Integrating a New Dog into Your Family
At the West Coast Pet Care Centre, we understand that dog ownership can come with some obstacles. Whether you are bringing home a fun-loving, energetic puppy to join your family or are in need of some help with your more settled snuggly beast who just can’t get enough chew time with the family shoes, we are here to help. With a team of 20 highly qualified and extremely passionate dog trainers, we’ve made it our mission to help Aussie canines and their owners have the most fulfilling, and relaxing relationship possible. We recently shared a few tips with Bupa Pet Insurance to help take the stress out of dog ownership.
1. There’s no replacement for good socialisation
In the first weeks and months of your time together it’s essential to do everything with them to prevent behavioural problems in later life. Introduce him to adults and children, cats, dogs, car rides, camping, vet visits and bicycles in a positive and fun way to help build their confidence.
2. Decide what the rules are and stick to them
Well-intentioned relatives and friends can be the downfall of the best training! Make sure that everyone who interacts with your dog is on board with the rules. Print them out and stick them on the fridge if they need a reminder. Inconsistency leads to a very confused puppy.
3. You get what you reinforce so catch your dog being good
Rather than waiting for our pooches to mess up, a better approach is to show them what you want to do and then reward them for doing it. When you reward behaviour you will see it occurring more and more, so make sure you’re rewarding them for the right things. And remember that for a reward to be reinforcing, it has to be something your dog actually wants at that time, be it a pat, treat or game.
4. Don’t neglect their intellectual needs
What would you do if left at home for eight hours every day with nothing to do? Most of us would get extremely bored and frustrated – dogs are no exception. Barking, digging or chewing garden furniture can all be symptoms of that. It helps if your dog receives adequate exercise, but exercising their minds is just as important. Food puzzles or treat balls are a great place to start.
We absolutely love dogs, and want you to have the best relationship that is possible with your pet. Try these simple tips, but we also encourage you to educate yourself on dog psychology and training – come by for a session or read the article by Bupa Pet Insurance, ‘Dog Training Tips for a Great Family Dog‘, for more tips. Your best friend will thank you!