Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 8:07 pm | Fair 49º


Inquisitive Canine: Dog Adoption Tips as You Embark on Your New Life Together

A little planning can make for a smooth transition

Dear Inquisitive Dog Parents,

For many of you, summertime fun included fetching a new dog or puppy. No wonder, as summer’s relaxed schedule means being home more and making yourself more available to your dog’s needs. With fall around the corner and work and school routines back in full swing, as a certified trainer and dog mom, I think the time is right to present a few helpful dog training and management tips as you and your new inquisitive canine embark on the road to happiness together.

Dog Training Begins with Behavior

Settling into a new home and lifestyle takes time for any animal — human or non-human — and especially when cultural norms vary. Dogs come with a pre-installed list of species-specific behaviors: jumping up to greet, eliminating where and when they feel the urge, and chewing whatever strikes their fancy.

As much as we’re aware of these traits that make dogs dogs, they can often be a nuisance. Therefore, it’s important you take the time to teach your dog or puppy what it is you want, and where and when you want it.

» Set a house-training routine. Puppies, adult dogs, purebreds, rescues — it doesn’t matter how old or where they came from, every dog will need to be taught where to go to the bathroom. Just because animals know where to go in one place doesn’t mean they’ll figure it out on their own in their new homes.

Whether relocating from a shelter to a high-rise in the city, or from a breeder’s home to a ranch out in the country (and everything in between), you’ll need to take the time to reward your new pooch for knowing where his or her new loo is. You can never thank an animal enough for going potty in the right place — especially if it’s outdoors in the middle of winter!

For more house-training tips, click here to check out this post, or click here to download our free e-book.

» Go back to school with canines, too! Doorbell manners, leash-walking, sitting politely to greet and leaving things alone when asked should be some of the Dog Training 101 behaviors every inquisitive canine should know. One way to kick off your training plan is to sign up for a dog training class or workshop. Other options would be working privately with a trainer, or the DIY approach, such as using a dog training activity game.

Even if your dog is already skilled at obedience, classes can help keep you motivated to continue your education. You can also go back to school to try out a new sport, such as agility, dock-diving or Treibball. To find out more about these and a few of the more popular canine-related sports, click here to view this Doggie Blog post. (My personal favorite is Canine Freestyle!)

» Make your house a home-sweet-home. Dogs in general are social animals. They do better when they’re with family, friends and/or siblings — even those of another species — than when left alone. Avoid the risk of destructive behaviors and/or isolation distress by taking the time to teach your dog to be independent and to enjoy being alone. This is as important for your dog as it is for you. Providing enrichment activities, making sure they’ve been given adequate mental and physical exercise before being left, and starting out with short absences are just a few things to add to your action plan.

» Oversee their space! When you’re not training, you’ll need to remember to arrange your dog’s environment to be Fido-friendly. Will you need to confine your dog to a specific area like a doggie playpen, crate or specific room, whether you’re home or not? If so you’ll want to add this to your training tasks. Make sure you provide dogs with allowable items they can play with, while putting away anything you don’t want them to get their paws or mouths on.

» Consider outside resources. If all of a sudden you realize that life before Fido was busier than you remembered, consider the option of finding outside resources. Pet-sitters, dog-walkers, doggie day-cares and/or doggie friends for play-date trades help keep your pooch busy while relieving some of your time stress. And if you happen to work in a dog-friendly office, consider taking your dog with you. Who knows? If your canine friend is proficient in office manners, it’ll be easier to get him or her on the Employee-of-the-Month list!

Paws and Reflect

Being a new dog parent is super exciting, even during those moments of panic when you ask yourself, “What do I do now?” Before you decide to crawl into a dog crate and hide, remember that a little planning can make for a simple transition. Take the time to understand what your dog or puppy needs, go over the house rules, teach any skills that go along with those rules and manage your dog’s environment to help prevent mishap. Soon it’ll be as if you’ve been BFFs — that’s “best fur-friend” — all along.

— Dear Inquisitive Canine is written by Joan Mayer and her trusty sidekick, Poncho. Joan is a certified professional dog trainer and human-canine relationship coach. Poncho is a 10-pound mutt that knows a lot about canine and human behavior. Their column is known for its simple common-sense approach to dog training and behavior, as well as its entertaining insight into implementing proven techniques that reward both owner and dog. Joan is also the founder of The Inquisitive Canine, where her love-of-dog training approach highlights the importance of understanding canine behavior. If you or your dog have questions about behavior, training or life with each other, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.