Dear Miss Behavin’:

We have decided to adopt a dog, but are not sure if we should get a puppy or an adult.  This will also be our first dog so what should we expect?

Congratulations on your new family member!  There are many things to consider when bringing a dog into your home, one of the most important is to look at what type of a life style your family has.  Our adoption counselors at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA will be a great resource to help guide you on choosing the right pup.

Regardless of the age of your pup, there are a few other things to keep in mind when bringing them home.  You will want to research the breed so that you know what personality traits to expect.

You will want to have clear cut rules in place and make sure the whole family is on board.  It is so much easier to lighten up on the rules as they earn them, instead of allowing free roam of the whole house and having to tighten up later.  I recommend a crate, x-pen or a room that is set up for them so that they can’t make mistakes when they are unsupervised.  When you are able to watch the pup, allow them to have more access to the house and guide them as to what the rules of the house are.  Are you going to allow them on furniture, if not; you need to manage the environment when you are not there.

Have a designated potty routine and area.  It is much easier for a pup to house train when they know what is expected of them and where they are to eliminate along with how they gain access to that area.  I also recommend feeding your pup on a schedule; this way you know when things go in and when they should come out.

Lastly look into signing up for training classes, we offer a wide range of classes for all ages.  This will help build a strong bond with you and your pup and get everyone off to a great start!

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