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Tips For Owning A Perfect Dog

  1. From day one, talk to your puppy or dog and establish direct eye contact.  It may sound silly, but it will make your pet alert and responsive to you.

  1. Most dogs with serious behavior problems spend lots of time alone.  Bring his crate in the bedroom and let him sleep in the bedroom.  This won't spoil him  -  dogs are pack animals and hate to be alone.

  1. Don't leave your dog unattended for long periods.  Don't tie him in the yard all day.  He wants to be with you.  If you have to leave him for a long time, hire a dog sitter  or someone to walk him.

  1. All dogs should know sit, stay, come (this command can save his life), heel and down.  Even a very young puppy can start to learn these commands.  Take your dog to obedience school.  There is even puppy kindergarten.  (94% of dogs surrendered to shelters have never had obedience training).  A well trained dog is a pleasure to own.

  1. Don't hit your dog.  Discipline him with a firm voice without using his name.  Your dog should regard you as pack leader, but this respect must be earned.

  1. Your dog needs regular exercise daily.  Train him to retrieve a ball or take him to an empty field to run.  Keep him on a 30 foot line until you know he'll come back when called.

  1. Never let your dog run free without supervision.  He may be hit by a car.

  1. Socialize your dog.  Take him to a puppy class, to the park, and to visit friends.  He'll feel like part of the family and be less protective.

  1. For a puppy, provide no more than 3-4 toys that are safe for chewing.

  1. Puppy mouthing is common.  Discourage this with a stern "NO" and give him a toy he is allowed to chew on.  If he continues to nip, pull hands away and let out a high pitched "ouch" and walk away for a minute, then try to interact with your puppy again.  NEVER slap under the chin or on top of the nose, this will cause hand shyness.  Reward with praise and a treat when he stops.

  1. Go to the vet regularly for checkups and vaccinations.

  1. If you have a dog with serious behavior problems, they won't just go away.  Don't give up on your dog, see an experienced trainer!

For more good advice, please also see:

7 steps to a happier pet

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