“Congratulations on your decision to get a new Dog”
Having a new family member is a special time. They slow the house down, the household shares stories about what they saw or did with the new dog. It is all very exciting and optimistic. Everyone wants a pat and the first thing people ask you is “How is the dog ?” It brings family, friends, and neighbours together
Life is pretty good!
But I have to confess that, other emotions do come into play with a new dog.
- Sibling rivalry
Who loves the dog most and worse who the kids think the new dog likes best. This can become a tricky sport with food being smuggled under the table
- Parental nagging increases
As the new dog gains bladder control, they are allowed greater access to their home. With this new freedom, you may notice new interior design features, start to appear in the garden bras, socks, tissues, slippers runners, remote controls and plastic toy. For some, it is confronting seeing your laundry publicly displayed.
So the nagging starts……
“Well, if you closed your door that would not be a problem”
“The dog is only choosing your stuff because you leave it lying around” can be heard from the kitchen
- Partnership disputes
All goes well until the dog sites the TV remote, or the new Rayban sunglasses or those delicious delicate summer sandal straps! That new dog just loves that new leather smell of the sunglasses box or the sandal strap but the remote is the ultimate prize, that smell of weeks or years of your sweaty palms on those rubbery buttons It is irresistible. BUT whilst the dog was chewing and relocating the kid’s stuff was slightly annoying to pick up. These items are expensive and personal. This is serious and the phrase
“If they do that again ….. add threat..”. can be heard loudly from many rooms
- Tears and frustration
The puppy is growing in energy and needs more and more of your time to keep them calm and out of mischief.
They are not naughty but without attention and structure, boy do they know how to push your buttons. Quick examples are Chewing on the sofa leg, Digging a hole in the lawn.
Making time for your new dog, with all the other 100 chores and jobs in your life, is hard At times is exhausting and overwhelming and that is when the tears can appear or tempers can flare. It is sometimes really hard to be patient
Now all joking aside
This is serious business, new dogs are fun but the scenario above plays out if your household does not take time off and out of your days for the next 10+ years to train and maintain the skills your home needs for a calm gentle family pet. Please don’t think it is easy and any idiot can do it. Please don’t think I will book my dog into training later because later will be when these unwanted behaviours have had a space of time to gain traction. Please don’t think you can just train a great pet ad hoc. The number of dogs surrendered by the age of 2 is a testament that we as a society in Australia are not great at planning out, making time and getting training help before the problems start.
So go straight to your computer and your diary, block out time for your dog each day, take care not to lump this special dog time, in at the start or the end of the da,y since this time that will be easily sabotaged by work or jobs. Think through who you can delegate tasks to and work as a household to ensure the dogs time is sacred