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  • Tyler Evans

Tips for Raising a Well-Adjusted and Happy Dog

As the old saying goes, dogs are man’s best friend. But sometimes they have a unique ability to make things hard on us, usually at the most inopportune times. Part of being a good dog owner is training and acclimating him to his surroundings. That lays the groundwork for a happy and lasting relationship between you and your pet.

As you work with your furry friend, bear in mind that doggie disasters at home are about more than mopping up urine, feces and vomit. It also has to do with raising a pet that’s well-adjusted and friendly around other people, an important point to be sure. Many in-home mishaps can be minimized or eliminated by avoiding some common mistakes that dog owners make.


House Training

Dog owners often wrongly assume that their new friends will be fully house trained within a week or two. In fact, it can take many months before he’s got the routine down. That’s why it’s so important to stick to a consistent routine and be patient. It’ll take a while. Try restricting your pooch to no more than three feedings a day, provide water five or six times a day, and do not give your pet water within two hours of bedtime. An attentive owner should be prepared to take their dog out after naps, after a play session, and after eating and drinking. To the extent that you’re able, don’t vary this schedule so your pet learns as soon as possible when it’s time to go and when it isn’t.

The best advice is to keep cleaning materials on hand throughout the house-training process - think: mops, stain removers, pee pads, bio-enzymatic cleaners, and more. Fido can’t help but to leave dander and fur on your floors and plush sofa. You’ll want to keep the fur flying to a minimum with a vacuum cleaner built to pick up pet hair. If it’s time to upgrade your vacuum cleaner, don’t make a purchase until you’ve had a chance to read through reviews so you can choose one known for effectively handling pet hair.


Regular Exercise

A frisky, playful dog has a lot of energy that needs to be burned off. Many owners are horrified when their new friend tears up a couch cushion or gnaws on the baseboards. It’s often a sign that your pooch needs more time running and playing. Establish a routine of play in the backyard or at a nearby dog park. Play fetch, tug of war, or just give him time to run around and do some barking (not too much); anything that’ll keep him from taking out his frustration on your prized possessions. If necessary hire a dog walker or a dog daycare where he can socialize and play with other four-legged friends.


Restrict Access

Giving your pet free roam of your house, especially during house training, is a definite mistake. They’re likely to find new and inappropriate places to pee and get into trouble. Dogs need to get used to a well-defined area. This is often done using a wire playpen, a crate, or a fenced off room (a baby gate usually works well for most dogs). Dogs are creatures of habit. Once they’re used to hanging out in the same part of the house, protecting your home from doggie-related damage becomes much easier.


Raise A Sociable Dog

Dogs need to get accustomed to being around other people as well as other dogs. Like young people, they need time to socialize and adjust to others so they aren’t uncomfortable, anxious or aggressive when someone new enters their territory. There’s no greater doggie disaster than when a friend brings over a child who gets bitten because he or she doesn’t know not to pull a tail or how to pet a dog. Take the time to socialize your dog. Take Fido to the park, a dog-friendly restaurant and for walks around the neighborhood. Let him get used to people who just want to say “hello” and stroke his head.

Be consistent in training your dog so that potty, eating and play routines take place consistently at about the same time every day. Be strict but not harsh or overly punitive. Dogs, like kids, need to understand their limitations.

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