Christmas brings to mind gleeful boys and girls finding a puppy under the tree. For some families, getting a puppy at Christmas time might be a good idea. You have time off work to care for the dog. You have the whole family around to play with the dog. The problem is, the very things that make Christmas a good time to get your puppy also make Christmas a challenging time for your puppy. If you are getting a Christmas puppy, start him out on the right paw by doing these four things as soon as you get him.
Thanks to greater awareness about the way dogs learn, many people are beginning to understand the value of socializing their dog. We have all heard that dogs who are better socialized usually live happier, less stressful lives. But what, exactly, does socialization mean and is a dog park really good for socializing your puppy?
Dog parks and daycares can provide an excellent energy outlet for dogs. Off-leash play environments can help reduce a dog’s stress and boredom, and give dogs a fun way to meet new people and other dogs. I’m a big fan of off-leash play when it’s done for the right reasons with the right dogs. But there are three dogs that shouldn’t be at the dog park or the dog daycare.
Not all dogs enjoy the company of other dogs
Many children love dogs. Movies such as 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven, and Lady and the Tramp can leave children wanting a dog. It’s often a dream of families to have the Lassie/Timmy bond between child and family pet. We can talk about whether or not these are realistic dreams, but that is not the point of this post. Instead, let’s focus on the first secret to choosing the best dog for your child.
Kids and Dogs Can Be A Good Combination
As a dog trainer, I obviously talk about dogs quite a bit. When I’m meeting people for the first time, it’s not uncommon for casual small talk to turn into questions about dogs and their behavior. But I’m always surprised when an owner sheepishly confesses, “I know it’s wrong, but I let my dog sleep on my bed.” They say this with their head hung low, and the words are usually accompanied by an apology, or something along the lines of “I know I should change that.” So let me make my own confessions…
Denver, on the bed
Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains many relatively easy hikes that have a sign like this at the start. I took this picture to remind myself to find time to get away from the busyness of life, enjoy God's creation, and travel my own quiet walkway on occasion.