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The decision to bring a puppy into our lives and family is one that should not be made on a whim after all; it is a commitment that could last for the next 15 years. It’s a sad fact that every dog that ends up in rescue was once a puppy. Many dogs who arrive in rescue through no fault of there own are often the product of the failure to live up to the promise and expectation of the Lassie – Benji – style dream. Many people blame irresponsible ownership for this tragic situation where in reality a lack of knowledge would be a more apt explanation. Most prospective puppy owners are simply unaware of the problems that lie ahead and have little idea on how to prevent or resolve them. This often leads to many good intentioned novice owners when trying to do their best for their puppy, ending up following misleading, erroneous and in some cases downright bad advice from out of date training books,
Buddy at 4 months hoping to grow into his collar
There has however, been something of a revolution in the applied behavioural sciences over the past two decades. Prior to this resurgence in canine research, dog training (if indeed any was actually done) was delayed until the dog was six months to a year old and that was often just teaching only obedience drills. Training was always conducted primarily on-lead with repeated corrections and behaviour modification was largely restricted to punishing dogs for making mistakes whilst the use of food lures and rewards was taboo.
However, just because we know far more about dogs now and how they learn, it doesn't mean that everyone does. Therefore and to ensure that you know the right and best things to do, a pre puppy session with a properly trained and qualified behaviourist will give you the confidence to make informed decisions about the future welfare of your new puppy.
The type of advice you would find helpful would be:
• Choosing the right breed to best fit your lifestyle
• Choosing the right breeder or rescue centre
• Choosing the right puppy for your lifestyle from the litter
• What to expect in the first few weeks
• Essential puppy/dog equipment and toys
• Diet and the effects it can have on behaviour
• Dog Insurance
• Choosing the right vets
The right kind of advice can go a long way to making the first few weeks of puppy ownership far simpler and less stressful.............for both you and your puppy.