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Dog Academy

Welcoming your New Dog

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Training, Supplies and Care Guide for your New Dog

Ten Do's and Don'ts
Do get your jogging gear - dogs need exercise and they rely on you to include physical activity in their routine.
Do check windows, doors and backyard gates to ensure they are closed so that your dog cannot escape.
Do take your dog or puppy to the vet for a check-up, routine shots and to get spayed or neutered.
Do "baby proof" your home - if it's on the floor, your dog will find it and may eat it! (ex: electrical cords)
Do be a strong leader - confident, authoritative and consistent - so your dog understands the pecking order.
Don't lose your patience or your temper with your new dog. Yelling is an ineffective training method.
Don't rush introductions with other pets or small children. Let them get used to eachother slowly and safely.
Don't encourage behavior that is cute in a puppy but not in an adult dog. (ex: jumping, chewing shoes)
Don't play tug-of-war, rough-house, or engage in other combative play with a dominant breed. (ex: Rottie)
Don't use a crate as punishment - crates are a safe haven and should not have negative associations.
Shopping List
Food - Dog food should be age and weight appropriate (puppy, senior, etc.)
Bowls - Dogs should have their own food dish. Water bowls can be shared.
Collar - Leather and nylon are ideal materials. Chain collars NOT recommended.
Leash - 4' to 6' leashes are great for everyday use, 15' - 30' for training.
Toys - Squeaker toys, tennis balls, Nylabones and Kong toys are best bets.
Bed - Dogs should have their own, cozy bed to rest and relax.
Crate - There are dozens of uses for a crate, the most important being safety.
ID Tag - Include your dog's name and your phone number, address optional.
Brush - Soft bristles work best for short-hair dogs, metal for long-hair.
Bringing your Dog or Puppy Home

Dogs and puppies require lots of attention, patience and understanding to be comfortable in their new home and different living conditions. Remember that you, your family and your house are all new to your dog. Puppies should rarely be left alone for the first month. Adult dogs should have at least a few days before being left alone.

When arriving, give your dog a tour of your home. Keep him on a leash and walk from room to room letting him see and sniff every square inch, if he likes. Pay close attention - if he looks like he might potty, take him outsite immediately! If you already have pets, keep them separated during the tour and possibly for the first few weeks.

Establish rules from day one. Can he lay on the couch, sleep on the bed, chew your slippers, beg while you are eating or jump on your guests? Decide what you want the rules to be long-term and start enforcing them on day one. Give your dog lots of positive attention, especially in the first few days. You want him to know he is safe, loved and will be cared for by his new family.


Take your new dog to the veterinarian within a week after adoption. There, he will receive a health check and any needed vaccinations. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, make that appointment! There are already far too many homeless puppies and dogs; don't let your new pet add to the problem.

Control fleas and ticks, especially in the summer. Medications such as Frontline are easy to use, effective and long-lasting. Despite the popularity of flea collars and shampoos, they are not nearly as effective as Frontline. Keep in mind, if fleas are on your dog then they are likely on your couch and in your floors!

Protect against heartworm with a preventative such as HeartGard. Given once a month in a tasty, chewy treat-like dosage, HeartGard is effective in preventing roundworms and hookworms that can be contracted from outside insects and other animal deposits.

Dental care is equally important for pets as it is for people. Teeth cleaning for dogs requires anesthesia so it's best to brush their teeth regularly to avoid unnecessary medical risk and expense. Do not use toothpaste made for human use because the ingredients can upset your dog's tummy.

Fitness and Nutrition

Puppies will need to eat 3-4 times a day. Like their body, their tummy is small. Frequent and small meals are ideal for your puppy. Remember to take him outside immediately after they eat. As they get older, around the 4 month mark, you can feed them twice a day.

Adult dogs should eat twice daily and be given adequate time (30-45 minutes) to digest and go outside prior to being left alone. Both puppies and dogs should have access to water at all times. However, if you want to better regulate a potty routine for your puppy, you can provide water at regular intervals, at least twice as often as food is provided and always after playful activity.

Dogs are sensitive to changes in food. If you are using a different brand of food, it may be wise to mix their old brand with your new brand for a few days. Then they have a chance to adjust without digestion problems. It's best not to feed your dog any people food. Treats and food especially designed for dogs is best for their health.

Dogs need activity for physical and mental health. A dog with energy to spare is more likely to misbehave. Walking, jogging and playing a game of "Fetch" are great ways for your dog (and you!) to enjoy exercise. The amount of exercise needed depends upon the size and breed. However, ALL dogs need exercise and you cannot rely on them to "work out" on their own, even if you have a large yard.

Training and Behavior

Dogs do not figure out how to behave well on their own - they must be trained.
Teaching your dog obedience ("sit", "stay", "come here", etc.) reinforces the household hierarchy with you as the pack leader and provides needed structure for your dog.

Teaching your dog tricks ("roll over", "fetch", "bring me my slippers") provides entertainment, and engages your dog's mind, which can help alleviate behavior problems caused by boredom.

Behavior problems most common in dogs include barking, jumping and pulling on the leash. Adopted dogs may exhibit anxiety or fear when first introduced to your home. All of these behavior problems can be corrected with time, effort and positive training techniques.

Emergency Numbers
  • ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center - (888) 426-4435 (24 hours a day/365 days a year)
  • American Animal Hospital Associations (AAHA) - (800) 883-6301
  • American Humane Association (AHA) - (800) 227-4645
  • Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) - (800) 440-EARS
How Else Can Dog Academy Help?

New Dog Essentials

Buckle Collar
Nylon Leash
Pet First Aid Kit
Kong Toy
Attack-A-Jack Toy
Double Action Chews
Dog Beds
Dog Training Treats
Food & Toy Storage
Kong Tennis Balls
Car Seat Cover
Puppy Training Pads
Dog PlayPen
Car Safety Harness
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