and toys can have small parts that could come off and be swallowed, which your dog can choke on. Provide your dog with plenty of chew toys designed to exercise its new teeth and teach it appropriate behavior. This will also help deter him from chewing on things he shouldn’t.
Your pooch may also get very excited at the sight of people he has never seen andjump on them. His dirty paws and claws can do serious damage to clothing and even to exposed skin. The best way to stop him from jumping is to ignore the dog and move away from him when he misbehaves. You and the children can teach him to sit and reward him with praise and treats when he obeys, or ignore him when he doesn’t. After all, a dog wants nothing more than to impress his owners.
Begin training as soon as you get your puppy. Petsmart and other pet retailers often offer weekly training sessions for dogs at all levels. They are usually more affordable than a private trainer, too. You can also learn from these classes. We don’t always know how to deal with a misbehaving pet. Trainers can give you tips to use for training at home. Consistency is important. If your dog’s trainer uses a certain method, you must use the same method so your dog doesn’t get confused with authority.
You can always pick up tips from books, blogs and YouTube videos for what works for other dog owners, too.
Visits to the Vet
Your puppy probably came with up-to-date shot records. Start a file just for Fido with all of his records, adoption papers, insurance papers and receipts. Regular visits to the vet will ensure your dog stays in top health. Dogs don’t always let you know right away if they are sick or injured. Watch for lethargy, incessant licking, vomiting, loose stool and disinterest in food and toys. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet or vet technician about any abnormal behavior. Better to be overly cautious and it be nothing than ignore something that could be a major problem for your pup.
By giving your dog lots of positive reinforcement and patience, keeping up with his health and using effective training tools, your four-legged friend will soon be a delightful, well-behaved member of his new family.