Before you can bring home that little (or perhaps not so little) bundle of fur, you need to make sure your house is puppy proofed, that you understand what your puppy has and is going through and that you have a clear picture of what to expect from your new best friend.
Just like human parents must baby proof the house, you should puppy proof your house! The purpose of puppy proofing is to make sure you remove anything that could be harmful to your new pet such as cleaning products, electric cords or breakable glass. It’s also a great way to make sure that possible items that may make appealing teething rings and chew toys are put away out of puppy’s reach. If there are children in the home, removing favorite stuffed animals and their toys might be a very good idea as puppy may not be able to distinguish between his play items and theirs.
As you go through your home also keep in mind where your dog will sleep. Most new dog owners use a crate in the beginning; but there’re still a few owners that I see that feel that crating a dog is inhumane or constitutes a negative situation. Here is my take on crating.
Crating the puppy creates a soft warm home and prevents your puppy from engaging in destructive behavior while not being watched. It’s also an extremely important tool in potty training. That goes for either training your dog to go to the bathroom outside or using Wee-Wee pads in the house.
Dogs and Children
Remember to supervise your child’s first encounter with the new puppy. Teach your children that dogs need their space and that space should be respected. Supervise all early encounters and encourage patience! Children need to understand that the puppy needs to sniff and greet first in order to keep the pup (and child) from getting over excited. Make sure to model appropriate behavior for your child. Include your children in the training and care of your new pet encouraging a healthy family-dog relationship. Both children and dogs learn by doing. Dogs are a continuous source of unconditional love. They can teach responsibility, cooperation and consistency. When choosing a dog consider your lifestyle, family needs and age of your children.
Listed below are some breeds that are considered the best dogs for kids and families.
Mutt (mix breed)
Consider going to your local shelter and rescuing a mixed breed dog. Always a good choice on many different levels!
Written by: Michael Schaier
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Michael’s Pack provides private and group dog-training sessions that are based on positive reinforcement, coupled with holistic methods. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced sessions are offered, both at the Mineola training facility and in private residences.