article-detail-banner
article-detail-banner-mobile

adp_description_block56
How to choose a puppy that is right for your family

How to choose a puppy that is right for your family play button

Watch as Expert Dog Trainer Kathy Santo talks about all the research that goes into finding the perfect puppy. From breed and temperament to barking, you’ll learn all the details that are often overlooked by people when they’re shopping around for a new best friend.

 

Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS. Are you thinking of getting a dog? Bringing a new dog into your home is a big responsibility. You'll need to take the time to train and socialize your dog, as well as be prepared for the financial commitment that goes with pet ownership. Your dig will need food, supplies, veterinary care, and more. Remember, he'll depend on you for his health and well being. So be sure you're ready for a dog before you start the process. No surprise puppies. Make sure everyone in your household is on board with getting a puppy. Too often, puppies are given up if the family isn't ready for the commitment that puppies require. Once you've thought through the commitments and responsibilities associated with dog ownership, the next step is to figure out what type of dog is right for you and your family. Today we're going to discuss a variety of things you should think about before choosing your dog. What type of family do you have? Do you have kids or other pets? What size of dog works best for your family? Do you know how much cleaning and grooming time you can commit to? How much time do you have for training your new pup? What energy level is a good fit for your home? Is barking something to consider? What kind of temperament is right for your family? We all know how cute puppies and dogs are, and it can be hard to resist when you go to pick them out. Remember, they'll have an easier transition into your home if you think about the best type of dog for you. Consider the following aspects to help you choose the best dog for you and your family. Large dogs-- generally they aren't as suitable for apartment dwellers. They need a bit more space to move around, mostly for their long tails that need wagging space. They tend to be more expensive-- more dog food supplies and medical treatment. Small dogs-- they are more delicate and vulnerable. Being stepped on or mishandled can cause serious injury. Also, little dogs can be more sensitive to colder temperatures, so be ready to keep them warm. They're generally less expensive to maintain. How much cleaning up can you commit to? Long coated and double coated dogs shed, shed, and shed some more, leaving tufts of hair to float about the house and land everywhere. How much time are you willing to spend brushing or grooming? Make sure to consider the costs. A monthly grooming service can really add up over the years. If you lack time and patience to deal with a dog that's difficult to train, then an older dog from a rescue may fit your bill as well as a pup of a breed that is traditionally easier to train. Intelligence is not necessarily an indicator of train ability. Smart dogs often have their own agenda and require consistency on the part of their owners. Dogs with a willingness to work and a desire to please you often turn out to be the best companions. I recommend hiring a dog trainer to perform a few tests to help determine if the dog is a good fit for you. As a rule, terriers, hounds, and northern dogs are tough to train because of their intelligent and independent natures, while sporting and herding dogs are easier to train. The sharpest working obedience breeds are golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, border collies, German shepherds, and Shetland sheepdogs, breeds that develop closely with humans. Some dogs enjoy lounging at your feet to sleep the day away, while others are very energetic and ready to run a marathon right alongside you. Cute as they are, basset hounds, dachshunds, and corgis are not jogging companions. And Airedales, German shepherds, and border collies are not typical couch potatoes. All dogs need some exercise to stay healthy. Most adult dogs will not exercise themselves, so time for walks and other activities is important. Some dogs bark a lot, and the amount can vary by breed. Terriers and scent hounds use their voices to broadcast their progress in chasing prey. Shelties and collies bark to tell the sheep to get back to the barn. Canaan dogs bark to alert their families of potential intruders. Many dogs will bark if they're bored, so owners should also be sure to assess their own time and ability for training, walking, and play times, and should properly confine the dog when they can't otherwise keep it from disturbing the neighbors. There are some special collars available to deter barking dogs, and training methods that can help in some cases. But if potential owners take the noise factor into consideration, problems are more likely to be minimized. Breed and temperament can be described, but there is room within that description for individuality. For example, akitas are declared to be tough, loyal, aloof, dominant, aggressive to other animals, and often challenging. However, many akitas are sweet and cuddly, loves small critters, will climb in laps if allowed, and are anything but aloof and dominant. Terriers are scrappy, yappy, tough, and independent. But Airedale terriers bond very closely to their humans, and are somewhat protective. Hounds follow their eyes or noses, and are often oblivious to human presence. Dachshunds bond closely with their families, and greyhounds and whippets are sweet, gentle pets. Because temperament isn't always easy to judge when meeting a new dog, I strongly recommend hiring or asking a professional dog trainer to come with you to evaluate temperament. They'll be able to assess the dog's personality, compare it with your wish list, and determine what dog is the best fit for you. If you can arrange this, ask the people who've interacted with the dog the most about his temperament. Once you've thought about the commitments and have a good idea of what type of dog is the best fit for your family's lifestyle, check out your local animal shelter or animal rescue to see if a new addition is waiting there for you. I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition into your family.

