02 Dec 2009, Posted by Sensei Joseph in Sensei Joseph's Blog, 0 Comments

Starting Along the Path of the Dog

2010-04-29 12.10.53

Getting a new dog or puppy is a very exciting time, especially if it’s your first dog. It is important to be patient and sure you are prepared for all that may come with your new companion. Always be certain of the responsibility involved in keeping a dog. Here are a few pointers for

 1. Research breeds, personalities, grooming and exercising requirements. Even knowing the mix of breeds will help greatly in knowing any extras involved in caring for your new dog. You will find some breeds being very high maintenance despite their cuteness. Other breeds or mixes may not look like you wished but their personality is the right fit. If you have an active or inactive lifestyle should help narrow down possibilities as well. While researching,  look into puppy mills, and puppy stores to educate yourself on their practices and motivations. You may find it is not worth contributing to these practices by buying a dog from these sources. Local rescues and humane societies are a good place to start your quest.

2. Make sure you have the essentials. A good vet (all appropriate vaccines), collar, leash, ID tags, microchip, nutritious food, bowls for food and water, crate, training treats, healthy chews and toys,  cleaning supplies, and a list of house rules that are enforced by the whole family.  Dogs are a responsibility and will also need guidance and attention. Get ready to be involved in every step of your dogs life.

3. Puppy proof the house. Indoors: Make sure there is nothing on the floor that the puppy can’t have.  Remove all fragile and delicate items that may be in the puppy’s accessible area. There are sure to be accidents and you want to ensure the nice things aren’t ruined. Outside: Walk the fence line to ensure there is no place for the puppy to escape. Also make sure there are no harmful or poisonous plants in your landscape that could become troublesome. If you have a pool, put a fence round it, teach them to swim and exit the pool, or teach them never to enter it.

4. Emergency #’s. Keep an easily accessible copy of emergency numbers including veterinarian, emergency services, poison control, and any other important contacts in the event they are needed.

5. Start education sooner than later. Finding a trainer you feel good about and can learn from is important. The dog will be learning no matter if you choose to teach or not. This may lead to the development of certain undesirable behaviors. The trainer is a teacher or a guide. Ultimately they can only show you the path, you must walk down it.  A dogs education is for life, and a trainer is a good way to prepare yourself and your dog for life’s many lessons.  We must first educate ourselves before we can be expected to educate others, including our dogs. Much like a language, training your dog  is an ongoing process that should be kept proficient. Increasing in difficulty and complexity. You are in charge of their perception of the world!

Remember this is only beginning.  It is always smarter to head into “battle” i.e. life with a new puppy,  with preparation and strategy.

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