Sit n Stay Dog Blog

A fun and easy place to read training tips, health and wellness, stories and more on everything dog related!!

With Summer coming and school's almost out, you might be considering getting a new puppy. You thought a lot about it over the winter, and the kids have been begging you FOREVER!! The kids are ready, and you are ready.....But..... are you REALLY ready for a new puppy??

Here are a few things to consider before picking out the perfect pup at the breeder, or shelter:

1) What breed will you be getting?

It's not as easy as picking a cute puppy from

the local humane society, or looking for the "best" family dog breed. Researching the breeds, meeting a few in person at different life stages, and consider the best breed for YOUR family (lifestyle, personalities, extra-curriculars, etc.).

A good place to start is with with your local veterinarian, or a certified dog trainer.

2) Do you have a couple of weeks to dedicate your time to the puppy while he/she adapts to the family?

There will be a period of adaptation when you bring your puppy home where he/she will some time to adjust and settle into the routine. Usually 7-10 days is the average time a puppy will need to adjust to a feeding schedule, potty training, crate/pen training, sleep schedule, play schedule, etc. If you can take time off work, if the kids are home from school for the summer, that's the perfect time to dedicate to your puppy.

3) Do you have a training plan?

Puppies need lots of training, In addition to potty training, and crate/pen training, puppies need proper socialization, basic obedience (like walking on a leash) and puppy manners (no jumping, handling, bite inhibition). Ask your local veterinarian for a certified dog trainer, or check out APDT or CAPPDT for certified trainers in your area.

4) What do you need to buy before you get your puppy?

The breeder may provide you with a few essentials for the first few days (food, bed, toys) and the shelter may also provide you with some basics or things that the dog had at the shelter (toys, blanket) but there are many things that you will need before puppy comes home.

If you will be crate training, an appropriately sized crate will be essential before puppy comes home. A travel crate may also be necessary for the ride home from the breeder/shelter. Food, treats, chew toys, bowls, grooming tools, puppy shampoo, leash/collar/harness. These are just a few things needed before you go to pick up the puppy. The breeder may provide you with a list of essentials, or refer to a new puppy checklist like this one:

Creating a budget for the first year will really help out with those one-time expenses like the purchase price of the dog , veterinary visits including well-checks, shots, and spay/neuter. First big shopping trip, and yearly city identification. Ongoing costs can be budgeted monthly for food, treats and toys.

5) What is life with a puppy going to be like?

The best question to ask will my life change once I get a puppy? A puppy will definitely change your life, there will be ups and downs, but the biggest reward is getting those puppy cuddles, and that lifelong friend. With proper planning and training, consistency and dedication, this will be the best decision you made.

Jessica MacGregor, ACDBC, CPDT-KA

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

What does Spring mean for our 4-legged friends? For some, it may also be putting those winter coats and boots away,. For others, it may mean back to regular walks and dog parks, and comfortably hanging out on the porch or balcony, catching those rays.

But do our dogs really know what's happening? Do they predict the season change like humans do? Do they understand why one day it's raining and the other day it's snowing?

No.. They don't...... And what does that mean for our dog?

With each season change, our dogs go through a lot. And for some it can have a negative effect on their behavior. Going from Winter to Spring brings a lot of new changes for our dogs. Humans don't look the same anymore (gone are the hats, scarves, mittens, coats and boots), the environment doesn't look the same anymore (no more snow!), and their routine is disrupted (regular elimination in the backyard now becomes regular walks on a leash). Dogs thrive with routine and predictability and most dogs need a period of adjustment.

How can we help? One thing we can do is to understand and to anticipate that the season change MAY produce slight behavioral changes in your dog. Also taking the time to focus on proper socialization and training during the adjustment period. Reintroduce your dog to their leash, go for short walks and build up to longer walks (especially if your dog has been cooped up all Winter). Create positive socialization exercises where your dog becomes reintroduced to people and the environment, using positive reinforcement.

Search for a qualified professional trainer that can give you some tips for proper socialization and training, and join a training class! This is a great opportunity for socialization and training in a controlled setting.

Jessica MacGregor. ACDBC, CPDT-KA

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

Certified Professional Dog Trainer

  • SitnStay

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Dogs are our family. They are our children. They sleep in our beds, we baby-talk to them, and we buy them the most extravagant dog accessories available.

We treat them like family because they ARE family. They celebrate holidays with us, they travel with us, and make us feel better than most humans do..

BUT.. They also do some pretty strange things that we can't always explain...

So why do they chase cars? Why do they chew our shoes when we're not home ? Why do they dig holes in the garden?

They can't tell us why so we need to ask the experts:

1) Whenever your dog is doing something out of the ordinary (ex: suddenly needing to go pee in the middle of the night, drinking a lot of water, barking or whining without explanation) always consult a veterinarian. Before we assume our dog has a behavioral issue we need to make sure our canine companion is feeling alright physically.

2) Before running to all your friends/family/neighbors and online resources ask yourself, has there been a major life change for you and/or your pup? Have you recently moved? Has someone new recently moved in or out of your home? Have your work or school hours changed? These are just a few common ones but there could be a minor change that hasn't affected you but is affecting your furry friend.

3) A professional dog trainer that specializes in Canine Behavior can help you to understand what what may be affecting Fido. A trainer that is knowledgeable in Canine Communication will work with you and your dog and help you both to communicate better.

There is always an answer to "Why does my dog do that?". The answer might not be simple or easy to correct but we want what's best for our best friend.

Ask your local veterinarian for a trainer referral, or check out IAABC for certified behavioral consultants in your area. Professional dog trainers can be found at APDT or CAPPDT.

Jessica MacGregor, ACDBC, CPDT-KA

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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