  • article detail banner
    lost dog escaping a yard

    adp_description_block396
    Could Your Dog Escape Your Yard? Here’s How to Secure It

    For some dogs, a simple fence isn’t enough to keep them in the yard. Maybe you’ve got a little escape artist that’s too smart for their own good. Maybe you’re raising a brave explorer who loves to get lost. Or maybe you’ve been unlucky enough to have your dog stolen from their own backyard. Creating a safe and secure space to keep your pet can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. Understanding the common reasons dogs get out and what you can do to prevent it from happening goes a long way toward keeping your furry friend safe.

     

     

    Why Does Your Dog Want to Escape?

    Securing your yard starts with understanding the impulses that drive your dog to see what’s beyond your property. Spaying or neutering is an important first step in curbing a dog’s desire to roam, but there may be other factors at play. Creating a safe yard for a lonely Labrador in search of a friend is an entirely different exercise than securing a burrow-happy beagle on the hunt for a squirrel. We’d recommend trying to learn as much as you can about your dog’s breed and underlying instincts. The most common reasons dogs try to escape are:
     

    • Feeling socially isolated
    • Lack of stimulation (think toys)
    • Desire to escape something that scares them, like thunder
       

    Countering these behaviors starts with understanding which one is at the heart of your dog’s desire to break free. Once you’ve got a theory of what’s motivating your pup, it’s time to give your safety measures a second look.

     

     

    How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure in Your Yard

    Microchip Your Dog and Scan Their Nose

    If your dog is committed to getting out, your most useful tool will be the ability to track and locate them wherever they’re found. There are a huge variety of products and services designed to help you keep your dog safe, but the most important thing you can have is a plan. You’ve most likely heard of GPS tracking chips that can be implanted in your pet, but you may not know that you can also scan their nose. Through a new app called NOSEiD, you can capture your dog’s unique nose print, which will give whoever finds them a faster, simpler way of reuniting the two of you. It’s that easy! Just download the app, call your pup over and start scanning.

     

     

    The Best Defense Is a Good … Fence

    Even though they’re not technologically impressive, a sturdy wooden or metal fence still plays an important part in protecting your dog while they’re in your yard. Not only does it keep your dog from wandering, it also keeps unwanted animals and people away from your dog’s space. If your dog can leap over it, you’ll obviously need to raise the height, or you can add an overhang that makes it harder to clear. You might also consider planting some shrubs along the inside of the fence to discourage jumping. If your dog is burrowing beneath your fence, consider adding a barrier beneath it or putting a bumper collar on them, which makes it harder to squeeze into small spaces.
     

    If you have a particularly territorial dog, you may want to cover any open spots in your fence that your dog might spy adversaries through. A solid fence may help them feel safe and diminish their need to patrol their surroundings.
     

    When it comes to electric fences, using one successfully depends on your dog’s personality. If your dog has recently been ignoring the electric fence, you may want to consider retraining them or investing in a physical barrier.

     

     

    Make “Yard” Mean “Yay!”

    Making your yard a dog-friendly and entertaining space is a huge part of keeping your dog safe at home. With enough toys, space to burn energy and ideally a friend to play with, your dog won’t have any reason to see if the grass is greener elsewhere. A few popular dog-pleasers you may want to provide are:
     

    • A bit of shelter or shade
    • A source of water
    • A rotating lineup of toys
    • Their favorite playmate (you)

     

     

    Use Your Yard Wisely

    Last, but not least, if you leave your dog unattended for a long period of time in your yard, there’s a good chance they will get bored and look for a way to burn off some energy. To prevent them from getting mischievous, limit the amount of time they’re out on their own, and check in frequently. Also, for dogs with separation anxiety or that may be afraid of loud noises, your presence will help keep them calm and close to home.
     

    With your dog chipped or their nose scanned, you’ll always have an option in the event that your dog strikes out on their own. Beyond that, understand what makes your dog unique and check your yard’s safety features regularly for holes or weak points. As usual, a little preparation now can save you a ton of time and energy in the long run.

both email signup

WANT MORE IAMS™?

Get pet care advice, product updates, event information and more when you sign up for the IAMS™ newsletter made with your pet in mind.

SIGN UP

Shop Dogs

Shop Cats

Why IAMS™

© 2022 Mars or Affiliates. US Patents Pending. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Hi! 👋

Need to chat? 💬

We’re here to help. 🐶🐱

👋 Hi, I'm your Pet Expert!

pet Logo
pet Logo