What to expect when you’re expecting

What to expect when you’re expecting


Bringing a new dog home for the first time – whether it’s a puppy or not – is just like bringing home a newborn. When families are expecting, they deck out the baby’s room with everything that’s needed, from diaper dispensers to soft toys. Minus the changing table, welcoming a dog into your life needs a similar amount of preparation.

A puppy’s critical development period (CPD) which is up to 21 weeks, is a crucial time where all experiences – good and bad – will be stored, contributing towards their future personality, behaviour and confidence levels. Qualified breeders should take care of this for you (ask them extensively how they are working on their CPD, if they don’t/ can’t answer then move on to the next breeder who is), ensuring that puppies get the required exposure up to the point where you take over parenting. Then it’s your responsibility to continue with this task. However, when you adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter, there is no way of knowing what they experienced in their CPD. 

So, when you get your new fur-family member home, a few simple tips to start you off are: 

  • Toilet training – rewarding when they toilet in the desired area
  • Boundary and area setting – blocking off/closing doors to areas of the house they aren’t allowed, including furniture 
  • Bonding – getting to know your dog, what they like and what triggers them.

A puppy trainer or dog behaviorist can help you with this and many other things including:

  • Managing exposures to: unfamiliar people, other animals, children, motorised vehicles, household objects and noises, textures, toys, gardening tools (mower), thunder, rain, wind, doors slamming, vet clinics
    (Tip: Snuffle mats are great for to use for exposure training)
  • Understanding your dog’s breed, body language and instinctual behaviours
  • Understanding any health issues and risks
  • Helping with dog potty training
  • And most importantly, establishing a good relationship with your dog!

Nothing is better than seeing your dog thriving and happy. Ethical Dog Services are fully qualified to train, guide and educate owners and their dog to set them up for life.

Contact us via our here or call on 0403 433 399. 

Until Victorian restrictions are lifted, in home dog training is not available. However we are offering live video chats on Facetime or Whats App, it’ll be as if we are right there in your home! 


Written by Jacqui Domanski 02/09/20

References: snuffle-mats-for-dogs/


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