Sunday, March 30, 2014

Let the adventure begin! It’s great that you’ve decided to open your heart and home to a dog. This chapter walks you through some of the things you may want to consider and plan for during the early days of introducing a new dog into your life. If you’re prepared for the transition, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the ways that it can affect both of you.
As with many topics, there can be a difference in how homecoming relates to the puppy versus the mature dog. When I refer to a “mature dog,” I mean over a year old, while “puppy” means anything up to that age. One year is the generally accepted cutoff for puppyhood, even though puppies of very large breeds can take twice that long to mature and will act like puppies until about two years of age. Unless you see either the term “puppy” or “mature dog,” then any other reference—pooch, pet, dog, canine, companion—applies to dogs of all ages. Some of the topics you’ll find in this chapter include:
1.  The emotional aspect of bringing the dog home
2. Practical suggestions about the homecoming and preparations for it, including a basic gear chart
3.  The puppy’s first days at home, including puppy-proofing; the puppy layette; and special tips on the pup’s first night
4.  Sleeping arrangements for now and later
5. Introduction to other dogs including planning ahead for the introduction; the logistics of the meeting; possible fighting; temporary loss of housebreaking

6. Introduction to cats and children
Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

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