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Shelter for your New Dog

 

Will your dog be primarily indoor, outdoor, or a combination of both? Especially for smaller breeds, we strongly recommend that they live indoors or at least be indoor/outdoor dogs. After all, dogs are COMPANION ANIMALS--they crave closeness to their human family.

 

While an indoor dog is learning its manners, a crate or airline type kennel can be a great help. Although the dog may bark or seem unhappy at first, most dogs actually enjoy the den like feeling of a crate. It feels safe to them and many dogs will learn to go to their crate to sleep or rest even if the door is left open. There is nothing unkind about crating your dog for the workday or when you have to be gone for several hours, as long as you spend plenty of time with him/her when you come home. It will prevent your house from being destroyed and used as a bathroom while you are working on teaching your dog manners. Just remember that young puppies CANNOT control their bladder/bowels for long periods of time and need to be walked or allowed access to a safe yard several times during the day. Do not scold a dog if he soils the crate. He wonít do it if he can help it and better soil the crate than your carpet. Furthermore unless you catch a dog in the immediate act of misbehavior he wonít understand why you are scolding him. There is not enough space to go into training here. I will recommend several excellent books on training in the recommended reading section that will address house training, crate training, and basic obedience with kind, gentle methods that will foster a healthy relationship between you and your dog. Any book or trainer who recommends yelling at, hitting, or frightening a dog into obeying is just plain unkind and counterproductive.

 

If you plan for your dog to spend unsupervised time in a yard, be certain the fence is secure. Dogs are unbelievably able to climb fences, jump fences, dig under fences, and dart through open gates. If you canít secure a large yard, consider fencing in a smaller area with sturdy chain link or wooden fencing (wood is harder to climb). You can put paving stones around the edges to discourage digging out. Be sure your dog always wears identification, just in case. Your dog needs a good doghouse or access to a covered shelter, but never put a doghouse or anything else next to the fence--it will act as a stepping stone for your dog to jump the fence. But most important, use love and common sense. Just like a bored child, a bored and lonely dog will find something to get into. you got a dog to be your best friend---now you also must be your dogís best friend and remember that the smartest dog has no more judgment or understanding of consequences in the human world than a preschool child does. But I believe dogs are the very best at what they were made for---giving and receiving love as companions to their humans!

 

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