The New Dog Checklist

Here are 7 things you should do right away as soon as you get your new dog. If you follow these guidelines, it will save you a lot of headache and frustration later on.

1. Purchase a flat collar and 6 foot leash. The collar could just be tight enough where you can place 2 fingers between the collar and dog's neck.

2. Dogs that have never had a collar and leash on them will resist when being pulled by the leash. Hook and the leash on the dog's collar and just the dog drag the leash around all day. If the dog attempt to chew on the leash, get a metal leash as the metal is uncomfortable on the teeth and it is impossible for them to chew through it. The next day, hold the leash, but allow the dog to walk where it wants. Do not pull your dog and cause it to resist the leash. By the third day, you should be able to pull on the leash and guide the dog in the direction you want to go.

3. Begin house/potty train your dog by use a crate. See our article on house training for more details. Be sure to purchase "Nature's Miracle" cleaner for accidents. Do not use regular soap. Nature's Miracle is an enzyme cleaner that will remove the scent left by the dog's urine or feces. If you just use regular soap, the dog will still be able to detect the scent, even though you do not smell it, and will mark on the same spot.

4. Put your dog on a feeding schedule. See our article on feeding for more details. When your dog is eating, if you notice that your dog growls or snaps when you are too close to it food bowl, feed your dog by hand. A dog will not bite the hand that feeds it. The dog is growling or nipping because it thinks you may take away it's food. By feeding by the palm of your hand (wear a glove if you are nervous), the dog will begin to welcome close contact.

5. Schedule an appointment to see the vet. Besides to get vaccinations and getting a physical check-up, bring a small sample of your dog's poop. The vet can test the sample to see if your dog has any worms or other parasites. There is not a single dog that has not gotten some sort of intestinal worm during their lifetime.

6. Socialize your dog with as many people as possible. Many people are wary about taking their dogs out with all its vaccinations. Vaccinations are for diseases such as rabies, parvo, kennel cough, etc. These are not diseases that are transmitted from humans to dogs.

7. Schedule an appointment with a good trainer as soon as possible. Many people only seek out a trainer once they are very frustrated and have had numerous problems with the dog. Many dogs are often returned to the breeders, pounds, or rescues because of this frustration. By seeking out a trainer right away, you can avoid and prevent any major problems before they even start.