Justin Silver, then dog trainer from ‘Dogs In The City‘ makes a living resolving dog problems of upmarket city dwellers. Indeed, as we all know city living is a tough gig. It’s no different for our two legged tenants.
As a big believer in ‘fixing it before it breaks’ approach to life, here is my list of how to make your dog city-proof. Before the problems hit.
- A good choice makes for a solid foundation. As in everything else, a good choice of puppy will set him up for a good life to come. Pick a placid puppy – not a bundle of nerves. A relaxed puppy will not run out barking the house down or hide in the corner growling. A relaxed puppy will come out and gently sniff you – the stranger to find out what you are all about.
- Socialize, socialize! City life is know for the unexpected. Be it new noises, sights or smells. Get ahead of the game by exposing your dog as a puppy to as many new places/people/dogs/cars etc. as possible. That way your puppy is much less likely to freak out later in life.
- Obedience is king. Obedience training begins from the day you bring your puppy home and last a lifetime! You can begin with the basic ‘sit-stay’ as early as at 8 weeks old (gently does it) and keep training daily for 10-20 minutes. Believe me, does wonders for your dog.
- Separation is part of the plan. We are all busy these days. The last thing you (and your neighbours) want is a dog barking all day long when you leave for work. So be prepared and get your puppy used to you leaving the house from day one. Trust me – dogs really can handle it.
Most of all – remember: a dog is a dog, weather on the farm or in the CBD. Dogs need discipline, structure and an assertive pack leader ( that means you). And you know what – dogs love it best that way.