Your family (maybe just you) has hopefully planned this day for awhile. Important decisions were made on where to get your new adult dog from. Breed generalities may have been studied. Family members have been consulted on what kind of dog they wish to have. Puppies have been decided against for many valid reasons. The day has arrived to pick up your new canine companion and future best friend. I want you to be aware of some common mistakes that may make your lives harder than they need to be.
Deciding that a puppy or dog is going to join your family is an exciting time. A family discussion or personal decision has been made. A prospective dog or puppy owner has many dreams and expectations for their new companion before they even arrive. Some of these expectations can be entirely reasonable, and some of these expectations might be unreasonable. The start to finding your new dog or puppy should come with in depth thoughts on what those are, and what your lifestyle is like now.
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Have you decided you want a dog or puppy? Now what? Day 18 of the Pandemic and we are starting to approach the bunny slope of dog training.
Some of you already have a dog or puppy that you would like to be working with. I hope that I have some readers that have not yet selected their dog or puppy. This is truly the beginning of where you would ideally like to start. As with life, things very rarely go as we expect. However, we can try to stack the odds in our favor. It is not a perfect science by any means.
We have done a fair number of articles in the past on considerations when selecting your new dog or your additional dog that is new to a pack. Here are the links to those articles below:
So you have decided you want a dog? This is a listing of the many things to think about before selecting you new best canine companion.
I have loved animals since childhood. In my adult life, I enjoy my time spent with dogs. I love doing things with them that they love doing. My motivation comes from a place that wants to provide my dogs with the most enjoyment possible. I am the rare person that has not, in fact, met the dog she wouldn't like. Professional dog trainers told me that when I worked enough dogs, I would find some that I did not like (dogs that is). This has not happened, though I will admit to liking some dogs less than others. This usually just has to do with more time spent with a dog/owner team over another. I like them all, and I appreciate them all. I like the ones who are bomb proof to the most behaviorally challenged dogs that I have had the pleasure of meeting.
Many people want the dog to fill up a spot of incompleteness in their lives. People may feel their child needs a companion or responsibility. Some people think that getting a dog will make them exercise more, as those dusty machines in the corner have not motivated them to do. For some a dog is a replacement for children they can't have or adult children that have left. Sometimes people think too much about what they dog will do for them, and do not consider what must be done for the dog OR the spirit in which care should be done.
Dobermans have been our breed since 1997 or so. They have ranged in weight from 50#s to 110#s.
Ziggy came to us after his owner became ill. Ziggy weighs 5#s plus a little something. He is our first dog of any other breed (besides our cats, Clyde and Mustache, who were well over 15#s). Luckily, I am a dog trainer, so I am very familiar with the special problems of smaller breed dogs.
Small dogs are awesome and need training just like large dogs to reach their potential. However, there are special considerations that go into owning and caring for a small dog.
There are things that new puppy owners are almost always surprised or concerned about. If you haven't owned a puppy for a long while, there are some things you may have blocked from your memory, perhaps with good reason.
Puppies are wonderful, and if you go about raising them the right way, they will seem a little less demonically possessed at times.
I have had four Dobermans that came from a rescue shelter, Doberman Rescue Unlimited. Two of them were two years old when they came here, one of them was nine or ten years old, and one of them was weeks old, Boris. Our first dog, while not from a rescue, was a three year old female Doberman that we bought from a breeder, when we were checking out her puppies.
Our first dog, Jazz, did not think my husband was the center of her universe at first (for a good three months or so while we figured it out). Our second dog, Neptune, had some handling issues that took some time figuring out. Our fourth dog, Jackie CD, did not bond with my husband for six months (he had been returned for this several times after not bonding quickly to other men). Our fifth and sixth Dobermans, Boris and Stormy, did happen to instantly feel at home. Whether it was Jazz, Neptune, or Jackie CD or the hundreds of dogs that come through from clients, my love for dogs has nothing to do with them instantly accepting me. Bottom line is that you are building a relationship and need to earn trust and respect. You can not expect it will be given to you instantly until you put time and effort into the relationship.
I have loved animals since childhood. In my adult life, I enjoy my time spent with dogs. I love doing things with them that they love doing. My motivation comes from a place that wants to provide my dogs with the most enjoyment possible. I am the rare person that has not, in fact, met the dog she wouldn't like. Other dog trainers told me that when I worked enough dogs, I would find some that I did not like (dogs that is). This has not happened, though I will admit to liking some dogs less than others. This usually just has to do with more time spent with a dog/owner team over another. I like them all, and I appreciate them all. I like the ones who are bomb proof to the most behaviorally challenged dogs that I have had the pleasure of meeting.
The acquisition of an additional dog in the home can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is the idea that the existing dog needs a canine companion. One human family member may want a companion that is more their special friend than another’s. An active family member may now need a younger dog to do certain activities with. A lot of good reasons exist for the introduction of a new canine member into one's home. Be aware though, this often comes with work to maintain a harmonious relationship between the two.
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.