If adopting a puppy has been on your mind lately, then chances are that you’re already on your way to adopt a new canine friend!
You have consulted your family, friends, and various adoption agencies. Since you’re convinced about adopting a new dog, you’ve most likely made up your mind about the kind of dog, breed and where can they possibly be found. Bringing a new member home seems to be easy, but in reality, it’s not. People usually think that they are making the right decision, but many dog trainers and behaviour consultants have found out that is not the case.
Finding your next dog
While most of the times dogs can be brought straight up from the breeder, shelter or an adoption agency. Where you choose to get your dog from depends on your personal preferences, however, there are several places designed especially for this purpose.
Animal Shelters– There are a lot of animal shelters that can be found near your area, the idea is to differentiate between the bad ones and the good ones. A good animal shelter will provide you with all the necessary information and help you determine if this is the right dog for you. They’ll give you a human- friendly vetting experience before they decide to give away their puppies. This process might be a bit uptight for you, a few of the animal shelters are concerned about their dogs and whether or not they are going to end up in loving homes. Patience is the key, and this holds true for all the best animal shelters, they’ll do a background check and decide if you’re the perfect fit for their dog.
In case, you lack experience or are not well aware of adopting techniques, always use help. A learned friend or a professional can do this job for you.
Rescue Groups- Another place to pick up your dog is the rescued groups. These groups tend to be careful with spaying, neutering, general health, and their ultimate placement. The key is to adopt from legitimate groups and report the non-legitimate groups to the authorities. These may be hoarders and often keep a mix of several dogs and breeds.
Responsible breeders- Some of the qualities to look out for in a responsible breeder include:
• Puppies are mentally and physically healthy, and genetically sound.
• Puppies are spayed and neutered
• Educates prospective adopters about various breeds and puppies in general
• Ensures that the puppies end up in loving homes and only sells them to appropriate buyers
Pet Store Adoption- NO!
Avoid adopting puppies directly from the pet store, because when you purchase puppies from a pet store, you’re encouraging the puppy mill industry. A responsible breeder would never sell their puppies to a pet store, and being an adopter, try to avoid buying a puppy from the pet store for a healthy adoption process.
Things to look out for-
While you’re out there selecting a puppy, the first thing to look out for is if the dog approaches you.
Prefer rescuing a friendly dog over a shy one, because these dogs lack social skills, and unless you’re ready to be committed to them, don’t go for these dogs.
The second thing to look out for whether the dog is friendly and approachable. If he/she plays with a toy, jumps on you, or acts friendly around you, then that is the dog you should go for. These puppies are easier to bond and interact with.
Does your dog arouse easily? If you notice that your dog tends to arouse easily, to the point where he/she starts biting, snapping or growling at you, then it’s better to avoid adopting such a pup.
Do you notice them get motivated when you offer them treats? If not, then this is a dog you should avoid. If the dog is not motivated by treats, then that means they’re lethargic or overly stressed. This means that the training process will be difficult to deal with in such dogs.
Any reluctance on the dog’s part to play or be engaged with the children or the youngsters in your family is a dog you should not go for. Your dog should be a part of your family, and for that, it is important for them to engage with members of the family, especially the children!
If your dog tends to get overly excited or starts snapping or growling when you offer them food, consider this as unhealthy behaviour. These dogs should not be adopted, especially by people who have children.
1) Crate – This tool prevents misbehaviour on part of your dog, it keeps your dog safe and confined when you’re not around.
2) Exercise Pen- An exercise pen is comparatively larger and wider than a crate, and gives more space to your pup to stretch and play, yet keeps them safe and confined.
3) Tethers- This is a plastic cable with sharp ends and restrains your dog for a temporary period in your presence and helps in puppy supervision.
4) Clicker- This tool enhances your communication with your pup and helps in the training process.
5) Treats- Treats act as a motivation tool for your dog, and they should often be rewarded these treats if they are well behaved.
Your dog is new and is unfamiliar with the behaviour patterns of different family members, which will take a while for them to adjust and adapt. Your pup will experiment with different behaviours to understand how the world works and it’s important for you to reinforce healthy training methods and teach them how to live in a positive environment. Avoid harsh training methods, both physical and verbal and let your pup develop healthy habits.
Sleeping habits- Until the puppy is one year old, it is best to make them sleep in a crate, in someone’s room so that they’re not left alone. Once the pup is fully trained, he/she can get their own bed.
Playing games- Avoid playing inappropriate games and reinforce positive behaviours by playing only appropriate games ( ‘Tug, and Fetch’). Make sure that everyone in the family is keen on teaching them appropriate games only.
Eating Habits- An appropriate meal should consist of all the nutrients which will keep your pup fit and healthy. This meal should be fed in a bowl, making sure that no one is pestering around their meal. Dropping extra treats every now and then wouldn’t hurt, but be aware of your limits. Consult your vet to get the right kind of guidance.
These are few of the pointers that should be considered before adopting a pet and should always be kept in mind before you dig in further. Don’t adopt a puppy if you’re bored, adopt them only if you feel that you can provide them the true lifestyle that they deserve. Adopted pups deserve a healthy and a happy home too, and should only be handed over to pet parents who are willing to invest their energy, both physically and mentally. On the other hand, choosing an appropriate place for adoption should be considered wisely, and every minute detail should be taken into consideration (breeders, agencies, behaviours, past history and medical check-ups) before adopting a dog.