Living With A Puppy
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Getting a Puppy
So you are getting a pup or perhaps you may already have one, but who is this dog really for? We know that kids of all ages love to get a new puppy but the adults in the family must be the decision makers and consider what is best.
The kids will promise to love and care for the pup, promise to walk it and pick up the poo. But the reality is, Mum or Dad will likely end up with these boring chores.
To understand how this pup will grow and develop within your family you also need to consider what expectations you have attached to this pup? Do you think you might want to show or breed later on, perhaps you are keen to compete in dog sports? For some there is the ideal of the dog being the family guardian or maybe you just want a great family member? You must consider the whole family when deciding to get a puppy, think how this will affect everyone. What if there is anyone who is prone to allergies? Will there be problems with the dog hair and how can you handle this?
Fear of Dogs – One of the biggest points to consider is whether you have family members who is nervous or scared around dogs. Any child or adult who displays nervous behaviour will appear erratic and confusing to a pup. This fear emotion will be picked up by the pup and will affect the way puppy settles in with the new home. You cannot assume that the fearful human will adapt to having a dog around the place nor can you expect to just isolate the dog from this human. However it is possible to include a nervous human into the early training program however you should seek out an experienced professional trainer to help you deal with these issues. This problem is well beyond the scope of the average puppy training class. Ultimately the Parents should choose the dog and take responsibility and ensure that everyone in the family is happy with this decision.
WHAT TYPE OF PUP? You might have decided on what size of dog and then to consider whether you want a pup or an adult. Either choice has advantages and disadvantages but this book will consider where you stand with a pup.
Advantages – They are so damm cute you can’t help but get attached immediately. You can also get to choose the breed with the traits you prefer and then raise the pup right from the beginning.
Disadvantages – You have to deal with the baby issues of toilet training and sleeping patterns. You might also find problems working through the social stages, including that teenage step. A pup is also more expensive to feed and provide the initial medical attention. What Breed to Choose? When you are trying to decide on what breed of dog, there are many websites that can help you narrow down your choice. These sites can give you the breed information and to some extent the type of personality you can expect within these breeds. It is also worth going to observe first hand at the local obedience club or dog shows to view the adult versions of any breed. This will also allow you the chance to talk with the owners and find out about the lifestyle and work required for different breeds.
Should I get two Pups? The short answer to this is…… NO! Often families think that getting two puppies might be easier. Especially when families have two children. Hey after all why not? Each kid could then have his or her own dog! And two pups will be good company for each other. (But in reality this could just be twice the work for Mum and Dad). Pups go through phases at certain ages. Hence you can end up with two Teenage Dogs at once. Sounds like Double Trouble ! One major problem with having two pups (especially litter mates) is how they can focus so much on each other that they don’t create the same bond with the human family. These pups can also become totally dependant upon each other and panic if they need to be separated. Ideally you should have 2 or 3 years between your dogs. Once the older dog is established in their role, then they have the confidence to help teach the new pup how to live with your family.
WHEN SHOULD I GET A PUP? The best time to get a pup is really a personal choice. You need to examine your own lifestyle and work schedule. If you are single or in a new relationship but don’t plan on having kids for a few years, this could be the right time for you. Once a baby comes into the home it is best to allow a 12 to 18 month period before you start off with a new pup, however you could consider an older dog that already has experience with children.
Consider the Kids – The first twelve months of raising a puppy can be time consuming and if you have a baby or a toddler you will find it difficult to allocate that time. Most pups quickly become too strong for the pre-school kids. They are very active and bounce over the top of kids. Pups will also grab the kid’s toys and run off with them trying to get you to play. If parents lack the confidence in the task of raising a pup, then it might be better to wait till your kids are in primary school. If the kids are over about five years old they can enjoy and participate in the experience.
If you wish to learn more on the topic of Living with a Puppy – the book is available from the author – $20.00 + $5.00 p&h – please send an email to order.