Here at the Dog Blog today we have some nice tips from Dan. Enjoy this guest post folks!
The decision to welcome a dog into your family is a long-term commitment that can be both highly rewarding and demanding. First-time dog owners should follow these basic five tips to help train their new pet and lay the foundation for a long, happy relationship with their four-legged friend.
1) Be Consistent
Before you even bring your new pooch home, think about what kinds of rules you will have for your dog. If you have a spouse, kids or housemates, include them in this exercise. In order for your dog to learn and understand the rules of your home, it is important that everyone who is in the dog’s life also understands what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable from your four-legged friend.
For example, if you decide that Fido should not be allowed on the sofa, then stick to this rule. Allowing the dog on the sofa sometimes and then scolding him for getting on the furniture at other times will simply cause him to become confused and anxious.
One of the best rules to have is not to feed your dog from the table, not only is this unhygienic but is not good for your dog as it leads to them putting on weight and picking up bad traits such as whining and pleading for attention, not a wanted trait if you invite guests over for dinner!
2) Stick To A Schedule
Animals, like many people, are generally calmer, happier and better behaved when they have a regular daily routine. Although dogs cannot actually tell time per se, when their owners stick to a fairly regular schedule for feedings and walks, the dog will reward the owner by displaying better behaviour because the dog has a strong sense of what to expect and when to expect it.
3) Enroll In Obedience Training
Even the most well-mannered dog can benefit from obedience training, where new and experienced owners learn simple techniques to control their dog. Along with helping owners learn obedience commands, these classes provide both the human and the dog a great opportunity to interact with other dogs and their masters. Well taught lesson installed in a dog at a young age usually last them a lifetime, so it is important to make use of the early time you have with a dog.
4) Firm but fair
Learn to control your pet using a leash, collar and voice commands only. Hitting a dog with your hand or an object will only make your dog fearful and distrustful of all humans, something which is very difficult to reverse in an animal. At a young age, humans like dogs are very impressionable and so the use of violence towards the dog will only need to negative character traits as the dog gets older. If the dog does something wrong then make sure you let them know straight away that what they did was wrong. Never punish a dog retrospectively, Dogs have no concept of time, they only live in the moment so shouting at your dog after he has committed the crime will only leave you dog confused and scared.
5) Spend time with your Dog
Spend time with your dog, especially if he or she is a puppy. Remember that this is a strange and scary situation for the dog, to be taken from its Mother and the place it knew as its home, into a new place with new smells and on its own. Your dog therefore needs lots of love and attention to start off with to ensure that it settles into its new home well.
Make sure you introduce your dog to other dogs and all other members of your family quickly. If you know of a friend that has a dog that is well mannered ask if you can go on a walk together so that your dog will get used to other dogs and not become aggressive or scared when they meet dogs outside in the future. If you have young family members, especially babies or toddlers then you should always supervise the dog around them, sometimes a dog can get carried away and become too rough, so it is important that you can quickly step in and tell the dog or the child off if the situation arises.
Overall you should just aim to have fun, after all that’s probably one of the main reason you got a dog in the first place, if you treat your dog with respect and authority, love and attention then you should both have a happy life together.