The se­cret to... choos­ing the right puppy

The Guardian - Weekend - - Family - In­ter­view: Camilla Palmer. Source: Gwen Bai­ley, anim an­i­mal be­haviourist and au­thor of The Per­fect Puppy, pup­pyschool.co.uk

Do your re­search. What is a par­tic­u­lar dog bred to do? Don’t go on looks. You could end up with genes and be­hav­iour propen­si­ties that you didn’t know about. Talk to your fam­ily. Do they want an in­de­pen­dent dog, or one that sticks to you like glue? Play­ful or placid? Con­sider re­hom­ing an adult dog – good res­cues will match y you to a suit­able dog. g

Find a good, re­spon­si­ble espon­si­ble breeder who’ll l have so­cialised the pup­pies from birth. You u want a con­fi­dent, trust­ing sting pup that has ex­pe­ri­enced lots of peo­ple and sit­u­a­tions. Be pre­pared to walk away if f things don’t seem right. ht.

Your fam­ily might need to adapt. Pup­pies are time-con­sum­ing and re­lent­less. Con­sis­tency is key for at least a year. Make a pact never to be ag­gres­sive to­wards your puppy. It will learn not to trust, but to fear you. All dogs need phys­i­cal ex­er­cise, but their men­tal needs are prob­a­bly more im­por­tant and are of­ten over­looked. If you don’t give a busy dog – such as a ter­rier or a col­lie – enough stim­u­la­tion, they’ll get bored. Then they’ll y in­vent their own g games, , and y you might g not like them.

Set bound­aries – dogs are pack an­i­mals and need to know who’s in charge. So, if you don’t want a dog on the fur­ni­ture, or in your bed, never al­low the puppy up­stairs or on the sofa. Nip be­hav­iours you don’t want in the bud – fast. Teach your puppy to play the games you want, when you want, and with toys that you con­trol.

Rais­ing a pup re­quires work and time – it’s not only throw­ing th balls on a walk – but it’s fan­tast fan­tas­ti­cally re­ward­ing when you end up wi with a beau­ti­fully be­haved and much much-loved dog.

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