OK, so this is a blog I have been wanting to write for a while now, but I just know that some people will probably not take kindly to it… Some trainers might not even like it and some potential clients might even choose not to work with me, but I think it needs to written so here we go….

I Don’t Have Time….

I hear, I see it, I have witnessed folks fail, dogs getting relinquished and even worse euthanized over the idea of not having time. Some folks go as far as even shipping their dogs off to other people to do the training for them… All in the hopes or with the idea of the easier option, the quicker fix or the magic pill to solve their problems with a dog. In my 10 years, this rarely works! So, right here at the beginning let’s get something straight. If you don’t have time for a dog (everyday attention and management) or you think your child will take care of the dog… PLEASE DON’T GET ONE!

Now that, we have covered the obvious let’s talk about the reality of getting a dog and the things you can expect or at least some of the things you will need to know to go in with eyes wide open…

So, you get a puppy

Prepare yourself the first 18 months will require more work than you think:

  • Potty training (will take 2-3 months at a minimum)
    • Your consistency and frequency will determine how quick this training is… Get lazy or make excuses and it can take way longer…
  • Cannot be done part time, so if you have a full-time job and can’t take time off, why are you getting a Puppy?
  • Puppies chew… Its how they get their adult teeth to come through… So, if you refuse to use a crate, other management device or routine, why would you be shocked when something in your house gets chewed up?
    • Most chewing will end at the point when the dog’s adult teeth come in…
      • That is unless your puppy is allowed to learn to chew inappropriate items because you did not manage him/her while a puppy…
    • Puppies and dogs for that matter need rules and routines to know what works and what does not… Its not about Alpha Dominance, its about what you teach/allow your dog to do day in and day out…
    • If you do not teach the appropriate rules and routines, your dog will make their own up as they go… And this will most likely result in much stress for your home.
    • Puppies become adults at around 2-3 years of age…
      • Puppies become Pre-Teens
      • Pre-Teens become full fledged teenagers
      • And teenagers eventually grow up to become adults….
        • If you are a parent of one of these group, you understand… If not call someone who does, and they can explain 😉

So, skip a puppy and get an adult dog

  • Great so you might have solved the possible problems (potty training and maybe chewing) but there are still issues to be dealt with
    • How many people relinquish a perfect dog to the shelter?
    • How many adult dogs are for sale by breeders or pet stores?
      • Let’s face it most adult dogs you will find to bring into your home will need some work, and that requires well…. Work!
    • You might need to work on fear, reactivity or just plain old hyperactivity
    • The dog might not have the best manners (back to rules and routines)
    • Some adult dogs might well even have some potty training and/or chewing issues to work on… (Sorry!)

The point here is simple there is always going to be work to do when bringing a dog into the family and if you are not 100% ready you will fail… And what I want you to realize is that you failing is actually failing the dog

People will immediately ask me “How many dogs have failed your training?” and the answer is simple; almost none….  And then I always add the question “Now ask me how many people have failed my training?” That answer is just as easy…Many!

So now it’s the time for me to quit bitching and get to…

“HOW CAN I BRING A DOG INTO MY HOME AND NOT FAIL?”

  • NEVER get a dog on an impulse… (PERIOD JUST DON’T DOG IT)
  • Have a family meeting before deciding to get a dog
    • Set your families (or just write yours down if you live alone) responsibility chart!
      • Who is going to feed?
      • Who is going to clean up accidents?
      • Who will crate train?
      • Who will let the dog out (if you work full time, how is that going to work)?
        • Can you afford a doggy daycare or dog walker to help?
      • Can you afford the vet bills?
      • Can you afford the grooming bills, or do you have the time to do it yourself?
      • How old are your kids and should they be left alone with dog before and after school?
      • Do you have other pets? How a new dog will affect them?

Trust me these are just some of the questions you need to ask… We have not even gotten into picking size, breed and energy level! But if you go into this with eyes wide open and prepared with a plan you will do just fine and I hope that after reading this here blog… You will not be that client that at our 2nd or 3rd session will say “I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME” for this kind of training

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