Integrating your puppy with the family
Once your new best friend is settling in at home, it’s time to sit down with the family.
Establishing family rules
Make sure you set clear rules around your new puppy. By everyone in the family reinforcing them, your puppy will learn faster and avoid getting confused. Here are some topics to think about:
- Is the puppy allowed on the couch?
- Is the puppy allowed to sleep on the bed?
- Is the puppy allowed to beg for food at the dining table?
- Are there any areas off-limits for your puppy?
Deciding who does what
Here’s a fun way of making looking after your new family member fun. Fill out the schedule and allocate responsibilities so everyone gets to spend some time with the pup. Here are some tasks to think of:
- Morning feed
- Evening feed
- Morning walks
- Afternoon walks
- Brushing and grooming
Children and puppies – getting it right.
Kids and dogs really do belong together and will often develop strong and close bonds that will last for life. For your child, it’s a gift of never-ending love, a playmate, and an opportunity to develop responsibility and respect towards animals. Here are some lessons to teach your children to help them positively interact with your puppy:
- Don’t pull your puppy’s ears or tail or poke his eyes or nose;
- Don’t disturb your puppy when its eating/sleeping;
- Don’t scream loudly and start running away – your puppy will see this as an invitation to chase;
- Be gentle and give it lots of love, just don’t squeeze too hard!
Remember: puppies and young children can be wild and show unpredictable behaviour. They should not be left unsupervised.