Before you Buy:
- » Think about what kind of dog fits in your family.
- Are there (will there be) children in the house, is there someone in the house all day or will the dog be alone most of the time. How much space does the dog need in- and outside the house. How much exercise does the dog need.
- » Read about dogs.
- The more you read about a breed or dogs in general, the more you will be able to pick the right breed for you.
- » If you have one or more breeds you like, go talk to people that have that breed, and breeders (without puppies !), go to a dogshow.
- If you go to a breeder without puppies, there is to much temptation. All puppies are cute.
People that have the specific breed you like can tell you about the (dis-)advantages of this breed. At dogshows you can talk to several people (with different breeds) at the same day.
- » Think about how much a certain breed is going to cost you.
- How much is the dog-tax. Is this breed sensitive to (breed-specific) illness (medical costs).
Larger dogs eat more than smaller dogs. If you look at food prices, calculate the cost per day, not cost per kilo. Although premium food is more expensive (per kilo) it is more nutricious and therefore your dog needs less per day. It is probably better balanced as well.
- » If you are looking for a pedigree dog (pure-bred) contact the breed association for registered breeders in your area. If you do not want a pure-bred, contact your local animal shelter.
- Breed associations have guidelines for the breeders to keep their breed in good condition. Registered breeders dedicate themselves to maintaining the breed, and their dogs have predominantly POSITIVE breed-specific qualities.
Animal shelters have very sweet dogs. Most dogs are put there for a reason (the owner died, a child turns out to be allergic, 'found'), and not only for bad ones. These dogs can be very sweet, and fine house-dogs. A good shelter can tell you a lot about the dogs they have.
Please, do not buy your dog from a pet-store or puppy-mill.
Now that you have a dog:
- » Make sure you have enough toys (balls, bones,etc.) lying around.
- The house may look messy with all this stuff on the floor, but if the dogs don't have their toys, chances are they may become destructive (shoes, plants, magazines)
- » Be consistent during bringing up your dog.
- This is important (especially with terriers). If you keep 'changing the rules' by allowing something one day, and forbidding it the next day, the dog might start to make his own rules.
- » Give the dog his 'own' place.
- This can be a basket, a matras, a dog-bed, etc.
If the dog is at his own place, leave him alone. So he knows where to go if he wants to be left alone (to rest).
This is also the place you send him to when you are going to have breakfast/lunch/dinner or when the dog did something bad.
- » Go to puppy- /dogtraining.
- It is FUN for the dog AND you.
Start early, it is very good for socializing your dog. Less chance your dog will be aggressive towards other dogs.
- » Teach all the family members (especially children and visitors) what the rules are.
- Do not allow them to feed the dog biscuits, cake, snacks or whatever. Only dogfood or dogtreats are allowed.
Teach the children that 'human food' can make the dog sick.
- » Do not feed the dog 'left-overs'.
- Human food is not good for a dog, there is often to much salt and fat in it. Dogs require a different food pattern.
A dog may start to drool or beg when you eat because he smells the food he always gets.
- » Do not feed the dog right before you are going to eat..
- If you eat early, feed the dog after dinner. This affirms the order; the leader of the pack eats first.
If you eat late, feed the dog before you eat but make sure there is at least 30 minutes (preferably more) between the dogs' and your eating .
- » Do not feed out of your hand.
- If you only feed your dog from his tray, it is less likely the dog will beg/drool when you have something to eat in your hand.
If you want to give a dogtreat from out of your hand, try to do it at the same spot all the time.
- » Ask all visitors to ignore the the dog when they come in.
- If a dog jumps up and down greeting visitors, tell all the visitors
NOT to pet the dog UNTIL he is calm. People that start to pet the dog are rewarding his behavior (jumping, barking), so the dog will keep jumping/barking around until the visitor pets him.
This may take some time, especially because visitors have to get used to no petting.
- » Try to avoid routines before leaving.
- If you always follow a certain 'routine' before you leave the house (for work or shopping), the dog will start to recognize this pattern, and may become a nuisance when you are 'in your routine'.
- » Try to convince your dog with tone of voice instead of volume.
- High and enthousiastic when he did something good;
low and dark when he did something bad.
These tips are suggestions, no musts.
Feel free to comment on this page.
Let me know if you have any tips !