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We got a new puppy and he is adorable. Meet Nigel our Whoodle (Soft coated Wheaton Terrier and Standard Poodle mix). Nigel is the perfect puppy for our family for so many reasons. We already have a Wheaton (she is 10) and we know that our daughter with allergies is fine with her. When we started considering a new puppy we knew this breed was great for us so we initially planned on getting a second Wheaton. When we learned about Whoodles, who are still 100% hypoallergenic and combine the great qualities of our Wheaton with a little more brain from the Poodle, it seemed like the ideal breed for us, plus they can be black (I love black dogs).
My husband and I both grew up with dogs and have already bought a dog together so we have a lot of experience with adding puppies to our family. I always took for granted how much knowledge we had and how easy it is for us to add dogs to our home. After talking to friends who never grew up with dogs or had a less than ideal experience I realized there is a lot people don’t realize about owning a puppy.
We have had Nigel a little over a month now and the transition to adding him to our home has been nearly seamless. The kids adore him and help with all his care. The 3-year-old loves him so much we jokingly call her Elvira (Animaniacs remember her?). So here are my tips on how to successfully introduce a new puppy to your family.
Tips for Successfully Introducing a New Puppy to Your Family.
- Do Your Research. Every breed is different so do your research. Look at your lifestyle and living situation and what the dog needs. Temperament and size matter too. For example, we have a big yard so larger dogs are fine. I also have kids that could accidentally hurt a small dog. Our dog is hypoallergenic which means she needs to get groomed regularly and won’t shed her hair.
- Supplies. Make sure you arm yourself with all the supplies you need for success. We crate train our dogs for potty training then once they no longer chew or have accidents we get rid of the crate. Chew toys, leash, collar, food, training treats, cleaner for accidents are all good things to have on hand.
- Get Kids Involved. Be sure to involve the kids in the whole adoption process. Let them help choose the name so they feel a true sense of ownership and responsibility.
- Training. Help your child to learn all about puppy behavior. Teach them about nipping and jumping and how to help discourage these activities. Everyone in the house must be involved in the training and there needs to be consistency so the dog learns what behavior is acceptable. An improperly trained dog can lead to a very unhappy dog/owner relationship.
- Responsibility. Give each member responsibilities when it comes to the dog. Take turns feeding, watering and taking the puppy out. Work in shifts to supervise the puppy, new puppies can get into trouble is left unattended. And have a regular walk schedule that involves everyone.
- Pay Attention. It is important to pay attention to your dog for signs that things are not right. With our Wheaton, she kept getting sick. We tried all different kinds of food and nothing worked. After a call to the vet we realized she most likely had a wheat allergy (oh the irony wheat allergy in a Wheaton). Knowing that about Wheatons we have only fed Nigel grain free dog food. I recently discovered Purina Beyond Salmon Egg and Pumpkin Natural Recipe Superfood Blend and it is our new favorite dog food. This dog food is everything I want for my dogs, no corn, wheat or soy and no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Now if only they made training treats with those same quality standards!
If you are looking for a better brand of dog food I cannot recommend Purina Beyond enough. Purina also offers Purina Beyond Simple 9 White Chicken & Whole Barley and Purina Beyond Small Dog Essential. You can find Purina Beyond at your local Kroger like I did and they even have a $3 off Purina Beyond ecoupon during the month of April so you get a great price on a great dog food.