Having had the best possible upbringing, your adult dog should now have all the skills necessary to be a model canine citizen – and of course a much loved part of the family. Don’t forget though – use it or lose it! Make sure he still gets to mix with other (nice) dogs, go to training classes or have the chance to socialise in a wide variety of situations, and to go exciting places and be a part of your life to keep his social skills well exercised.
Breed and type considerations
Depending on what breed or type you choose (or what breeds make up your puppy), you may find that you have to pay more attention to certain things. Here are some starting points to help you:
Toy/Companion breed – more prone to separation anxieties. Spend more time making sure they are happy being left alone both when you are in the house and then when you leave.
Working breeds – spend lots of time making sure they are well socialised to other dogs and strange people/visitors, and that their natural working instincts are utilised and appropriately channelled onto toys and games.
Hounds – try and encourage them to pay attention to you when there are interesting smells or small animals around. Work hard on recall and following you. Be careful around small animals.
Pastoral/herding breeds – make sure that you provide them with plenty of mental stimulation, and have things to occupy their minds so they do not go self-employed chasing or herding things.
Terriers – use toys and games/yummy treats to distract them from small or fast moving animals and to prevent them ignoring you. Be careful around small animals.
Remember – think about what the breed was originally bred to do – this will give you clues to what you need to socialise for and habituate against.
Even if you choose not to have health insurance for your dog, it is a good idea to have third party liability insurance as accidents can happen even with the most well-behaved of dogs and you can easily find yourself liable for compensation or any financial claims made in connection with any damage or injury caused by your dog.