Teaching A New Puppy Parent The Basics
In this video, Kaelin helps a new puppy parent get started with basic obedience training for the first time!
In this video, Kaelin helps a new puppy parent get started with basic obedience training for the first time!
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this for a long time because it is the core principle of everything I believe in when it comes to training dogs.
I started All Things Pups as a community for not only dog training, but also as an honest resource for you, as owners, looking to learn more about your best friend.
More than ever, people are looking for the right style of training for their individual dog.
From my experience, I can confidently say that no matter your dog’s age, breed, temperament, background and behavioral issues—positive reinforcement training IS the right training method for your dog.
However, there are still a lot of people who say negative reinforcement works better on their dog, so I'm going to talk to those people briefly here.
The truth is, whether or not you believe positive reinforcement training is the "best" method", I think we can all agree on that the vast majority of dog owners would LIKE to be able to resort to using only positive reinforcement training methods with their dog.
The problem is that people think that positive reinforcement training will not work for THEIR dog and unique life situation for reasons XYZ, so they result to using negative reinforcement methods (prong collars, shock collars, etc) as a quick fix.
While this lack of commitment can largely be attributed to excuses, another large problem in this case can be attributed to the lack of education and patience surrounding dog training.
The more dog owners I talk with, the more I have come to realize that people who have “difficult” dogs think that their dog is one in a billion and that using positive methods will not work for their dog.
I 100% agree that every dog is one in a million and deserves an individual approach! There is no other dog with the exact same personality and behavior as your dog, and you should cherish their uniqueness.
With that being said, when it comes to training, the “best” macro-level method of training for every single dog is the same, end of story!
Let me explain..
My definition of “the best training method” is as follows:
The "best" method is one that is positive and fun, which allows you to form a strong bond with your dog, but at the same time, enables you to be firm and establish a relationship where your dog respects and listens to you at all times.
This is MY definition of positive reinforcement training.
It sounds pretty well balanced, right?
With this form of positive reinforcement training, there really is no need for negative reinforcement, or “balanced” training, as some may call it.
From the two-pound Yorkie puppies to the 150-pound mastiffs I work with, positive reinforcement training is the only training I use.
From the friendliest Pitbull to the most aggressive German Shepherd I work with, positive reinforcement training is the only training I use.
From the most fearful 10 year old shelter dog to the most outgoing and hyper puppy I work with, positive reinforcement training is the ONLY training I use.
For each and every single dog I work with, positive reinforcement training is the ONLY training I use and it has proven successful EVERY SINGLE TIME.
In fact, there are really only two factors that determine the success or failure of positive reinforcement training:
1. The Amount Of Reinforcement And Work The Owner Actually Puts Into The Training.
A huge tenant of my training method that I stress to every dog owner is that one session with me won’t magically turn your dog into a well-behaved dog.
You are going to have to put in the work to reinforce the tools and techniques that I give you.
There is no substitute or magic pill for hard work!
If you only reinforce the methods I give you half of the time, you should only expect to see half of the potential results.
Isn’t this something that applies to every area of life?
If you only put 50% into your workouts at the gym, you shouldn’t expect to be in the very best shape possible for you to be.
If you only study for half of the subjects on your test, you can’t expect to receive 100% on every subject.
We all know this life lesson and it is no different when applying it to training your dog. So why don't we follow this tried and true life lesson?
2. Patience When Working Through The Dog's Individual Learning Threshold.
Dogs do indeed have different intelligence levels and some catch on to different training concepts faster than others. When you combine this uncertainty with impatient owners in today's society, a lot of people end up quitting on their dogs!
However, if the owner is consistent in reinforcing the training, and patient with the process, the dog (no matter what intelligence level) WILL catch on—it may just take longer (or shorter) than it takes the neighbor dog to catch on.
The bottom line is, my clients who put in 100% effort and consistency, see 100% improvement and results with their dogs.
I can give you the best tools in the world, but it won’t matter if you aren’t willing to put in the consistent work over the long-term.
Another thing people always ask me is, “Has there ever been a dog you weren’t able to train?”
I love answering this question!
What I tell these people is that I have never worked with a dog who has not responded nor improved with my positive reinforcement training methods. There are, however, people who don’t see the results they want because of one of two reasons:
A. They don’t reinforce and build upon the foundation we set in our training sessions.
B. They aren’t patient enough to work with their dog’s cognitive ability to learn and develop new behavior.
That, my friends, is the only difference between my clients who succeed in raising a well-behaved and trained dog, and those who fall short.
Positive reinforcement training takes PATIENCE.
Patience will be your number one tool to fall back on when training your dog; it may also be the most challenging part of training.
This is where most people stumble, and where you, as the owner, have to work on keeping patience with your dog. Our society has taught us the false pretense that there is such thing as an “overnight success”; that you can become successful at something without working hard.
I think this is one of the main reasons why it’s so hard for most people to work through behavioral issues with our dogs.. Because 90% of us are impatient as hell and want an obedient dog without putting in the work that it requires!
Another reason why people think that positive reinforcement training will not work for their unique dog is due to misinformation from other dog trainers.
Lately, I’ve been working with a lot of new clients who are coming to me after working with other trainers whose methods they did not feel comfortable with.
Here are a couple of examples:
One of my clients, who has two sweet German Shepherds and has never owned dogs before them, was looking for help with some leash walking manners while her husband was traveling for work for a couple months.
She hired on a trainer who used negative reinforcement and fear tactics to get the dogs to listen.
