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Adopting a New Dog: The First Two Weeks

The most crucial period of time after a dog is adopted is the first two weeks.  Dogs are most frequently returned to shelters or rescues in this duration due to new owners expecting too much, too soon.  The following is what to expect in the first couple weeks your new dog is home, and common difficulties that are encountered. Name Changing Many adopters change the name of their new pets.  While most dogs are quick to learn their new name, this process may still take 2 – 3 weeks.  While your dog is adjusting to the surroundings and the new moniker, have patience with your pet.  After all, how easy would it be for you if your family suddenly started calling you by a different name? Potty Training Even if your new pet is supposedly potty trained it may take time for your dog to acclimate to new expectations.  Make...
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A New Dog in the House: Beyond the Introduction

If you are adding a new dog or long-term visitor to the household, there is much more to harmonious living beyond the initial introduction.  Even if resident pets tolerate the newcomer, there are additional steps the owner must take in order to ensure peaceful coexistence. Start Small One of the worst mistakes a dog owner can make is to assume that since the initial introduction went well there will be smooth sailing thereafter.  While this may be the case for some dogs, in reality there are many pets that will display some jealousy, resource guarding, or general brattiness.  It is always better to be on the safe side and start small.  Praise your dogs whenever they are behaving well, even if simply sitting on the couch next to one another. Expect a Few Scuffles The main way that dogs interact with one another is through assertion of hierarchy.  In the...
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Is a German Shorthaired Pointer Right for You?

A common breed for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and families alike is the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP).  This breed currently ranks as 11th most popular per AKC registrations; but, is a German Shorthaired Pointer right for you? Temperament German Shorthaired Pointers are energetic, obedient, and friendly dogs.  They are smart and willing to learn.  Due to their original use as an all-purpose gun dog intended for both water fowl and larger game, their energy levels are high.  When not properly exercised (i.e. long hikes or vigorous runs), GSPs can become hyperactive and destructive. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep One reason GSPs are popular is because of their unique coloring.  This breed is commonly “ticked,” meaning it has a white mottled appearance against liver or black fur.  Their short hair means heat management is poor, so a jacket is recommended in cold weather. Eyes should be dark brown, although lighter “bird of prey”...
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Tips for Bonding with your New Dog

Bringing home a new dog is a fun-filled occasion for the whole family.  However, pets are often returned within a short period of time because the new animal is not immediately meeting expectations.  For many first-time pet owners, they mistakenly believe the dog will instantly create a bond with its new family, and can be disappointed and frustrated when this expectation is not met.  Tips for jumpstarting the bonding process with your pet are outlined below. Obedience Training One of the best ways to begin bonding with your dog is to attend a structured obedience class.  The positive environment with a seemingly never-ending supply of treats will teach you and your dog how to communicate with one other.  Communication is one of the most important components of bonding, and will help you better understand the needs of your pet and vice versa.  Look for a positive-reinforcement training class in order...
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Tips for Saving Money on Dog Supplies

Despite all of the rewards of dog ownership, caring for your four-legged friend can be downright expensive.  Experts estimate that owners spend a minimum of $1,100 in the first year, and $500 per year on food and medical care after that.  Additional items such as toys, treats, cleaning supplies, grooming sessions, and bedding can add up quickly.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to lessen the burden on your wallet and save money. Take Advantage of Autoship Discounts One expense that pet owners can count on is food.  But, did you know that you can save time and money by purchasing pet food online and signing up for an autoship discount?  Retailers such as Amazon.com not only offer pet food at reduced prices than most pet stores, but will also ship your food at regular intervals for a fraction of the price. Check out the free program here. Join...
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Rules for New Dog Owners

Pet ownership has an entirely different set of rules and responsibilities beyond simply caring for the animal.  An often overlooked part of owning a pet is the way in which dog and owner interact with the world around them.  Listed below are five rules of etiquette that all dog owners should follow in order to avoid conflict and be good citizens. Always Ask Before An Introduction When approaching an unfamiliar dog while out on a walk, always ask the other dog’s owner if it is okay for your pet to say hello.  Just because your dog is friendly does not mean that the other person’s dog enjoys the company of other canines, as well.  If you are using a retractable leash, shorten the lead and lock it in place, as the other dog may perceive a pet with more freedom as a threat. Always Keep Your Dog On-Leash Even if...
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