Dog and woman high fiving.

The top 10 tips for new dog and puppy owners

1. Give them time to settle
There’s something called the 3/3/3 rule which is a guideline for the adjustment period for a dog to settle in their new home. It takes 3 days for them to decompress, 3 weeks for them to start to understand their new routine and 3 months for them to really feel at home.
2. Understand their body language
Dogs communicate mostly through body language. If you are not paying attention to their demeanour, the context of the situation, and their body language, you are not really listening to them.
3. Make sure they have a safe space
I know, I know… it may be very exciting getting your new dog, but hold on, they don’t understand the concept that they’re in their new home just yet. So, set up a little den for them to feel safe and don’t bother them while they’re in their own space.
4. Crate train
Crate training may take a long time, but is totally worth it. From being safe on road trips to having an emergency stay at the vets or the kennels, crate training may help your pooch feel safer in other environments.
5. Use barriers
Set your dog up to succeed. Don’t blame them for stealing food from the kitchen benchtop if you haven’t trained them how not to jump there. Use baby gates and fences at home to avoid behaviours that can become a problem later on.
6. Desensitise them to novelty
If you adopt your pooch during summer, make sure they get used to hats, umbrellas and big coats, which are generally more used during the winter months. If your dog came from a farm and never wore a leash before, get them used to wearing one at home before going out and about.
7. Desensitise them to sounds
Dogs can hear way beyond humans and for some, sounds can be a scary thing. Playing desensitisation sounds in a very low volume as background noise will help them get familiar with them.
8. Don’t expose them too much too soon
This one goes especially for puppies. People talk a lot about socialisation but that doesn’t mean to get to meet and do everything they can. Put it in a simple way, exposure alone is not socialisation. You must make sure these new experiences are associated with positive feelings.
9. Get them used to touch
It's not because your puppy looks like a teddy bear that they like to be touched or cuddled. Try your best to associate touching and petting them with a positive thing. This is go a long way on your vet visits and nail trim sessions.
10. Play with them
Playing is an outlet for their natural instincts. Through play you understand what makes them tick and build up on the bond and engagement between both of you.
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