Adopting a dog part two

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FOREVER HOME: Most dogs settle in quickly and become a member of the family.

Easy does it

Children are always excited about a new pet. Don’t allow them to overwhelm him with attention and handling. They should be taught to play gently with him, and never to disturb him when he is sleeping or eating. Parental supervision is important.

Call me by my rightful name

You’ve probably given your dog a new name. Use it frequently and try always to associate it with good things: affection, approval and fun.

I’m just not myself today

When he is first settling in, your new pet may have problems of shyness, anxiety, restlessness, excitement, crying or barking. Physical symptoms may include excessive water-drinking, frequent urination, diarrhoea or a poor appetite. If any of these symptoms last for more than a few days call your veterinarian.

Your wish is my command

Be consistent. Decide on the rules and stick to them. For example, be sure you and your children understand whether or not the dog is allowed on the furniture. Does that mean all the furniture or just some of it? If you change the rules, the dog will be confused. Don’t allow him to do something one time and forbid it the next.

Basic training

Obedience training can be very helpful to the adult dog and to you. However, it is not the same as training a puppy with no prior training. Your dog may have learned commands other than the ones you use. Take time for him to adjust to your commands. You can train the dog yourself or take him to an obedience class with a qualified trainer. Wait until after the first week to start formal training. The training period can be a good way to create a strong bond between you and your dog. In addition, the dog can learn what you expect of him and how he can please you. Both of these things are very important to him.

Member of the family

Most dogs adjust quickly to their new families, within a week or two. Some take longer. Very few dogs are unable to adjust at all. In most cases the dog will be a well-adjusted member of the family within a month. In fact, you may find it difficult to remember a time when he wasn’t part of the family.

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