Bringing a new dog into the family can be a tough job. Unlike humans, new dogs don’t adjust to a change of environment quickly. They are always on the defensive, suspicious of the new faces they have come to meet, and sometime they can be aggressive.
As a new owner, it is your duty to easily get your new dog to love you, your family and your home. This is more important when you have a dog already, and also when you have a kid in the house who does not understand the nature of a new dog but think it is another playmate.
Back in the day of wild canines, dog evolution was in the “paws” of the wild canines.
Today, humans manipulate characteristics and have changed the face of the first domesticated wolves that became companions. By neotenizing (to cause a breed to retain immature or juvenile characteristics or features, even as adults), we have even manipulated breeds to be able to communicate efficiently with one another.
Deborah Goodwin, John Bradshaw, and Stephen Wickens, researchers from the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Southampton in Great Britain, studied ten breeds of dogs and how they communicate and form sociability; look it up because it is fascinating!
To summarize, our manipulation of characteristics has created numerous problems, not only physically (in the form of dysplasia and disease), it has also created problems with communication and sociability between breeds and individuals.
For instance, did you know that terriers are bred to show dominant traits and not get along with other dogs (especially other terriers and other dogs like them)? This means it is crucial to know the characteristics of the dog you have and the dog you are looking at adding to your household.
It may not be smart to have two very dominant Staffordshire Terriers or Bull Terriers in the same household. And, if you are determined to make it work, it may take a lot in the form of control and maintenance when it comes to the humans in the house.
It’s true, some dogs can’t get along no matter what you do, nor the medication applied.
These dogs have a desire to kill one another on sight, and it is challenging to maintain dogs like this safely. Many breeders know how it is to live with this dynamic, because most often the dogs are of the same sex.
It is crucial that these dogs never have access to one another or meet face to face. Just the other day, a client was telling me that one dog broke out of it’s crate, then hit the other dog’s crate like a bull until it broke the other dog out so that they could fight.
Stories like that amaze me, but it certainly happens. The average dog owner does not have what it takes, nor the desire to live this lifestyle.
Some Tips on How to Safely Add Dogs to Your Household
Know Your Breeds (again, don’t put two very dominant breeds together)
Puppies Are Usually Easier to Integrate (make sure you take the time to train the new puppy!)
Do NOT Adopt or Buy Siblings (siblings often grow up to have dominance problems and fights, even though they got along as puppies)
If Your Adult Dog HATES Puppies, Don’t Get a Puppy (some adults just hate puppies, so it might be easier to find an older or calm adult dog)
Don’t Assume Fighting Will Dissipate (many people see early aggression and discount it. Listen to what the dogs are trying to tell you. It is easier to immediately send a dog or puppy back before you spend weeks getting attached)
Insist On Control From the Beginning
Exercise Makes For Tired Dogs and Less Conflict
To live harmoniously with two dogs that don’t necessarily care for one another takes a very involved and very controlling owner.
The dog must understand his boundaries and what will be tolerated.
Ironically, I have two dogs that don’t like one another.
They haven’t liked one another from day one, yet they tolerate each other because they both love and respect me.
I stop any hard or inappropriate play, immediately!
I don’t allow them to stiffen and posture over one another.
I don’t even allow them to shoot each other “stink eye” without letting them know that I see it.
By stepping in early, it dissipates the situation and prevents it from escalating.
Control Requires Obedience
Control, by definition, requires obedience.
If I have not taught the dogs obedience, they have not learned to control themselves, even without distractions.
How then, could I expect the dog to listen when he is enraged or focused on something besides me?
Obedience is the key to keeping your pack functioning without fights.
Your Guide to Choosing the Best Kid-Friendly Dog
Almost half of American households have a dog.
While they are often called “man’s best friend” that doesn’t mean all dogs a perfect match for kids. Before your family grows to include both dogs and children, consider which breed will fit best into your happy home.
Some breeds are better than others at making playmates for children. In addition, your lifestyle will play a big role in deciding how big and how active a dog is best.
Use this guide to help you pick the perfect furry companion for your family.
What Size is Best?
When considering what kind of dog is right for your family, size is a great place to begin the conversation.
Think about the amount of space you have available in your home or yard for the dog to play. Small dogs make much better apartment animals than large pets.
If you have a lot of open room, a large dog might be the perfect pet to run around with your child.
There are other important things to remember when considering how your new dog’s size matches your lifestyle.
Smaller dogs may be more fragile if your kid is rough in his or her play habits. Larger dogs may not know their own strength and be too aggressive accidentally.
How Active is Your Family?
Certain breeds require more attention and exercise than others. Before you decide which dog makes sense for your family, think about how much time you’ll be able to actively spend with them.
Beagles and terriers make great companions for kids that have a ton of energy. They’ll happily play and run around all day.
Boxers are also really playful and energetic as well if you’re considering a larger dog.
It’s important to make sure your dog gets proper exercise and attention or its playfulness can become restlessness.
Likewise, consider the grooming needs of your pet. You’ll need to factor this time into your lifestyle or it may affect your dog’s behavior.
The last thing you need in a house full of dogs and children is a lot of barking and frustration. Choosing the right breed can help eliminate this before it ever becomes a problem.
The Temperament of Your Dogs and Children Matter
You don’t get to pick your kid’s temperament, but you can choose your pet based on its attitude.
Your dog needs to be patient, calm, and friendly to make a good companion for a kid.
Bulldogs are very patient and loving of children. They’re strong enough to take a good amount of rough play and keep coming back for more.
They can also be protective, a trait you’ll need to watch to make sure it stays healthy.
Retrievers are also great for kids because of their friendly nature and eagerness to please.
Think about how your children like to play. If they’re more outgoing and adventurous, choose a dog that can keep up with them.
What About Mutts?
Often the best canine companion for children isn’t a pure breed.
A mixed breed, or mutt, can make a great pet because the process of combining the genes of different species tends to mellow out the wildest traits of each individual breed.
There is evidence that mutts are healthier in some cases, as well.
Mutts are often easygoing and loyal. And they can have fun and unique coats and character traits that make them one of a kind.
Consider adopting a mixed breed dog to add to your family. Here are 5 reasons why adopting is a great option.
The Best Pet is a Loved Pet
Dogs and children brighten up any home.
And whichever breed you select, your pup will benefit from the pampering we provide. Whether your pet needs a grooming or an overnight stay, they will be comfortable and well taken care of.
Make a reservation for your furry friend at our resort today!