There are some important tips to follow before you get your new dog and welcome them into your life forever. It can be an exciting time when you decide to get a dog, some would say similar to waking on Christmas morning as a child to know that Santa has been. But what can you do to ensure that you are on the right track from the beginning?

It was just this morning that I was talking to one of our clients in regards to hindsight and how all too often, people say “if only I knew that at the start”.

So we thought we’d write down some of our Top Tips you can use before you get your dog.

1. Choose your dog like you’d choose a used car

What on earth do dogs and used cars have in common you may ask, nothing really yet it’s the decision process that should have a similarity. When you decide to get a dog, it’s so easy to be swept away in the excitement and by how quickly, in one simple glance you can fall in love. Imagine if you bought a used car that way. It’s shiny, smells nice, looks the part, heck it’s even the right colour and that make of car has a good reputation. Now whilst all these factors are what attracted you to the car in the first place, yet usually when looking at buying a used car, you would also be looking for anything that may be wrong with the car.

Firstly you’d make sure you’re buying a car that suits your needs, for example, you wouldn’t necessarily be looking for a small 2 door car if you were about to welcome your second child into your family.  So does the car suit your needs?

DOG -We can use this analogy when choosing a breed of dog. Will the traits of the breed you’re getting suit your needs, not only right now, but what about in a few years?  What was your chosen breed bred to do and are you prepared to train and shape it’s natural instincts so it will be a treasured member of your family for the next 15 years.

2. Make and Model of the car.

Is your chosen car renowned for having an issue such as the motor blows up after 60,000kms or does it chew through gearboxes etc. I’m sure you’d like to know this type of information in advance so it doesn’t come as a surprise.

DOG – All breeds of dogs will have common ailments that may affect their health and or be susceptible to. Hip dysplasia is a common issue in some breeds, ear infections in others, then there’s bloat and certain cancers just to name a few. You can do a lot of research prior to investing in your dog to check these out and the level of genetic risk. If possible, check the dog’s parents for hereditary issues.

3. Running order of the car.

Has it been regularly serviced, is there any rust and it road worthy? There’s nothing worse than buying a car that falls apart and dies on you, especially if you took out a loan on the car, now you’re paying for a rust bucket that doesn’t even drive.

DOG – Is your dog healthy? I have seen many puppies and newly adopted dogs that have required surgery for health issues that were apparent even before they brought their dog home. Has your dog had a vet check? What did the vet check for? And if we were to look at a vet like a mechanic, did they do a thorough job, what were they asked to do and are they good at what they did? You may not want to bring a new dog home only to find that there are major health issues that will cost you thousands of dollars or in the worst case have your heart broken because the dog did not survive to its first birthday. Unfortunately, this can happen.

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4. How many cars can you drive at once.

You may have a work vehicle and then your personal car, but you can only drive one at a time.

DOG – Some people think that getting littermates is a great idea so they can keep each other company. This turns out to be one of the most common mistakes that people say to us “I wish I knew then, what I know now! I would never have gotten 2 dogs at the same time ever again”.

Training 2 dogs at once is almost impossible in the beginning for even the most experienced of trainers. This sets you and your dogs up for major challenges from the beginning. From toilet training to mouthing and jumping just to name a few, these issues are often amplified when you have 2 dogs. Then there are the concerns and behaviour related to separation anxiety and independence related behaviours to consider as well.

So when you are ready to start researching welcoming a new dog into your family, be sure to do your research. Some of your most valuable information may stem from asking other people a list of questions that may save you from heartache and suffering.

What would they do differently next time?

What do they wish they knew when they first got their dog?

What are some of the unfavourable traits of the breed?

How big will this breed get?

What are their most common health complaints

What are the grooming requirements and how often?

If professional grooming is required, what are the costs involved?

As part of our dedication to assist people and their relationships with their dogs our award-winning international trainer Cat Saunders can provide you the guidance and professional advice on different breeds and their potential suitability to help you choose which breed/s may be best for you and your family and help you make an educated unbiased decision on your new family pet.

Email and Cat will be in touch soon

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