I bought a pandemic dog during the COVID-19 lockdown, just like many others. It was without a doubt the best decision I have ever made in my life. However, I do wish I had known a few things before I got a dog.
1. It is important to research breed requirements before it is too late
It can be useful to research different breeds of dog before you decide on a puppy. Different breeds can have different temperaments and exercise needs. It is your responsibility to make sure your puppy is happy. Knowing about their needs ahead of time will help you match them with the right dog for you.
2. Puppy-Proofing Your Place Is No Joke
Puppies are curious but lack body awareness, hand-eye coordination, house-training etiquette and body awareness. They can find things to chew on, knock down, pee on or crawl under. This can be annoying, no matter how adorable their “guilty faces” are. However, puppy-proofing can help you avoid occasional headaches.
3. It’s never too early to start socializing
Many people, including me, understand that socializing a dog — or introducing them new experiences in positive, constructive ways — is crucial. A lack of socialization can lead to aggression, fear, anxiety, and other behavioral problems.
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But I didn’t know how quickly the window for puppy socialization closed. Although our four-legged friends process and make sense of the vast, wide world throughout their lives, they develop strong associations with certain places, people, or things between the ages of three and sixteen weeks.
4. You must be disciplined too
It takes effort, patience and discipline to train a dog well. This goes for everyone, not just the puppy or their trainer. Zoey is a studio-trained, professional dog that does some production work in Los Angeles. Although she is the star of the show every day, I still have to devote a lot of my time to her.
If you expect your puppy to remember everything, it is not possible to just send them off to puppy school. You must make sure they are modeling the desirable behaviors repeatedly. When you have established rules and boundaries, make sure to keep them in line until your puppy can understand proper etiquette.
5. Puppy parenting can be very expensive
Although adopting a puppy is much cheaper than buying one from an breeder, I was not prepared for the financial implications of becoming a pet parent.