Q:

What are some important things first-time dog owners should know?

A:

Quick Answer

First-time dog owners should know that it is important to begin training the dog as early as possible after bringing it home. It can take weeks to house train a dog, depending on its age, and the earlier it learns who its master is, the better.

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What are some important things first-time dog owners should know?
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Full Answer

First, determine where your dog will be spending most of its time. If you plan to crate train your dog, be sure to have a crate set up when you bring your new dog home. It is important for the dog to become familiar with its surroundings and to feel comfortable in and around the crate. To help it feel safe, try leaving toys and treats inside the crate, with the door open, as well as food and water. This allows the dog to associate positive things with its crate. Most importantly, if the dog barks or cries when inside the crate, it is essential that you do not give in. If you succumb to the dog's crying by letting it out, it never learns to love its crate.

You should also attach an ID tag to your dog's collar. The tag should have at least an address or phone number on it in case it gets loose. You should also do the following to dog-proof all areas of the house that the dog will be allowed in: remove all food and objects that the dog could reach, cover or uncover all surfaces that the dog could stain or shed on and close all doors and gates to areas in which the dog is not allowed to go.

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