Dog Training Advice

Gladstone Queensland

Congratulations! You have decided to get a new Puppy or Dog!

Selecting your new dog or puppy carefully is possibly one of the most important steps for a successful, happy life long relationship. This decision will affect you, your family, your lifestyle and your dog for possibly the next 10 years or more.  Below are some important considerations to ensure a more positive relationship with your new canine friend.

What you would like your dog to do or be?

What is the best fit for your situation? Would you like a competing dog for trails, maybe a herding dog, a guard dog, or an all round family pet? There are numerous qualities in dogs that are strongly influenced by their breed and genetics. Decide the qualities that suit your family or situation first. Take into consideration size, energy levels, grooming, health attributes and risks and maintenance needs. For example, a Border Collie (BC) may not be the best choice for you if you would prefer a dog to sit and watch T.V with you for long periods. In this situation the BC will possibly drive you up the wall as it rips and runs around the house rounding up everything from the mailman to birds, children and anything else it can find to chase. Furthermore, the BC will very possibly be frustrated and unhappy leading to all sorts of behaviour problems. Consider very carefully the genetics and breed before selecting your new puppy or dog for your sake and theirs.

Are you able to view the Mum and Dad of the litter?

Temperament of the puppy or dog is a very important attribute for selecting your new dog or puppy. Are you able to view the Mum and Dad of the litter? Carefully study their nature. Are they friendly, calm, confident and outgoing? Or are they shy, fearful, aggressive or protective? Temperament is also genetically inherent and being able to view the parents of the pups gives you a good insight to the likely nature of the pups. If you’re priority is a guard dog with strong drive and aggressive qualities than this temperament may not be as suitable for a family with children.

Selecting your new dog or puppy from a rescue.

You can apply the same process to choosing a rescue dog or puppy. Firstly, notice the temperament without approaching. Is the dog shy, fearful, anxious or confident and happy? Is the dog relaxed and chill or bursting out of its skin with excitement? After you have assessed the temperament from a distance then approach slowly without connecting or looking at the dog. What do you notice? Narrow your selection to 2-3 dogs and then ask to play with them individually. Notice how they interact with you. Are they motivated to want to play with you or take treats from you? Do they like toys? Would they prefer to interact with the environment rather than you? This process gives you a clue on trainability and connection with you.

Carefully select the breeder for you New Dog or Puppy.

Ideally the breeder will be well known for breeding the type of dog that you are looking for. If possible discuss with the breeder the type of traits you are looking for. The breeder will know the litter best and have a good idea of the puppies individual temperaments. A good breeder will also be acclimatising the puppies to life situations well before 8 to 10 weeks of age when they are ready to go to their new homes. This allows for a greater advantage acquiring a well adjusted and confident puppy. Good health, temperament and good genetics are of paramount importance when selecting your new dog or puppy.

Whether you are selecting a dog or puppy from a breeder or rescue keep your interactions with them positive and fun. Consider that they could be a little out of their normal routine. Also ask the owner or management before giving any treats to the dogs as they may have special diets.

Looking into those longing puppy and dog eyes can often melt our hearts and our criteria too. I suggest that you do a checklist before going to select your dog or puppy. Even better, consider hiring a professional to evaluate your situation and your potential life long canine friend. Increasing the chances of bonding and a happy, lasting friendship will be more rewarding for you and your new canine friend.

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