By Alec Torres: New Leash On Life Dog Trainer
We know how you feel, you've waited months sometimes years to get your new pooch. You just want to lay on the hugs, kisses, and so what if the new dog gets to sleep in between you and your loved one in bed! STOP WHAT YOU'RE THINKING (insert sound of tires screeching here).
Come on now, get a hold of yourself. Do you want a clingy, nervous, issue ridden dog or do you want a calm, happy mutt to spend the next 15 years with? If you want the latter, and I'm sure that you do then follow some of these easy steps when you first bring your dog home.
- The second your dog walks through your door, make sure that everyone is very calm. Don't throw a party for the new dog it could be stressful and overwhelming for the poor confused little dear. Instead walk them to the back yard and let them sniff around on leash until they go potty. When they do, praise them heavily (calmly) but heavily!
- For the first couple of weeks (we call this the honeymoon period) do not spoil the dog. For example, don't take off lots of time from work or your usual schedule. It is best that you get the dog into the new rhythm of their life early on so that they will accept it as normal. Another example would be to resist the urge to have them sleep in your bed. Get them a nice doggie bed to have in your room, and don't allow them in bed with you. This is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship with your dog.
- Eat before your dog does. I know what you are thinking- that sounds so mean! However, to a dog this would be interpreted as an act of Alpha on your part. The sooner you practice this, the more your dog will simply accept that you are in charge, and that's how things are.
- Please do not treat your dog like a human! Quickly get your dog enrolled in either our group classes or private classes for obedience training. Our trainers are experts in not only teaching you to teach your dog basic obedience but to learn dog body language, and teach your dog using more dog-minded techniques.
- When you leave the house do NOT make a big deal about leaving. Simply say "Be a good boy/girl and go to sleep". Then leave the house and do not look back. Consider leaving them with a special toy/ treat that will keep them occupied when you leave. Similarly, when you get home do not greet your dog for around 10 minutes. Walk through the door, put down your things, get a drink of water, check messages (in other words look busy). Then and ONLY then can you say hi to your dog if they are being calm. This whole routine will prevent a condition we call "Separation Anxiety.” If you have tried these methods and your dog is being destructive when you leave the house, be sure to contact our trainers for some advice.