Hi and welcome to our site. My name is Martin and I can’t remember a time when a dog hasn’t been a part of my family. I have so many great memories of the times I’ve spent with my four-legged friends.
We’ve owned many different dogs, from Dachshund to Staffordshire Bull Terrier, German Shepherd to crossbred wild dogs. Each were very different in nature but had one thing in common – loyalty. I’ve learnt over my 50 years that if you treat your dog the right way you will have a most loyal companion.
Looking after a dog is simple. All you need is to be able to supply good, healthy food, clean water, exercise (for you and your dog), shelter and a good, comfortable dog bed and most importantly, lots of love.
You’ll find the bond that you will share with your dog will enrich your life.
Here are a few of my tips for those new to looking after dogs.
Dogs are smarter than you think!
Rule one – Discipline
Dogs are pack animals and need to know where their place is in the pack. I’m not trying to sound mean but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. I’m a bit of a softy with dogs but they need to be taught early in your relationship who the boss is. Once you achieve this simple rule then it’s smooth sailing.
Dogs are smart and they will try and get away with anything if you don’t establish the rules. I’m talking generally about bigger dogs. When you bring your new puppy home, depending how small, find somewhere they can be safe and warm, for example, in a laundry. At night when the puppy settles down put him in his little bed.
Tip: If you have a clock that actually makes a ticking sound and place if under a blanket or just somewhere so the puppy can hear the ticking sound, he’ll be comforted. To the pup it can sound like the heartbeat from the mother. Therefore your new puppy doesn’t feel alone. Sounds crazy, but I’ve found it often works.
There’s a good chance the puppy will need attention during the night. Some puppies settle quicker than others, but this phase will pass. It’s all a part of getting to know your puppy.
Now we don’t want to be following puppy around with a disinfectant bottle and cloth for too long. So this is another hurdle you are going to have to cross. I personally kept my puppy outside during the day and in the laundry at night so they could learn where to go to the toilet. If they happen to mess inside this is when ‘cruel to be kind’ comes into action again. Show them what they have done, say ‘no’ in a slightly harsh voice, make sure they know what’s going on, then take them outside or where you want them to go to the toilet.
They will catch on pretty quickly.
As your puppy grows it can be hard to keep them under control. I suggest you have plenty of little toys for your puppy to chew on, because just like us puppies will start teething and want to chew everything… furniture, kids toys, hose reels, motorbike mudguards, you name it – they’ll chew it!
Again cruel to be kind. Show them what they have chewed and in a stern voice say ‘no (your dogs name)’. All of my dogs went through this stage. Remember you need to think ahead. Don’t leave precious items around your puppy, he will destroy them. Puppy can’t help it.
Put things away that you don’t want your puppy to chew. Click here to read more about your dogs’ chewing behavior.
It’s good to take your puppy for a walk. They’ll love it. Doesn’t matter if it’s snowing outside, they will start to know when you grab their leash and head for the door. Dogs need exercise. They can’t just sit around and wait for you to play with them. You’ve got to wear them out. It’s good for you to get some exercise as well and you get to bond with your puppy.
They’re like a party … it’s what you make of them. The more you put in, the more you get back. They are great animals and you love them to pieces but if you don’t spend some time with them they might become a barking dog, and we all know what that’s like.
They need exercise, stimulation and just like us after a busy day, a safe warm comfortable bed to sleep.