Number 5 – Dog-proof your Home and Yard
Especially if you are planning on getting a very young dog, you should puppy-proof your home, garden or yard – basically all areas the little canine will have access to: Puppies have an amazing zest for exploration. And as they do not have hands to familiarize themselves with new things, they use their mouths. Unfortunately, sharp little puppy teeth and cleaning chemicals, electrical cables or toxic plants can be a deadly combination. Which is why you want to proactively remove or cover up any harmful object. For example, you could put household chemicals into a cupboard, remove toxic plants from your garden and put cables out of reach. Alternatively, restrict the puppy’s access to potentially dangerous areas in your home and on your property.
Number 4 – Prepare yourself and your Family
When it comes to bringing a dog into your family, it is extremely important that every member of the household is aligned with the decision. And not just aligned with the decision to GET a dog, but also with the decision on WHAT dog to get. For example, if you want an English Bulldog, but your wife and children much rather would have a Golden Retriever, do not rush out and bring home a dog of either breed. Instead sit down together and speak openly about what exactly each of you wants in a dog. Having a good A - Z dog breed encyclopaedia to hand can be extremely helpful for families in order to find a breed they all feel happy with.
Number 3 – Set up a Schedule for your Dog
Especially if you want to get a puppy and you live in a busy family household, you should definitely make plans on who will care for the dog. To avoid chaos, stress and frustration later on, you all want to agree on a schedule. Ask yourselves who will take the puppy out for potty-breaks in the night, who will take it for its morning walk, who will feed it and play with it during the day and so forth. If everyone is out working during the day, find a good doggy day care or a trusted person who will come in a few times during the day to take your puppy out of its crate and play with it. With an adult dog, you can arrange for a dog--sitter or dog-walker to come in once a day and provide your dog with some exercise.
Number 2 – Get everything ready first
Before bringing your new dog home, you want to make sure you have everything in place that it will need, such as: a large enough crate, a comfy dog bed, bowls for food and water, grooming mitts or brushes, high quality dog food and dog treats appropriate for their age and, last but not least, a selection of different dog toys. Also, set up a comfortable sleeping area for them, so when bedtime comes around, you only have to gently guide them to their designated spot and let them settle down. This in itself will bring a calm and quiet energy into your first “bedtime ritual” with your new dog. Also, having everything set up and ready for your new dog’s arrival will ensure that the transition from their previous home to yours is as easy and stress-free as possible.
Number 1 – Learn how to be a Calm, Consistent Canine Leader
The perhaps most important thing you can do for your new dog is to provide them with a high level of leadership: If they know they can trust you and always look to you for guidance and direction, they themselves will feel confident and safe. Now, if you wonder how exactly to become the calm, consistent canine leader that your new dog will need you to be, worry not: We from Fenrir have developed specific programs and courses to help you with this. So, feel free to check out the links in the description box below: We have a step-by-step video manual called the Perfect Puppy Course and, for more mature dogs, we have the Canine Bootcamp Course. Both programs are extremely user-friendly and are designed to help people just like become calm, consistent canine leaders who are ready to raise – or train - perfect canine companions.