House flipper and real estate expert Matthew Vettese has been training dogs his entire life. For him, part of making a house a home is the inclusion of a canine companion, and he encourages dog lovers to share in the joys of dogs by finding the dog that is right for them.
Choosing the dog. Whether you select a puppy from a breeder or an adult dog from a shelter, there are several important considerations families must take into account before bringing home their new family member. Do you rent property or own? Do you have large backyards or take regular hikes? Do you have small children or plan on having children soon? What level of experience do you have with dogs? Are there any allergies in the family? Other pets? Are there any breeds a landlord prohibits, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, or German Shepherds?
Prospective dog owners should realistically assess their living situation. Choosing a high-energy breed for a small, city apartment, says Matthew Vettese, could be a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, a high energy breed like a border collie might be perfect for a very active family who is also interested in dog agility, and a smaller dog breed like a Shih Tzu or a cocker spaniel would be a better choice for apartment living. While these breeds are still capable of high-energy moments, a small dog tearing around the house will cause less damage than a larger breed. Select the breed or mixed breed dog, Matthew Vettese suggests, that best suits your lifestyle.
There are many things you should do to ensure you have the best possible relationship with your new pet. First, research the training style you wish to use before you bring your dog home, Matthew Vettese urges, as this will enable you to begin asserting your dog’s place in your home immediately upon arrival.
This is especially important when bringing an older dog into your home, as adult dogs have preformed habits that you may need to break. Establishing your position as leader right off the bat will be particularly important with an older dog, as certain habits, such as chewing and urinating, can cause damage to your property. Consistency is the number one most important rule of training, and so owners must have set rules for the dog and themselves ahead of time to help establish positive patterns.
If you do not feel as if you are capable of training your dog yourself, contact a local dog trainer or enroll your dog in obedience classes. Matthew Vettese, as a dog lover and real estate expert, knows that obedience training helps strengthen the bond between dog and owner, and also protects the owner’s property from unwanted doggy damage.
There are also things that you should do when introducing your dog into your home. Once you have selected the dog that is perfect for your family, have a training method laid out, have purchased all the necessary supplies and toys, and chosen a dog food, a process Matthew Vettese helped pet owners with on Segment, it is time to bring the dog home. This is an incredibly exciting time for the new owner, but can be an overwhelming time for the dog.
Puppies will bond almost instantly with their new owner and will look to him or her for guidance and comfort. Older dogs may need a few days or even weeks to settle in to a new routine. Regular training sessions help bonding, as will plenty of affection, but keeping to a regular routine will help the new dog adjust as quickly as possible.
Keep older dogs on a leash at all times outside of your home for the first few months to teach the dog to stay with you at all times. Introduce your dog to any other pets while also on a leash, especially cats, and carefully monitor his reaction. When you are not home, it is a good idea to leave your new dog in a crate or a closed off area of the house that has been dog or puppy “proofed”.
Proper socialization is important as well. Once your dog has bonded to you and your family, it is vital that the dog be properly socialized, cautions Vettese. Unless you and your dog live in a completely isolated, rural setting, chances are your dog will meet with a wide variety of people and situations over the course of its life with you. Especially with puppies, take the time to introduce them to as many people and scenarios as possible, and you will avoid potentially dangerous situations down the road.
Dogs make an excellent addition to a family. Make sure you and your dog have the best possible life together by following these simple and important tips and, like Matthew Vettese, you will discover how enriching and rewarding a canine companion can be.