Dogs are some of the best things in the world. They can also bring some serious frustration when not properly trained. In a very quick amount of time, they can become a lot of work. Instead of allowing that scenario to play out, be proactive and find solutions in advance to protect your pet from unwanted confusion and protect your carpet and belongings from unwanted destruction. With consistent training, a lot of love, and attention, your dog will be a part of the family in no time.
Crate Training is Beneficial for Everyone in the Family
Unfortunately, there are some negative connotations associated with crate training. Some people continue to believe and espouse what they think about crate training in negative terms only. In fact, crate training is a universally beneficial practice for everyone involved.
- First, it provides a place for your new puppy or dog when you are out of the home for potty or crate training. Check out this page to learn more about the process. The most important thing to understand is that dogs usually do not eliminate in the space they are currently sitting in, which is why a comfortable crate is a great place to start.
- Your dog will inevitably need to be transported, whether it is to the veterinarian for routine or emergency visits, to the groomer, or on a trip, and you want them to already be comfortable in their crate or kennel. This way, they will feel more at ease in a space they already know and that has a familiar scent. This is especially true if your dog will be transported in their kennel on a plane trip.
- Crates and kennels provide comfort during stressful times at home. If you have friends or family members with small children who are not familiar with the proper way to interact with a dog, sometimes it will be in your dog’s best interest to give them some quiet time away from the loudness occurring in the rest of the house. If your dog is already accustomed to going into the kennel, it will be a place of respite for them at that time.
Prioritize Exercise to Keep Boredom and Bad Behavior at Bay
Everyone needs exercise, especially your dog. This is important to remember. Take note, if your dog does not have enough stimulation (read: exercise), they begin to look for other outlets for their energy. This may include chewing up your favorite shoes, the couch, or even the bottom of a door in an attempt to get some fresh air. If you do not bring the activity to them, they will find it themselves.
To keep destructive behavior at bay, work out a schedule for when the dog needs to be walked each day, for what length of time, and by whom. Ensure success by having a calendar that is easily accessible for everyone involved in your dog’s care. Place the leash, harness (if used), training treats and bag, and poop bags by the door so all needed items are readily available. If you are going on a long walk or the temperature is high, make sure you bring a water bottle with enough water for both of you and a portable bowl for your dog.
Your dog should receive at least 30 minutes of walking time per day. Be sure to discuss the proper amount for your dog with your veterinarian as exercise recommendations will vary by breed, size, and age. The bonus to this arrangement is that you and your family members will benefit from the exercise and fresh air, too.
Ideally, your dog’s walks will take place in the morning after a long night of good rest. If you can, try to get up early and go for a brisk walk or a run with your dog. Helping release their energy before you go to work and leaving them alone for the day will reduce their anxiety and help them sleep while you are out instead of resorting to unwanted activities.
Address Unwanted Behaviors as They Arise
Regardless of the age of your new dog or where it comes from, unwanted behaviors can and do pop up from time to time. Raising and training a dog is sometimes similar to certain parts of raising a child. They test their limits and can become agitated or stressed in unfamiliar situations.
If these things happen, it is important for everyone’s safety, sanity, and continued happiness to address them right away. If you allow destructive or potentially harmful behaviors to continue unabated, they may become ingrained and more difficult to work through later. Instead, take a deep breath and dive right in. Get help from a local dog trainer. There are a variety of in-person classes available that will help with socialization, calmly walking on a leash, and any other behavior needs that may need attention.
Throughout the training process, if you begin to feel stressed, take a step back. Remaining calm and relaxed is important for you and your dog. Anxious feelings will not serve either of you as your dog will feed off your stress. When you can be calm and collected, they feel that control coming from you. This will help aid in their ability to be calm, too.
Watch this video for an instructive guide on how to stop unwanted barking when your dog hears a sound at the door or you receive visitors.
Do not let any anxious notions infiltrate your plans for adopting a new furry family member. While you will need to put in some time towards training your dog at the outset of your relationship, it will pay off in dividends over the years. You will be able to live a more relaxed and less stressful lifestyle once you have a well-trained canine in your home. With continued attention, exercise, care, and love they will truly be your loyal best friend. And who knows? You may enjoy your dog so much that you decide to adopt another one!
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