Congratulations, you got a new dog.
Whether you adopted one from a shelter, rescue organization, bought one from a breeder or were given one by a friend or family member, you just added a wonderful new family member to your home!
With all great things come responsibility and dogs are a big responsibility. There is a cost of owning a dog but the that is far outweighed by what you receive. He or she will lean on you for EVERYTHING. He will look to you for his food, water, place to sleep, medical attention, going to potty and his love. In turn, he will love you, unconditionally, provided he has learned to trust you.
Dogs require more than food, water and vet visits. They need play time, social time, love, attention and plenty of fresh air. If you have a job that requires you to be gone all day, your dog will be lonely, frustrated and want to play and spend time with you as soon as you walk in the door.
Here are some things to consider (we will discuss each one):
- Long hours away from your dog can lead to a dog acting out.
- Lack of consistent schedule can lead to accidents in the house
- Lack of attention can lead to destruction of off limit items, even after the puppy phase
- Lack of exercise (especially in very active dogs) can lead to aggressive playing
Solutions for these are fairly simple.
- When house training, taking your dog out regularly, often to the same spot will help train quickly. It has been my experience that if you walk your dog about every hour or so in the beginning, saying “good boy” or “good girl” every time he or she potties in the designated spot, the pup will realize that as a desired action. We will write a smaller blog on house breaking rules since this is an important issue and can follow a dog’s behavior throughout his or her life.
- Consider doggie playcare with a reputable place. Your vet may be able to recommend a place. If you have used a dog trainer, they will certainly have some ideas.
- Consider using a dog sitter to come play and walk your dog during the days you have long hours.
- If you work at a location that is dog friendly, consider getting obedience training for your new dog and taking him with you. Dogs love to be with their owners, even if they are at an office all day. It’s certainly an improvement to spending the day alone.
- Consider paying a neighbor to come play with the dog while you are gone. Teens are often looking for money and most love an opportunity to play with dogs. This can be a win-win situation if worked out when the dog is young enough to begin a bond with the person.
- When you are home, make your dog the center of attention for a little while after you get home. Remember, she has waited for you patiently ALL day. Her love for you is unconditional and she is 100% dependent on you for her every need. Reward her with your attention and love.
Next time we will discuss financial issues such as costs of the vet bills. What you should expect in the beginning and how to deal with health issues.
See you next time!