top first-time dog owner tips

You don't know a puppy's or rescue dog's personality. Some breeds are better for your lifestyle than others.Research energetic canines who need a lot of exercise if you wish to run and trek with your dog. A sedentary breed like a French Bulldog is better for apartment living.

Most dogs live at least a decade, thus the saying “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” is true. Can you manage a dog in your hectic life?

Before the pup enters your clean home, you must be ready. This involves covering cables, erecting stair-gates to keep them out, a crate for shelter and training, locking closets, and removing hazardous plants.

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Find reputable local vets and schedule your dog's first visit, immunizations, parasite control, and future checkups.

Since this is your first dog, you should get professional training. Research trainer systems to find one you like and one that fits your breed. Finally, start teaching basic commands—the sooner you start, the faster they'll become second nature. 

Take your dog to puppy school when he's old enough to learn how to behave with non-littermates. A trainer will educate you how to raise your dog to be friendly but not overbearing.

You need backup! Help will be needed, especially in the beginning when you can't leave your puppy for longer than an hour. Enlist friends, family, and neighbors—no one needs an invitation to snuggle a puppy—to let you go grocery shopping and other necessities. 

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