10 tips to follow when adopting a new dog.
1 Pick the right dog for your lifestyle.
If you want to camp, hike and swim, choose a dog that is structurally suited for the activity with the temperament to match. A dog that prefers to stay at home and hang out with family members might not be able to keep up with you. If you pick a dog that has been bred to herd sheep for hours on end, its innate desire for mental and physical exercise might be more than you bargained for. A dog’s temperament is more important than its looks when selecting a lifelong family member. Choose wisely.
2 Prepare your home in advance.
Before your dog comes home, decide where it will sleep, what and when you’ll feed it, and where you’ll designate off-limits areas and potty areas. Make these decisions before you bring your new dog home so you can implement the house rules from the beginning. Knowing what is appropriate and what isn’t will make it easier for the dog to settle in.
3 Build a team.
It takes a village to raise a dog. Identify a veterinarian, trainer, groomer, pet sitter and dog walker. Interview people in advance, and ask about their experience, philosophies, schedules, pricing and so on. Schedule your new dog’s appointments with each of them in advance as well. Watch how your dog interacts with each of them. Knowing how it responds to different people will help you decide if it needs additional training to become comfortable with different people doing different things with it. You might also decide that you don’t like how someone handles your new dog and, as a result, look for someone else.
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