If you are thinking about adopting a dog, you have a lot of work ahead of you. This is probably one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make. You will have to learn a lot about dogs and be prepared for a long, sometimes very long, relationship with your new canine companion. Here are some tips for adopting a dog that can make the transition much easier. These tips focus on the best way to train your dog to behave around people.
First of all, it is important to have a firm understanding of the size of your new family member. Do you live in a small apartment? If so, then you will need to be even more careful. Dogs can be aggressive, particularly if they are fearful or feeling threatened, so you should try to create as little distance between you as possible.
While you are considering your dog, also consider how compatible your household is with him. Dogs that are used to living with their families often become secure in this type of atmosphere. On the other hand, dogs that are used to being alone and coming home to an entire household might feel insecure if they are forced to be in a new environment. Both situations can create a lot of behavioral issues for your dog, including destructive chewing, excessive barking, and poor impulse control.
Make sure that your dog feels safe and secure before introducing him to his potential family. Establish his boundaries with other members of the household, so he knows exactly what is acceptable behavior. Do not allow him to run rampant, so he does not chase or try to control your every move. If he tries to get close to your children or your pets, stop what he is doing immediately, so he learns that he cannot have them.
Training your dog to use the bathroom inside the house has to be included in your plans for taking him out. This is a very common mistake, because many people do not realize that there are designated bathroom areas in many hotels and public restrooms. Give him positive reinforcement, so he begins to associate going to the bathroom with success and pleasure.
Do not leave your dog unsupervised in the yard while you are at work or running errands. Even though he probably would not attack, he could potentially be distracted by the noises of the neighborhood or see someone who is acting suspicious. Your dog will not behave well if left on his own in a rural area. Do take a young child into the yard with you, however. This will ensure that your dog does not see potential dangers lurking around the corner.
Some tips for adopting a dog include making sure that your home is as accommodating as possible for all of your potential family members. You should not choose a dog over the phone or visit your local animal shelter if you do not know any family members or friends who are interested in a particular breed. Instead, visit local parks and pet shops and check out pictures of dogs of similar breeds that you like. This way, you can get an idea of what size, color, and type of dog you would like to adopt.
Once you have found the right dog, it is important to prepare for a pet-friendly welcome and an equally friendly start to your new family relationship. By following a few tips for adopting a dog, you will ensure that your experience as a dog owner will be enjoyable for everyone. And once your dog becomes a part of the family, he will feel very secure and comfortable and will make an excellent addition to your home.