Are you, like the Obamas, considering adopting a shelter dog?Bark Busters, purportedly the world’s largest dog training company, offers these tips for keeping everyone safe.
Before you bring the dog home, establish ground rules for all family members.For example, make sure that if you think dogs belong in their own beds, your son doesn’t encourage the dog to sleep in his bed.Having inconsistent rules will confuse the dog as he tries to adapt to your home.
Buy the stuff you need for the dog before you pick him up so you won’t have to stop off at the pet store, making the dog experience too many new things at once.At a minimum, you will need a leash and collar, food and water dishes, food, and a crate.
As you are leaving the shelter, walk your dog around the grounds for a bit before putting him in the car.This tires him out a little and lets him stretch.It also allows you to establish yourself as the alpha dog by making him behave on this walk.
Bring the dog home when you will have a few days off of work so you can spend time together.Again, this lets you establish yourself as the pack leader and gives the dog a chance to establish a relationship of trust with you.
Keep the dog confined to a small area of your home at first.Let him get used to the smells and noises of your home without having to confront all of them at once.
Limit the number of visitors to your home when you first get the dog.This teaches him that you are his primary caregiver and the one he should learn to depend on.It also allows you to identify any behaviors about which you should warn your future guests.
Schedule a vet visit to have your dog checked, immunized, and most importantly, spayed or neutered.
More information on this and other topics can be found on the Bark Busters web site.