If you’re reading this post, you’re probably considering adopting or buying a dog. You might be asking yourself — Should I get a puppy? Are my family members ready to become dog owners? Is an adult dog or a young pup better for me? Read on to see what our dog experts think you should consider before taking the plunge into dog ownership.
Raising a puppy should be an exciting time for both of you! With years of combined experience raising, breeding and training dogs of many different breeds and types, our community has a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of dog ownership. From potty training, house training and crate training to general obedience, fun tricks and dog sports!
Even at a young age, all puppies need plenty of attention and care. Playing, socializing, and teaching them how to interact with their environment doesn’t just get easier with time, it becomes more fun too.
The more you teach your puppy and get to know each other, the more you will enjoy your time together. Luckily, the most important lessons are universal. If you’re thinking about adopting or buying a new puppy, these are the 6 best questions to ask yourself beforehand.
What are the early years going to look like?
When getting a new puppy, most pet owners know that they’ll need to provide some quality puppy training early on. But there’s a step before this. Basic housetraining, socialization, and forming a connection are crucial, but they won’t look the same for every new dog.
Every puppy has their own personality, perspective, fears and motivators. How they experience the world before you bring them home will also affect how they adjust.
You’ll need to help them navigate the early years by paying attention to how they react to situations and training. Training can feel frustrating if a puppy is naturally shy, skittish, or doesn’t want to engage. Maybe it seems like training your puppy will take a lot of time or be too difficult to do correctly. That’s okay! These are all opportunities to learn and connect – for both of you.
Is my home ready for a new puppy?
Of course, getting a new puppy is much easier when your home is ready to welcome them. A safe, comfortable, and stimulating home environment will help your puppy settle into its new family. But how will you know if your home is ready to provide that for them?
A simple way to assess things is to just look at your home from a new puppy’s perspective. Remember that their senses are a lot sharper than ours, even at a young age. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds inside and around your house.
Do you live near a busy street? Are there other loud dogs in the neighborhood? Or dogs that roam the street? How often does something suddenly crash or rattle? Now imagine leaving your littermates for the first time and hearing all these things ten times louder.
Then there are the practical things like secure fencing and having enough space to play and places to go out and about for walks. That play space is going to be key for training too, especially when you want your puppy to focus on the task at hand.
Think about how and where you will exercise and train your puppy, are there safe places to take them for walks? Will you start training at home or will you take them to a puppy class? Will you need access to a dog walker? Do you plan to drive them to a place to walk – if so you might want to consider training them to enjoy the car from the day they come home.
Do I have access to quality training?
Speaking of training, consider how you want to go about it. Don’t assume your puppy will simply learn as they go. That’s often how dogs learn bad habits at a young age. Puppies learn a lot very quickly, so they need the right guidance so they can interact with you and the world in the best way from the start.
The beauty of OneMind Dogs Puppy Training is that you can do it completely online in your home or backyard. Each lesson comes with video tutorials, step-by-step instructions, and support from expert coaches when you need it. The training is designed to give your puppy a headstart in life with key lessons like:
- Housetraining and socialization
- Handling being alone
- Being handled for grooming and the vet
- How to play safely and prevent biting and guarding
- Loose leash walking
- Coming when called
- Building a magical connection between the two of you
Here’s an example of a training video from the OneMind Dogs puppy program:
How do I form a strong connection with a new puppy?
That magical connection is the key to giving a new puppy a fun, healthy start to life. A strong bond is based on trust, listening, and a playful attitude towards spending time together. A lot of that comes from training in the early days. For example, training your puppy to come when called is all based on your puppy learning how fun and valuable you are!
Obedience training shouldn’t mean correction or discipline. Your puppy should want to listen and engage with you because they feel a connection to you. Every pet-owner relationship relies on that connection, from first-time puppy parents to world-renowned agility handlers.
It’s a bond that will last a lifetime, so consider how you’ll start building it from day one.
What is our routine going to look like?
Now for the “boring” stuff — or is it? When we think of routine, we often think of structure and monotony, but not with a new puppy. Trust me, puppies love a good routine. It helps them feel more secure, especially in an unfamiliar environment.
Knowing exactly when mealtime is will help with eliminating food anxiety. When there’s a set time to play every day, your puppy can vent their extra energy before it turns destructive. Having a specific space to train will encourage better focus when you need it most.
In our busy lives, routines can mean timetables and deadlines. But to a new puppy, it’s a way to have all their needs met every day, and they’ll love you for that.
What should I know about buying a puppy?
Last but certainly not least, consider what home your puppy is coming from.
If they’re being raised by a professional breeder, how reputable are they? Do they health test and keep a complete list of health documents for every puppy? Do they meet the care standards to be licensed and are their permits up to date? Do they focus on safely socializing the puppies during the early days?
There’s just as much to consider with puppies that come from family, friends, or a shelter. The best way to understand a new puppy’s perspective is to understand their life up to that point.
Those early impressions will either help or hinder their development. If you can keep them in mind, it’ll be easier to view training and adjusting from your new puppy’s perspective, a core principle of OneMind Dogs training methods.
Give your new puppy a head start in life
No matter how well we think we know our puppies, there’s always a way to understand them better and new techniques to guide them through early life in a new home. OneMind Dogs online puppy training is perfect for every experience level.
If you’d like access to fun lessons, effective online training, and support from expert coaches, sign up for a free 7-day trial today. It’s the best way to equip your new puppy with skills that will last a lifetime.
Grab our special offer for 6 months of puppy training for only 49 EUR to get started today: