Advice for a First-Time Dog Owner
Posted at 09:00AM - Comments: (33)
My son was lucky enough to land his first job out of college working for a company that allows employees to bring their dogs to work. The company has about 140 employees, and my son tells me that on any given day, about a dozen or so dogs can be found around the office.
He brings his dog to work one or two days a week. Cole, an American Black and Tan Coonhound-mix, is very well behaved, but he’s also about 1½ years old – an adolescent – and not ready for “office work” all day, every day. On the days he’s planning on bringing Cole to work, my son gets up early and takes Cole for an extra-long run before work, to help ensure that Cole is relaxed and calm all day, not looking for other dogs (and people!) to play with, or whining with boredom.
I am proud to say that my son reports that he has been told a number of times that his is the best-behaved dog at the office, and that several co-workers have asked for his dog-related advice. One such co-worker went so far as to ask my son for advice on choosing his first-ever dog! While my son is a gifted dog handler – having had to handle dogs for modeling for WDJ since he was five! – he felt a little over his head with this request. So he asked me to help his friend ;)
Via email, I asked his friend/co-worker what he was looking for in a dog; his first response was that he wanted a really friendly dog who enjoys being petted. He’d prefer a dog with a short coat, medium-sized . . . but these were not deal-breakers in the right dog, and he had no breed or sex biases. He did emphasize that he’s never had his own dog before – so what that tells me is that he needs an easy dog, preferably an adult, with either some training or highly trainable, and very well-socialized. He is hoping to be able to bring his dog to work, too, so the dog must be really good with other dogs.
I think I found a good candidate for him at my local shelter; I took some pictures and video of the dog and sent them to him, and he’s interested. We’re planning for them to meet this weekend. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
In the meantime, he asked me one more question via email: “Do you have any suggested readings on preparing for a dog?” And I thought I would put that question to you! If a person had time to read ONE book before bringing their first-ever dog home, what book would you recommend?
And, to take things one step further, if you had ONE piece of advice to share with a first-time dog owner, what would it be?
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