Gifting or receiving a new puppy for Christmas? Here’s what you should know

HOUSTON – When you get a new puppy, there’s a few things you should keep in mind. Stephanie Bennett and her pooch Cash, from ‘Believe in Dog Training’ stopped by to get you ready to care for your new furry friend.

Owning a dog is a responsibility that should never be an impulse buy or a surprise gift. A dog is a commitment that will require time, attention, and financial support for the next 12-16 years at max.

Before you bring a new dog home, have a family meeting and prepare! Consistency and routines are a key to success for all dogs. Plan to take at least a few days off to spend time developing your relationship and introducing your dog to his/her new home.

Once your dog gets home, he/she will most likely be exhausted and need time to decompress and acclimate. Take the first few weeks very slowly and give plenty of time and space. No big events, dog parks, pet stores etc. If the dog is comfortable and fully vaccinated, Stephanie says to take long, slow ‘decompression walks’ (aka Sniff-aris) to let your dog smell and explore his new neighborhood freely.

It’s normal to want your dog to be pup-tastic, but always remember not to put pressure on your new dog to perform basic obedience. Keep in mind that dogs are learners and they don’t automatically know anything. Find a good training class and build a bond with a trusting relationship.

Watch the video above to hear tips and tricks from Stephanie and Cash!

There are lots of great resources and education materials to be found online. Most shelters and rescue organizations offer free resources and support, as well as good trainers using social media platforms. Stephanie provides lots of free information and training resources on her website and you can keep up with her on Instagram.

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