That famous quote – “A Dog’s not just for Christmas”.

It’s that time of year again when the inevitable happens and there are many homes that will be introducing a new furry friend to their family.

So what’s the big deal? People get dogs all year round, why should the festive season be any different?

Its mostly due to the assumption that a Dog as a gift, in particular a surprise gift, is not a good idea.

There is a lot involved with bringing a dog into a family.  Many things need to be considered, the cost, the time involved and what breed best suits your household to name a few.

More often than not, these things are not considered and a short while after the puppy has made themselves at home the family starts to realise what they have taken on. And one of three things normally happens; one, the family steps up, does their research, invests time and money into making that dog a part of their family and they end up with a wonderful pet and companion; two, the dog gets neglected, the family hopes it will grow out of its “puppy” behaviours and it doesn’t. The family tolerates the dog but it doesn’t reach its full potential and become part of the pack; and three, and sadly incredibly common, the puppy gets put up for adoption.

So, all I would like to do is give you my top tips when a new puppy enters your home, to make sure they become the four-legged best friend you have in you’ve always wanted.

TIPS FOR A NEW PUPPY/DOG IN YOUR HOME

  • The more you invest early on, the more it will pay dividends through their life.
  • Get your puppy out there, meet different people, environments, dogs, children. Early socialisation is key to building confidence in your puppy. A confident puppy is a happy puppy.
  • Boredom is the number one cause of destructive behaviours. If you must leave them alone, make sure they have something to keep them occupied.
  • Dog proof your house. If you don’t want things chewed, don’t leave them around as temptation when you aren’t there. You cant be angry or upset with a dog for entertaining themselves when you aren’t there. You can teach your dog to anything, But you need to be there to show them what’s right and wrong.
  • Both at home and in a classroom environment. This is a valuable bonding experience. The training in the presence of other dogs and humans is also the first steps to get your puppy to focus on you and start to ignore their surroundings when you need them to.
  • Rules, consistency, boundaries. These will all be your friends early on. Set a precedent early and you will be great, and have a wonderful dog. Best of luck!