You Just Got a New Dog! What Do You Do Now?

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Congratulations on your new pup! As a compassionate pet parent, you may be wondering how you and your inquisitive canine can start out on the right paw together. In our experience, the key to bringing out the best in your best friend is focusing on preventing problems, rather than having to solve them down the road. So, whether you are a new pet parent or are still in the planning stages of preparing yourself, family, and home for your new arrival, we’d like to share some tips for laying the groundwork for a lifetime of snuggles, adventures and pawsitive experiences together.

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Aussie the Puppy, Learning Life Skills

Helping Pup Adjust to a New Home Sweet Home

New surroundings, new people, and maybe new animal siblings – it’s a lot. Change is often stressful for humans as well as other animals, so when you bring your new dog home, he might be a bit stressed. Trust your instincts here – be patient and offer comfort. You can’t reinforce fear or anxiety, but you can show you care with love and comfort.   

It’s important to allow dogs to share and exhibit their feelings. Dogs might have a change in eating, drinking, and/or elimination patterns. They might vocalize, whimper or display other common forms of canine communication. This is a good time for everyone in the household to review canine body language. As you do, you’ll be more and more able to respond appropriately to the needs your own dog is communicating. Learning to speak (and understand) ‘doglish’ will go a long way in establishing and strengthening the bond with your new buddy. 

Setting Up for Success

Additionally, whether you’re a first-time pet parent (how exciting!) or ‘seasoned pro,’ it can be hard to keep up with what’s new in the world of pet care. From selecting a safe, comfortable harness to finding a reliable, knowledgeable dog walker or certified force-free trainer, the options can be overwhelming. Previous posts have detailed tips for shopping for pet supplies and some go-to resources that are handy to refer to. We hope you find those helpful.

Motivating Dogs to Make Good Behavior Choices  

Then, once you have your supplies, your pet care team, some references and resources, you’re ready to embark on your training journey. We’re not talking just working dogs and canine athletes here. For any companion, from house-training to crate training, quality education and proper skills training help build and maintain a lifelong, loving, joyful and mutually respectful relationship between you and your inquisitive canine.  

Here are some common useful behaviors you and your pup can start working on right away:

  • The “Name Game” – Call your dog’s name. When he looks at you, give him a treat. If he doesn’t look at you immediately, make a kissy noise (or some sweet noise to get his attention) and then when he does look at you, treat him. Dogs will not only start learning their names but they’ll also start paying more attention to you, enhancing the bond you’ll share for a lifetime together. 
  • Sit (click on link for step-by-step training instructions) – To make teaching and practicing common behaviors such as Sit fun, cue your dog to Sit in various places around your home. This will help your new pal get the layout of the house, plus start to learn how to generalize training skills.
  • Down – You can do the same with Down as for Sit. And, for a bonus, start to integrate asking your pup to sit or lie on a mat or towel. Then you’ll be all set up to incorporate the ever useful Go to Your Place cue when the time is right. 

When training at home or with a professional, remember a gentle and humane approach.

You can make training your dog a breeze with a focus on fostering behaviors you want through positive reinforcement. Such training techniques, rooted in the scientific methods of animal learning, help motivate dogs and set them up to make good behavior choices. You can go a long way in preventing having to fix things later on by taking a “pawsitive approach for positive results” – that’s why it’s our motto here at The Inquisitive Canine!

Thank you for being an inquisitive pet parent and warm congratulations on your new canine family member! If you have training questions or are interested in exploring private dog training with The Inquisitive Canine, please contact us.


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