When you want to add a dog to your family, you will need to carve it a place of its own, both in the family and at home. Consider the house rules beforehand, as well as what place and space you want to provide for your dog at home. This will ensure that your dog has proper accommodation.
Making your home dog-friendly
Your home needs to be prepared before you can welcome your new family member. You want to make sure that the house and garden or balcony make for a pleasant and safe environment for your dog.
Enough toys – Biting toys are especially important for a pup. Do not give it old shoes, because a pup doesn’t know the difference between old and new and will be using your new shoes for toys next time round. Crate or basket – A crate, basket or soft rug provides a comfortable place for your dog to make its own. Food and water bowl – Buy a food and a water bowl and give them a permanent place in your home. Your garden will need to be prepared for the arrival of your dog as well. Make sure your dog can’t escape from the garden and that there are no poisonous plants around for it to eat.
Crate or basket: a place of its own
It is very important for your dog to have a place of its own where it can rest and feels safe. That is why you should get your dog a basket or a crate. It can bring its toys here, take a nap or just withdraw for a while when in need of some peace and quiet.
Because the basket or crate needs to be a safe and pleasant place, your dog should not be punished by being sent there. Reward your pup whenever it goes there on its own. It will learn to appreciate its spot all the more.
Clear house rules
Clear house rules are beneficial both for yourself and your dog. Make sure the entire family is consistent so your dog knows what to expect. Otherwise it may grow insecure which causes agitation and disobedience.
Pay special attention to where the dog is allowed to go in the house. Are the couch and bed off-limits or not? Decide on these rules together so you can all help teach your dog where it can move freely and where it needs to stay away. You can teach your young or adult dog these limits by leading it away every time it goes somewhere that isn’t allowed, and taking it to a place that is. Then reward it for being in the right place. Never punish your dog for being somewhere it isn’t supposed to be: a short ‘no!’ is enough. Then take it to its own spot and reward it there immediately.
Leaving your dog on its own
You can’t always be around your dog and in most cases, it shouldn’t be a problem to leave it on its own for a couple of hours. Build it up slowly – from a few moments to a couple of minutes, to an hour, etc. – so it learns to trust that you will be back. Building it up slowly prevents your dog from becoming insecure or breaking things while you’re away. Read more about teaching your dog to be alone.