Bringing a dog home can be a great way to cap off your family unit with one more member you will bond with and curate memories alongside over time. The old adage of dogs being ‘for life, not for Christmas,’ is essential, because we must remember that while a puppy can be a lovely gift, it is also a responsibility and a lovely relationship you will develop over time.
It’s also true that some people, perhaps even by no fault of their own, are not ready to bring pets home. It’s unethical to bring a home into a property that cannot handle them, unfortunately. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about this too much, because you can make the most of this if you’re willing to give yourself a little space and focus on the proper means of caring for them by first preparing your environment and expectations.
6 Principles For The Would-Be Dog Owner (& How To Spot A Great Breeder!)
In this post, we’ll discuss what the six principles for the would-be dog owner might be, how you can adhere to them, and what benefits they have. Adopt this advice, and you’ll be much better prepared for that kind of care.
Prepare Your Home
It’s important to prepare your home for any pet you bring home, but especially one as clumsy and curious as a puppy or dog. Sure, you’ll need to prepare for a cat to use the opposing example, but cats are generally more careful, more independent, and less prone to throwing themselves at every corner in the room (or at least, they slowly become this way).
For this reason, it’s important to identify the ‘okay areas’ of your home in which you will allow your dog to explore. This might involve the use of safety gates to help block access to the staircase, or the garage, or even the front door so that they don’t spring out the moment you open it. Furthermore, it can be healthy to make sure that you have a dog cage set up, a bed they can feel comfortable in, a place they can eat and feel comfortable in eating daily, and that you limit any noises that could startle them initially, such as the washing machine or your pressure cooker giving off loud beeps during operation.
It can also be helpful to block off access to certain areas, or at least protect them. You can get dog-proof couch protectors to prevent a puppy from jumping onto your footrest and from there the sofa, just so you don’t have to worry about repairs in the future.
Find A Reputable Breeder
It’s important to source your dog from a healthy area so that you can make sure it has been looked after, that it’s had all its vaccinations, and that its mother has been cared for, too.
Usually, you can determine if the breeder is reliable by what their reviews and testimonials say, how carefully curated the kennel enclosure is, and how happy and well-groomed the dogs are. Furthermore, dog breeders that are specialized in a certain breed, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are generally more trustworthy than those who seem to have every single variant under their roof in a poorly organized fashion. A breeder may also be able to refer you elsewhere, such as in the direction of trainers or vets worth using.
Consider If A Rescue Is For You
Rescue dogs are always in need of a home, and they deserve it. However, rescue dogs aren’t for everyone. This is because some rescue dogs have bad pasts, and may take careful patience and training to help them come out of their shell, to learn new discipline, and perhaps most importantly, to trust you as an owner.
Sometimes, the shelter will be able to give you the history of the dog, other times they may struggle to – depending on the knowledge they have. In some cases, bringing a dog like this to your particular home is not advisable. For instance, a dog that tends to be thoroughly clingy or anxious might bark and howl loudly throughout the day, which could upset neighbors and may require intensive effort to train out of them. If you have small children, then bringing a rescue dog home with a history of being abused may not be suitable, because while that poor dog didn’t deserve a second of that treatment, it’s likely to have shaped them. This means that they could lash out at a child who may be playing a little too roughly without realizing it.
It’s a shame that all rescue dogs may not be suitable for all people, as there are many in need of a home. But we must ensure, for their sake as well as ours, that we’re capable of providing that. For this reason, it’s rare for people to find a rescue as their first pet. When you have more experience, you can do that with confidence.
Locate A Trainer
Trainers are essential elements of helping a dog conform to the boundaries, rules, and yes, tricks, that you need to ingrain in them. This can also help them socialize with other dogs in a healthy environment. You’ve likely seen dogs that seem to go crazy when around another dog in the park, and some that are curious but generally well behaved.
Sometimes this can be down to the temperament of the dog, but it’s almost always going to relate to the training that the dog has undergone and how the owner has developed them to behave in social situations (or has ignored that development entirely).
Consider The Social Home Environment
It’s not just the home that you need to keep in mind, but the people who occupy that home. For instance, if you have small children, then purchasing a huge dog with an excitable temperament (such as a greyhound which is long and very bouncy, active dogs), may not be suitable.
It might be that you and a partner find yourself working at all hours of the day, in which case a dog that needs to be exercised constantly is not a good match for you (such as a husky which are the ultimate working dogs). Additionally, that kind of arrangement of leaving a dog alone for hours every single day is cruel and you should consider that if this is the home setup you have.
Often, dogs like golden retrievers, spaniels, and labradors have family-friendly temperaments even if they’re a little silly. There are many more species too, so be sure you:
Become Aware Of That Breed’s Quirks
All dog breeds have their own idiosyncrasies and behavioral norms that are worth keeping in mind when selecting one. For instance, spaniels have generally been bred to have short noses, which can lead them to struggle breathing over time and may require additional medical intervention to help them.
Certain dogs, like golden retrievers, are known to have comforting dispositions which make them great family dogs. However, they may also require you to play fetch with them and generally enjoy bringing you random things they chase after, so be prepared for that. A husky is an amazing dog breed, but they tend to howl and scream for no apparent reason, sometimes it can even sound like someone nearby is in trouble.
A little research can go a long way, as can joining dog owner forums and discussing what might be the best option for you. In that respect, you’re sure to find the best option.
With this advice, you’ll be sure to provide a beautiful and appropriate home for the dog you care for.