We are leaving behind a situation never before experienced worldwide, and many families have taken the opportunity to adopt or buy dogs during confinement; In fact, the arrival of puppies to Spanish homes has increased exponentially during confinement: some because they were able to go out more frequently with the excuse of walking the dog, others have taken advantage of the greater time available to resume the always pending decision of bringing a new furry member to the family and others have even taken advantage of his arrival as emotional support to keep him company during these weeks best dog trainer.
Here we leave you 5 tips that you should take into account when adopting a puppy.
1.- Before your puppy or dog arrives home.
Unfortunately, most people decide to adopt a puppy, letting themselves be carried away by emotion without thinking carefully about what the arrival of the puppy will mean for the whole family. The puppy has needs that we must cover, such as meal times, outings. the street, adequate amount of exercise, a balanced diet, veterinary check-ups, finding a place to leave him if we cannot take him on a trip… A walker if we don’t have time. All these handicaps must be taken into account before making such an important decision.
2.- Anticipation and have everything prepared upon arrival.
Once we have thoroughly assessed the adoption of the puppy and the responsibilities that it entails and we have decided positively, we will decide which dog to choose, what size and characteristics will best suit our family, what level of activity it will need, dietary needs, etc. …
Before his arrival, we will anticipate and look for a nearby and trustworthy veterinarian, we will select a balanced puppy food, we will limit the areas of the house where we do not want him to access, we will organize departure times, food and we will distribute the responsibilities between all the family members who will participate in their care.
3.- Rules. The puppy has already arrived home. How cute!!
Once the puppy arrives home we must keep in mind a very important premise. From birth, puppies are subjected to a strong level of hierarchical demand, both from their mother and their siblings. As soon as she is born, her mother already stimulates them to teach them to do her physiological needs, but at the same time she does not allow her puppies to hurt her, nor for them to get close to her food, thus establishing in the puppy a high level of demand.
With his brothers there is a fight for resources, food and attention from his mother, a hierarchical order is quickly established between them that will dictate the turn of food based on the character and strength of each individual, some will be subdued by others of higher rank, but at the same time they will equally subjugate those who are in a lower rank than theirs.
This means that the small and defenseless puppy that we have adopted comes with very clear and strict rules of coexistence, which is why it will be of vital importance that we give continuity to these rules, thus facilitating the rapid adaptation of the puppy and avoiding conflicts. later that would cause serious problems of coexistence.
When to set standards? From the moment he enters the door, areas must be limited, meal times, walks and games should be distributed, a space provided for him where he has his bed and toys, correct the one who nibbles us during play, do not pull on the leash, delimit evacuation areas, do not climb on furniture, do not break things in the house… Although it seems very unlikely that the little furry one would accept so many rules, nothing could be further from the truth, “puppies love rules, they are even more manic than humans” , they love following rules and what they don’t like at all is that let’s make concessions and then withdraw them or take them away from them, that’s where all the conflicts that appear when living with a puppy come from; and sadly in many cases they end up getting rid of it.
Habituation is a dog learning mechanism that consists of “The disappearance of responses to a stimulus that has no consequences for the animal.”
Let’s give an example to understand it: Get the dog used to being in the car, sleeping in its place, to street noises, people, other dogs, not pulling on the leash…
My extensive experience as a dog trainer has led me to replace punishments to achieve behavior in the dog by simply creating positive behavioral habits, that is; that to ensure that the dog learns to get into the car, we do not punish him or scold him, creating a high level of stress in him, we simply help him get into the car and reinforce it once he has achieved it, repeating it as many times as necessary until he knows it. learn, in this way the habit of getting in and going calmly in the car will be established in the dog for life and we will not have to reinforce it again, we will act in the same way with any habit that we want to create, reinforcing the positive and ignoring deviations from the behavior.
Punishment, on the other hand, will frighten the puppy, create a high level of stress and, worst of all, it will lose its trust in us. The additional punishment of not recommending it or using it only works when it is applied; That is to say, the dog will obey to avoid it, so as long as we do not punish the behavior to be extinguished, it will continue to appear. Create habits as soon as possible, a puppy’s brain is like a sponge that fills with information and assimilates it for life, so we cannot miss that opportunity.
5.- Socialization of the puppy.
Socialization is the most important period in a puppy’s life in terms of social interactions, both with people and other dogs. It is the basis for achieving a balanced and happy puppy. In my experience, this phase begins at 4 weeks and lasts until 12 weeks at most. It is the phase of greatest neurological, physical and behavioral maturation, and is the beginning of learning. Everything we want the puppy to learn and assimilate as normal should occur within this short period of time.
Here I must emphasize the reviled habit of veterinarians of advising new owners that, as a precaution, they do not take their dog outside until they have completed the first phases of vaccination, which is why owners in the first weeks of living together they only take the dog out of the house to go to the vet to get the corresponding vaccines. This achieves several things: on the one hand, the dog becomes addicted to driving, since when he does so the vet ends up giving him a good puncture, remembering him for life, we skip the critical phase of socialization.
Once we take the puppy out on the street, he will be scared of noises, people, other dogs and will see as a threat anything new other than those he has seen at home while waiting for the last vaccine to be able to go out for a walk. . This poor or no socialization causes 99% of dogs’ behavioral problems such as insecurities, fears, phobias, distrust.