New Puppy Dog in Your Life?

November 14, 2010

New puppy considerations boils down to four primary things:  time, dedication, patience and money for your dog. If you will dedicate several hours daily and spend the needed funds on a dog, then get a puppy.   Hey, stop. We’re talking about a cute puppy so why does this sound so harsh?  It’s deliberate because there is no easy, magic way to raise a puppy; it’s a lot of work.   Is a dog worth the work?  Oh, you bet she is!

Cup the prospective puppy’s furry face in both hands, look deeply into those dog eyes and tell yourself, “This puppy is helpless. This pup will depend on me for literally everything that will keep her happy and healthy”.   And then really grasp the picture of the long-term, personal job ahead of you.   This responsibility will pay you massive dividends if done persistently.   And, if done correctly, it will be more of an education for you, the owner, than for the puppy.  Humans are not born understanding the best canine techniques and communicative processes required to bring about the success of having a wonderful dog fur child. These dog techniques have been studied for possibly 10 to 12 thousand years when we first started domesticating receptive wolves which have evolved into our dogs of today.

Likewise, puppies are born understanding nothing about the human ways.  So, there you are; both puppy and  owner need education.  But despair not about your puppy.  Wonderful dog trainers, vets, plus boarding & puppy daycare  professionals are available to assist you. Even groomers are amazingly knowledgeable about dogs and often will answer questions.  All of these professionals will be a necessity in the health and well being of your dog.

You will want the vet, trainer, groomer plus dog daycare professionals on board helping you before the puppy is 12 weeks old and maybe before you even get the puppy.  The first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life are the most critical times for learning.  Let me repeat that…Start Training and Socializing Your Puppy Before she reaches 12 Weeks of Age!  Talk to nearly any trainer to understand the risks of not socializing the puppy early.  You may put yourself on a pitted road to a lifetime of aggravating problems if your puppy isn’t socialized early. Then be sure to discuss critical vaccinations with your vet.   All of these professionals will be invaluable in educating both you and your puppy.

The possible problems and outcomes of not socializing early are too varied to discuss here and can be found in another article. There is great controversary here on the fact that puppies aren’t fully vaccinated and protected until after 12 weeks of age as opposed to the critical need for socializing the puppy before 12 weeks.  It’s a dilemna that only the owner can decide and you’ll need to get quality information from a professional on the highly important do’s and don’ts.

While still deciding if a puppy is right for you, analyze your lifestyle.  Do you want a doggie TV partner or jogging  partner?   Are you working during the day and will the dog need daycare for socializing and exercise?   Or can you take the dog where she can run 20 minutes twice a day?   Do you want a big dog or a small dog?  And, which breed of dog will work for you?

Most people are working and need to realize that you cannot leave your dog home alone all day every day and expect your dog to be mentally and physically exercised plus happy.  Because dogs are highly social, pack animals they can experience great anxiety and even depression or sickness when alone too much.  Loneliness is a terrible thing for both the social human and the equally social dog. 

Dogs love their human counterparts but remember dogs love other dogs.   This sounds simplistic but dogs have four legs while you only have two legs. There is no way that just walkiong your dog is enough exercise. Dogs need to all-out run like the wind, romp, zoom around, play, roll and tussel.  Only other friendly dogs can meet those needs.  Additionally, other dogs are the only ones that can adequately teach your puppy canine-to-canine social skills.  When other dogs are present, the power of the dog pack kicks in to teach your dog things we humans have no ability to instruct. Dogs learn immeasurably through canine-to-canine observation and interaction.  Without these things your dog can become shy, fearful and scared half to death when boarded, but that intricate discussion needs to wait for a future article.

So if a dog fits into your lifestyle, the ultimate reward brought about by your patience, training and understanding is that both you and your dog will have a bond, a love and a fun-filled partnership that will be one of the best things to ever happen to you in your life.  There are few greater joys than having a loving doggie buddy and canine fur child.

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