Anyone who’s ever owned a dog before can tell you that they’re one of the most treasured possessions you can have in your life. There’s something unique about adopting a dog as opposed to shopping for one. An adopted dog can bring great meaning to your life in unique ways you never imagined.
However, adopting a new dog doesn’t come without its challenges. In order to ensure that your family has a successful experience with your new family member, it’s important that you know the right tips following adoption. From buying the right toys to making sure they have the right nutrition, there’s a lot that goes into providing the best possible life for them. Take a look at some of the best tips for bringing out the best in your new family dog.
The way that things play out in your head is often not the same as they play out in reality. Even though you might have visions of your dog coming home and adapting immediately into its new living environment, it’s often not the case. It takes a while for dogs to get comfortable and start to feel at ease in their new house. It’s critical that you’re patient and accept that it takes a little bit of a learning curve to build trust. It’s critical that you give your dog the tools they need to adjust to their new home and trust you as their new family.
Practice Makes Perfect
As much as you might like to think that telling your dog “no” once is enough to make them stop inappropriate behavior, unfortunately, it’s not the case. It takes repetition and practice to enforce rules with your dog, so it’s important that you stay committed to helping them learn. Getting frustrated or losing hope too soon isn’t doing anyone any favors. Stay calm and patient, and over time, your dog will start to catch on.
One of the biggest mistakes that families make when adopting a new dog is failing to stay consistent. It’s important that you keep any rules consistent 100% of the time. If you let things slide once in a while, then your dog will expect things to slide every time. The only way to encourage good behavior is to expect it from them constantly. That means if you don’t want them to come up on the couch, the rule has to stay the same all the time, not only once in a while– otherwise, they won’t understand the difference.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Dogs are much more responsive to training when you use positive reinforcement. Instead of using punishment techniques, it’s much better to reward them with treats or other rewards. When they’ve been rewarded, they are much more motivated to continue the same behavior that earned them their treat. Not only that, but it’s much more fun giving them treats than punishments as an owner!
With a little bit of patience and by developing healthy habits as a family with your dog, your dog will adjust in no time, and you’ll love them for years to come.