Sit, Stay…Please listen to me!
Everyone wants a well behaved dog. As a matter of fact, one of the top reasons people relinquish their dogs to shelters is behavioral issues. Here are a few tips to ensure a harmonious relationship between your dog and your family.
1. Take the time to work on basic obedience with your new puppy or dog. A class consisting of other pets at your level is a good start. If your dog excels at obedience there are many advanced options, including agility and advanced obedience classes. I cannot stress the importance of a dog obeying basic commands enough. A well mannered dog is appreciated by both family and guests!
2. Try to socialize your puppy or new dog as much as possible. As many new locations and people as you are able. New sights and sounds expand your dog’s horizons and make them comfortable in a number of different scenarios. But you must wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated before exposure to new dogs.
3. Housebreaking can be a difficult process for some pet owners. I highly recommend using a dog crate when teaching housebreaking. Most dogs are unwilling to soil their environment. So, the crate becomes their den and with careful monitoring they quickly learn to go outside for their potty needs. I will also use a key phrase such as go potty when I take the dog outside and with repetition the dog can be trained to potty on command. This is especially helpful on longer trips!
4. Regular exercise is key for most dogs. A nightly walk or run helps release some of that pent up energy and decreases the number of destructive habits (like chewing of the expensive shoes!) 5. Chew toys, kong toys and other interactive toys are a must for most dogs. Dogs naturally are inclined to want to chew so give them a lot of interesting options.
One book I recommend to new puppy owners is “Mother knows best, the natural way to train your dog” by Carol Benjamin. This is a fantastic book with lots of good pointers.
Your regular veterinarian should be able to point you to a good puppy class.
Dr. Maria Miller is a licensed veterinarian and animal lover who specializes in an increasingly popular professional service known as “at home euthanasia”. This service allows people to say goodbye to their pet in the comfort and privacy of their own home. “Dr. Maria” (as she is known by many) has been making house calls for over 10 years and her professionally caring approach has been in the news.
Dr. Miller is known for her intelligent yet down-to-earth style. Dr. Miller obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Georgia, and has worked at well-known organizations including the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston, MA. To view Dr. Miller’s resume, click here.