Tag Archives: planning for your dog

You have decided to get a dog, now what?

31 Oct

You have sat down as a family and decided why you want a dog and what type of energy your dog should have in order to suit your family.

The next step is to sit down as a family and decide on the rules, boundaries and limitations that you will have for the new dog. This is something you must all agree on, otherwise you will cause the new addition to your family to become confused.

Family Dog

Family Dog (Photo credit: Richard Elzey – Flickr)

But sometimes things don’t go according to plan. One situation that can occur, is that one family member will come home one day with a dog. Whether by choice, or because it had been abandoned and they felt sorry for it. The problem with this is that more often than not it ends up becoming Mum’s responsibility. I am sure you would’ve heard stories like this before.

But what happens if Mum did not want a dog?

This could be disastrous for not only the family but for the dog as well.  Mum will take care of it, as you know she will. But if this isn’t a pleasure for her, the dog will feel it and he will never feel safe with her. Mum’s energy could be resentful, angry, or just plain resignation.  none of these energies are pack leader energy and your dog will recognise this.  The dog will never willingly follow her instructions, and this will be a point of contention not only for the prime care giver, but for the whole family. In this situation, establishing rules and boundaries becomes even more important.

What to do if you bring a dog home out of the blue

If you do bring home a dog out of the blue, the smart move is to engage the whole family to take responsibility for the dog, there is a saying,  “If Mum’s happy, the family’s happy”.

This means that you need to decide on rules and boundaries for your dog regardless of whether you planned to get him, or it occurred out of the blue.

First of all, you need to decide what is appropriate for your family

  • Do you allow the dog to sleep on the beds?
  • If the dog isn’t allowed to sleep in the beds where will he sleep?
  • Do you all share responsibility for walking the dog?
  • Does the whole family take turns in feeding your dog? Or would you prefer to have one person be responsible for this?
  • Maybe you have a small dog and want him to sit on your knee. But don’t want him to think he ‘owns’ the couch? You need to make sure your dog understands that it isn’t his right to be on the couch, and that he can only come up when invited.
  • When your dog is new to the family who will take responsibility for toilet training?

These are just some examples of the rules you will need to consider when introducing a new dog to your family.

In addition to deciding on the rules, you need to consistently enforce them. There will of course be times when these rules boundaries and limitations will not be enforced for whatever reasons. The key to this, once again is your energy.  As long as you are able to maintain Pack Leader energy your dog will not question the change in plan, nor will it try take advantage of it. When the whole family relates to your dog from this energy perspective your dog will always trust and respect you.

When the whole family become your dog’s Pack Leader your dog will show you a more calm respectful, trusting energy. In addition to this, from working as a team the family will find a new way to connect with each other.

And these are only some of the rewards that can come as a result of having a dog in your family.

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