If there’s anything that can put a smile on my face when I’m having a down day, it’s my dog, and I think this is probably the case for a lot of people.
If you’re a dog owner then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that our little furry friends really do become part of our families, and a huge part of our lives.
I thought I’d share with you my top tips for owning a dog and getting a puppy from my experience. Hopefully this will help anyone who is looking to get a dog soon!
Meet My Dog
This is my dog, Digby. He’s 2 years old and he’s a West Highland Terrior (westie). He is just the best; we were warned that they’re not very placid dogs or very affectionate, but he couldn’t be anymore the opposite. He is so friendly and loving and just wants to be with us all the time.
Top Tips for Getting a Puppy
- Poo. Lots of Poo. Be prepared. Puppies poo a lot, and until you manage to get them toilet trained, they’ll poo pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Toilet training can take a while and there’ll still be accidents afterwards, so you need to be prepared for lots of cleaning up!
- They chew everything! As cute as they are, puppies have sharp little teeth and they like to use them! Whether they’re chewing a toy, your hand, the sofa… they’ll be chewing something!
- Everything is a Toy! We bought so many toys when we got Digby, and although he played with all of them, and still has a lot of them, everything is a toy! All rubbish, all shoes, everything becomes a toy!
- Lots of Attention! You can’t leave a puppy too long, especially when you’re still toilet training! Some dogs get separation anxiety and need regular checks, but in general, you shouldn’t leave a puppy more than a couple of hours!
Top Tips for Owning a Dog
- Lots of Exercise – if you want to avoid having a crazy dog when you’re trying to relax in the evenings, lots of exercise during the day is essential! You should give dogs plenty of chance to get outside in general so they can stretch their legs and go to the toilet, but it also helps keep them calm.
- Establish a ‘Firm Voice’ – the best thing you can establish from getting your dog is a firm voice. Not an angry voice, but an assertive voice that your dog recognises as being a sign of authority that they react to. This helps establish a heirarchy in the house and shows your dog who’s in charge!
- Encourage Cuddles – This might just be something we did, but we’ve encouraged cuddles with our dog from day one to build a friendly and loving relationship with him and it’s worked! Digby is so loving and gentle now, and will now jump up and cuddle up to us unprovoked.
- Set Up Their Own Space – We didn’t crate/cage train our dog as we didn’t have space, but he’s always had his bed in the same place during the day, and then slept in the same place every night. Setting up a space that is the dog’s own helps them settle in your house but also gives them a safe place they can always relax!
They’re my top tips for both owning a dog, and when you get a puppy! I’m not an expert, just a dog owner speaking from experience.
If you’ve got any top dog training tips or advice for new dog owners, share in the comments!
I hope this has been helpful, or just interesting if you like dogs!
If you fancy following Digby on Instagram (yep, I set him up an account) then his name is @digbythewhitedog and he’d appreciate your love!