Hi, 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 was very different in nature but had one thing in common – loyalty. I’ve learned over my 50 years that if you treat your dog the right way you’ll 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 share with your dog enriches your life.
This picture on this page is with our dog ‘Beepa’ and taken when my son was a baby. Beepa had a beautiful nature and truly was a special part of our family. He loved the beach, chasing sticks up and down the beach and swimming. Dogs love open spaces.
As he aged, sadly Beepa suffered from arthritis, so I understand the importance of keeping your dog comfortable and providing a comfy bed for his poor old aching joints. Exercise plays an important part in managing arthritis in dogs, along with medication and diet. It’s an area that’s close to my heart.
Having a dog join your family from a puppy is loads of fun, and a lot of learning about each other as you go – for both you and the dog.
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’ll test you to see what they can get away with when you don’t establish the rules. I’m talking generally about bigger dogs.
Settling a puppy to sleep
When you bring your new puppy home, depending on 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 cozy 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. It 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.
It’s much easier, and ideal if you’re home during the day to be there when you bring home the puppy so you can get used to each other. However, this isn’t always possible. So make sure your pup is in a safe space, with clean water, food, and his special bed. A little background noise like a radio in the background when you’re not home can be helpful. Cameras that are available now are a great idea. You can watch your dog and talk to him occasionally through the speaker. He’ll be comforted hearing your voice.
Toilet Training your puppy
Now we don’t want to be following the puppy around with a disinfectant bottle and cloth for too long. So this is another hurdle you’re going to have to cross. I personally kept my puppies 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.
Simple tips for training a naughty puppy
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. The 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. It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing outside, your puppy will catch on very quickly and know when you grab the leash and head for the door, it’s time to get excited.
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 special time 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. Dogs 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. Spend time with your dog and you’ll find a loyal friend.
Thanks for visiting our site. Enjoy!