Wow, what a wonderful idea. A new puppy in the home! The kids have been hounding you, your partner wants one, you live on your own and decide a companion is just what you need. Whatever your circumstances, the idea of a new puppy is just p-e-r-f-e-c-t.
You walk past a pet store and the cutest puppies stare at you through the window. You can’t resist those huge eyes, soft fur, the little kisses or that energetic prance around the glass enclosure. The words dance around your head as you stare at the “purebred Labrador” or Bichon x Maltese puppies.
You can hear the excitement in the kids’ voices and visualize their eyes when you bring home the newest edition to the family. How to choose, the cutest, most boisterous, quiet or lonely one, whatever that attracted you, the decision is made. With your new puppy in tow and enough equipment to last a life time, you head for home. The pet store has advised you to buy the best dog food there is for puppies, new collars, leads, puppy bed, blankets, puppy books, puppy bowls and toys.
Joy is always short lived when something is bought on impulse. That cute little bundle cries all night for the first few nights, causing tempers to rise from lack of sleep, poos and pees in the home causing a mess. The kids fast outgrow the new toy because it bites and the puppy quickly grows into a young juvenile. Often with no education, running rampant through the home, your garden, biting, digging and barking excessively. Suddenly the puppy is no longer welcome in the home and the nuisance must go.
Most people think this just would not happen to them. The unfortunate truth is it does. Unless you do your homework first, there is a strong chance that your dog will end up at the RSPCA looking for a new home or euthanized due to behavioural issues. A Leading Veterinarian Behaviourist Dr Ian Dunbar is quoted as saying, within two days of bringing a new pup home; many people have signed their death warrant.
When we buy our puppy, we must remember we are its guardian.
It is up to us to understand that raising a puppy is a lot like raising children. Dogs are not children but both need to be taught how to behave appropriately around the family and the public, and to respect others. They need to be able to understand rules and we need to provide boundaries and to set clear consistent guidelines for their behaviour. In order to set our dogs up to succeed in life, we must teach them the survival skills required to live in a human world. This means educating yourself before and after you buy a puppy. Just doing a puppy preschool is not enough, education is ongoing.
Do your homework, don’t impulse buy.
Look for reputable breeders where you can view both mother and father. Source qualified trainers who hold a Cert IV in Companion Animal Services, be prepared to travel distance to go to a reputable trainer and work with reward based training methods ONLY. http://ppgaustralia.net.au/ These people can help you with your training guidance to a physically and behaviourally healthy puppy.
Dee Scott Certificate IV
Dog Behavioural Training Ph. 0424 058 450
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