Have Fun with Your Best Friend ....

Are you thinking about getting a puppy or taking on a dog in need of a new home?

If so, this is an exciting time for you and your family and friends.
We have such great expectations of all that a new four-legged family member will bring to our lives. So how can you best prepare for this new event?

You need to decide whether you want a puppy and should it be male or female, a small dog or a large dog? Are you looking for a specific breed or just a dog that would fit in well with the way you live? Perhaps you would like to provide a home to a dog from a rescue or re-homing centre?

You may have a view of what you would like to do with your new dog once he or she is old enough; you may want to take part in a dog sport, you may wish to use the dog for long hikes in the hills or you want to have a dog that can become a trusted companion for you and your family.

A new dog will have an impact on your and your family’s life; you will have to take the dog’s need into account as well as the wants and needs of your family. A dog can impact on the way you live your life but with careful research and planning before you even go out looking at potential puppies or rescue dogs you can be well prepared and a step ahead of many new dog owners and this will enable you to manage the introduction of the dog to family life and hopefully minimise many of the issues less prepared new owners tend to experience.

Some of the things that should be considered include:

  • Have you got the time and energy to undertake the training and exercising that a dog will require? The dog will need you to teach it how to become a well integrated member of your family group. This will take time, energy and patience.
  • Have you considered the financial implications? The lifetime costs of a dog is not insignificant; a dog can live for perhaps 10-15 years or more. There are one off costs but the ongoing annual costs will normally outweigh the initial costs which will include purchase costs including travelling, micro chipping, initial vet bills perhaps including spaying or neutering. A dog will need attention, routine veterinary treatment, training, grooming and daily feeding and care for 10-15 years. The annual costs can easily come to several hundred pounds once the cost of food, regular vet treatment, worming, flee & tick treatment, microchipping, boarding costs, treats, insurance, equipment (collar, harness, leads, bed, toys) etc. Sainsbury Pet Insurance has estimated that the average life time cost of owning even a small dog to be around £16000 - and can be much more for the larger breeds. (Try searching the internet)
  • How to select the right breed of dog? The trick here is to select a breed of dog that suits your lifestyle and family circumstances e.g. don’t select a breed that need masses of exercise if you are not the out-door type
  • If you want a dog to take part in hill walking several times a week then a bear that in mind when you chose the breed; a short legged dog may not be the best choice
  • If you want to take part in dog agility then an English Mastiff is possibly not the dog for you
  • Where will you get your new dog from? Please -only consider buying from recognised breeders which come recommended. It is very important to do lots of research prior to even contacting a breeder.
  • Be extremely weary of puppies bought on the internet and delivered to you on a motorway service station. Puppy farms breed lots of dogs; many will have significant health problems which can lead to heart break for you and also massive vet bills.
Unfortunately too many puppies end up being given up to re-homing centres or shelters as owners cannot cope with their new family member. This is a real tragedy and can be avoided with some pre-planning and preparation; this will help new owners being ready for the demands that the new puppy will bring to their life and give you some information about how to resolve the questions or issues that are likely to come up once you get the new puppy home.

By planning and making preparations before collecting your new puppy you will be ready for the new family member. By giving some careful thoughts to where the puppy will live, sleep and play you can minimise the damage the puppy may do to himself and your home. You will be prepared by knowing how to carry out puppy toilet training, how to keep him safe when you are not there and when and how to start his education.

Having a new puppy is great fun but can be daunting if you have not got any prior experience with puppies. But it does not need to be difficult. There are simple steps you can take before you even select a puppy which will make your life so much easier.


If you are thinking about getting a puppy or have recently got one and would like some excellent information provided by Dr Ian Dunbar, one of the world’s most experienced and recognised dog trainers, please contact Tove Knight via email tove.knight@btinternet.com and I will send you an electronic copy of the following books 'Before You Get Your Puppy' or 'After You Get Your Puppy'. 

The books will take you through how to select a puppy, where to get it from, what you need to have ready for the puppy before you collect it. It will help to prepare for a new dog coming into your family, how to carry out house training, how to socialise your new dog with people and the environment he is to live in. It will also provide extremely relevant information to help the owner ensure that the dog acquire good manners and how to prevent problems during puppyhood, adolescence and as an adult dog.

The E-books are completely free of charge and there are no obligations associated with requesting the books.

Dr Dunbar's aim, as I understand it, is to help increase the probability that a new dog is successfully integrated into the life of the her owner and thereby reduce the heartache that will often result when a dog is handed over to a recue centre because the owners have been unable to train the dog or deal with its behaviours due to lack of information and knowledge.

If you have a new recue or rehomed dog these books should also be of great relevance and help to you.

Reading these books and following up on the advise given will give you a great opportunity to ensure that your new puppy or dog turn into a well mannered and valued member of your family.

If you would like some help in selecting a breeder, preparing for the new puppy or want some help with training or issues  after the new dog or puppy has arrived please contact me  by email or give me a call.