As soon as you bring home a dog or a puppy, you need to start making decisions based on how you want to live with this new member of the family. These decisions make up some fairly basic elements of owning a dog, such as where they sleep and what type of food you are giving them, but it is also about establishing boundaries early
Changing the rules after a few months will be very confusing to a dog, but there are inevitably some behaviours that you would allow from a puppy but refuse to tolerate from a dog. For example some light destructive play from a puppy can look very funny as they try to ineffectively gnaw at the sofa or cushions, but that puppy will grow into a dog with a full set of teeth and a very powerful jaw; at the same time, the sofa will ‘grow’ into a pile of tatters and stuffing. Bu8t what important decisions are there? And what are their effects? Here I’m going to list them in a numerical way, but that does not mean that they are at a different level of importance or that this list is at all final. Owning a puppy forces you to deal with the unexpected.
- Where to place their bed? This is one that a lot of people think about, but often for the wrong reasons. Most people will choose a bed location just for the part of the house that has the most space, but there are many other elements to consider. If you place a dog too far away from the everyday routine of the family, you could find that they will become lonely and even whine in the night, particularly when they are a puppy and so demand a lot of attention. However, if they are pleased near a door, they can become quite territorial as they see it as their job to defend the house.
When does your dog get to be energetic? This is a problem that can affect behaviour a lot. What can be mistaken for bad behaviour is often just your dog releasing energy in the wrong place, namely inside the house. If you live in a city this can be particularly difficult if you do not have a garden or one big enough for your dog. However, puppy classes in Croydon can be not only a great opportunity for your dog to be lively and engaged as well as teaching your puppy when it is acceptable to be energetic.
- Where, when and what do they eat? This can be a decision that many owners find themselves getting wrong at can bring a whole host of problems. When setting up these boundaries, it is important to remember that dogs are pack animals, and a dog that thinks he is hums, or more or less on the same page is going to misbehave much more than a dog that knows its place. Making sure that they eat dog food (anything from generic store bought right to pedigree), from the floor and after you have served you own meal rather than before will establish this obedient quality in their personality.
This list is far from comprehensive, but hopefully it can give you an idea of the sort of problems that both owners and dogs can experience as they try to integrate into a family.