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5 Top Tips for New Dog Owners

Updated: Mar 30

1 Get organised   

Being organised is the most important thing when you get a new puppy or dog. It’s not easy, and it takes time. But the cuddles and play you get in return makes it all worth it.   

Maybe make a shopping list of the essentials you need, for example:   


  • Collar with tag—preferably with phone number and name   

  • A lead and/or harness   

  • Food and tasty treats   

  • A cosy bed   

  • Toys   

  • Water bowl   

  • Poo bags   

    

2 Early training   

The best way to train your dog is to find a trainer and go to classes.   

If that is not possible, then you can train your own dog in the garden or in a secure outside area.   

Teach some simple training basics to give them some structure. Remember to make it fun and see if you can do it little and often.   

    

  • Consistency is key:

  

  • Start with basic commands: When training your dog, start with basic commands like 'sit', 'stay’, 'come’, and ‘heel’. These commands are essential for your dog’s safety, and they will also help you show yourself as the pack leader. You can move on to more advanced training once your dog has mastered these basic commands.   

  

  • Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to train a dog because it builds a stronger bond and trust between you and your dog. Positive reinforcement is basically rewarding good behaviour with treats, praise, or affection.   

  

  • Socialise your dog: Socialisation is crucial for dogs, especially puppies. It helps them learn how to interact with other dogs and people and reduces the risk of behavioural problems later. Take your dog to puppy classes, organise playdates with other dogs, and expose them to different environments and situations.   

  

  • Be patient: Training a dog takes time. Don’t expect your dog to learn everything overnight and try not to get frustrated if they make mistakes. Stay positive and keep training sessions short and fun. If you feel frustrated, just take a break and return to it later.  

  

  • Exercise your dog: Exercise is essential for a healthy and happy dog. Exercising your dog is not just for their physical health; it also helps with mental stimulation that keeps your dog happy and healthy. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise every day, whether it’s a long walk, playing with toys or puzzle games, a game of fetch, “go find it” games, a run in the park, or even enrolling your dog in fun agility classes.   

    

Remember, training a dog takes time, patience, and consistency. Building a positive relationship and bonding with your dog by using positive reinforcement will help with your training success.   

      

3 Healthcare   

Your dog's health is in your hands and is extremely important. Make sure you:   

    

  • Keep vaccinations up to date    

  • Keep claws trimmed   

  • Check ears and clean them regularly   

  • Ensure their water bowls are always full   

  • Dental care   

  • Grooming   

  

4 Routine, routine, routine   

Dogs thrive on routine. Whatever yours is, it is the basic structure of your days and an easy way to stay on track. Your dog will benefit hugely from a similar routine each day.   

If you can, feed them at the same time each day. And always wait 15 minutes after eating before walking.  

    

5 Etiquette   

As a dog owner, you need to make sure you are considering other dogs and other people as well as your own. Always pick up after your pooch! Having biodegradable bags on you shows respect and responsible behaviour.   

Have a reliable recall. Take time on this, either with words or even a whistle, it’s important as it allows others to feel safe when approaching your dog.   

  

This will sound odd, but don’t expect everyone else to love dogs!   

You have a responsibility to make sure people feel safe around your dog and be mindful that some people might be fearful of them.   

    

Remember to enjoy the time you spend with your dog, and with these tips, you should be able to build a strong and healthy relationship with your furry friend that will last a lifetime.   

    

Give them your heart, and they will give you theirs. 

 

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