by Katie Borchard
Dogs can be troublesome. They can bark, dig, and shed hair all over your furniture. They need to be exercised, and they cost money to feed. Fortunately there are things you can do to make sure your dog causes as few troubles as possible.
The first part of owning a problem free dog is to do your homework before you choose your canine companion. A dog should never be an impulse buy – this can be a recipe for disaster. Be realistic about how much time you have to exercise your dog, and how much time you want to spend on bathing and grooming them.
If your idea of a good day is spending most of it on the couch watching a movie marathon, don’t get a working breed that needs lots of exercise. They will be bored and you are setting yourself up for trouble. It’s not fair on the dog either. If you prefer a wash and wear hairstyle, don’t buy a long haired dog that needs more frequent haircuts and a wider range of grooming products than you do! If you choose a breed of dog whose care needs fit well with your lifestyle, you will go a long way to reducing dog problems.
When you bring your new four legged family member home, you will need to invest some time in socializing and training them. This is the case for all dogs, irrespective of breed. Behavioral problems such as aggression and shyness can be reduced by proper and early socialization, such as puppy pre-school and puppy play dates. Take your new puppy out and about with you, so they experience all the sights and sounds of the world around them. As your pup grows up, continue their training at a dog obedience class that uses positive training methods.
Put in the effort to choose the right dog for your family, then train and socialize them properly. All dogs need some exercise, so make sure you fit in at least a stroll around the neighborhood every day. After all, a tired dog is a happy dog. If you are going to be out for several hours, leave them an interactive toy to play with, so they don’t get bored and amuse themselves by chewing your cushions. By doing this, you’ll find that your dog is a pleasure to live with, instead of a source of stress and frustration.
Katie Borchard has been a small animal veterinarian and dog trainer for 20 years. She has a passion for preventing health and behavioral problems before they start. You should always consider your pets needs like a soft dog bed, comfortable dog collars, plenty of toys and nutritious food. She lives with four dogs of her own, and her favorite book is Marley and Me.