Because my client had no idea about the different types of training, she put all of her trust into this man who was a professional trainer (I would too if I didn’t know where to start!).
Her husband arrived home to see this trainer using a prong collar on his dog while stepping on the leash so that the dog’s neck was down on the ground. (In what world would this be necessary to train basic leash walking manners?!?!)
Another one of my clients has a three month old Morkie who is a typical puppy and also barks when he wants attention.
The original trainer she hired told her that her dog was completely out of control and the only method that will work on him is a shock collar.
Again, she did not feel great about using this method but wanted her dog to be the best dog he could be, so she took the professional’s advice.
When she brought her puppy into the vet, they were in awe that she had a shock collar on her 5 pound pup and told her that it could seriously injure him.
There is nothing that infuriates me more than “professionals” misinforming and taking advantage of dog owners. Even writing these stories is making my blood boil!
In both of the above examples, both owners were completely devastated and felt so horrible for putting their precious fur babies through such negative experiences.
Obviously it was not the owners’ fault at all.
When someone is a professional in a certain field, you expect that they are going to give you all the right information to help you—hence why you hire them.
It is so, so, so upsetting to me that there are dog trainers who take advantage of people’s trust, and apply unnecessary and sometimes unethical training methods to their dogs.
If positive reinforcement training works for every dog, why do trainers use other methods?
This is a question I get a lot and one that I, myself, always wondered.
From my point of view, I couldn’t fathom why any dog trainer or dog owner would want to use any training method other than positive reinforcement.
I guess this comes from my undying passion for dogs and belief that they, being the innocent, sweet souls that they are, should only be treated kindly and positively.
But obviously it also comes from the fact that positive reinforcement has never failed me in training even the most aggressive dogs.
To figure out the answer to this question, I’ve had to look beyond my point of view.
The reason that some people resort to other training methods is because it is easier.
When I say easier, I’m not talking about how challenging the actual training methods are—my training methods are extremely simple.
I am talking about that patience factor we discussed earlier and putting in the work to achieve results. Like I mentioned, we live in a world where everyone wants instant gratification and fast results, while putting in the minimum amount of work required.
Anyone who is successful knows that this is the complete opposite of what will get you to success.
Nonetheless, using negative reinforcement techniques, such as using a shock collar, is a quick, band-aid fix to the issue. It's a shortcut attempt to stop behavior that requires hard work and persistence.
Shock collars are widely used to “fix” the issue of a dog barking.
A couple days ago actually, I saw an owner walking his dog utilizing a shock collar for this very issue. The dog was barking at other dogs across the street, so she was zapped.
When another dog passed by, the dog did not bark again. Instead of barking, however, she put her ears back and head down. Sure, she did not bark, but her entire demeanor changed in fear of being shocked.
This is the perfect example of how this negative reinforcement technique is simply a quick bandaid fix, and does not actually solve the root of the issue.
Using positive reinforcement to work through an issue does take practice, time, and patience.
Unlike negative reinforcement, however, positive reinforcement starts at the root cause of the issue and works to truly RESOLVE the issue, not by instilling fear on the dog.
Sometimes, negative reinforcement techniques can actually hurt a dog—physically and mentally.
Physical injuries can happen from misuse of negative reinforcement tools (like prong and shock collars).
Mental injuries can happen even from using the tool “correctly”.
Let’s use the above scenario again: When a dog barks at another dog, he is shocked. While this may make life easier on the owner, this does the complete opposite for the dog.
First of all, with any behavior you do not want exhibited by a dog, you have to think about WHY the dog is exhibiting this behavior.
Is the dog barking at another dog out of excitement?
If this is the case, he needs to work on self-control to contain his excitement when he sees another dog.
Shocking him may keep her from barking, but there’s no way it teaches him self-control.
Is he barking at another dog out of fear?
If this is the case, he needs to learn that there is no reason to fear other dogs.
Shocking him may keep him from barking, but it certainly will not take away his fear of other dogs.
In fact, it does just the reverse. If the dog is barking out of fear, he is associating other dogs with negativity.
When negative reinforcement is applied (the shock) the owner is adding MORE negativity to the situation. When more negativity is added, the dog will only add more negative associations with other dogs, which could hurt the dog immensely mentally.
Remember, positive reinforcement training takes practice, time, and patience. If you can grasp and embrace that, the rest is simple!
What are your experiences with positive vs. negative reinforcement training? I’d love to hear you stories in the comments section below 🙂
As a new dog owner, you are probably doing tons and tons of research to ensure that you are raising your dog in the best way possible.
This is great! As you've probably found out, one of the most important factors to raising a healthy dog is their nutrition.
You may have even searched “the best type of dog food,” or something along those lines as you've gone about educating yourself.
However, what most new dog owners do not know is that what you feed your dog is just as important as the way you feed your dog.
I'm going to repeat this point again to reiterate its importance: what you feed your dog is just as important as the way you feed your dog!
What feeding strategies are there for you to choose from?
There are 3 main ways that you can choose to feed your dog:
1. Free Feed (aka Choice Feeding)
Free feeding is simply the act of leaving food out for a dog so that the food is available at all times and the dog chooses to eat whenever he or she wants.
2. Portion Limited
Owner gives the dog a specific portion of food and the dog chooses to eat it whenever he or she wants.
3. Time Limited
Owner gives the dog a specific portion of food for only a certain amount of time and takes the food away from the dog after the time is up, giving the dog only a small window of time to eat the food.
Now, with these three choices in mind, depending on the dog, either portion limited or time limited feeding may work best as a feeding method. With that being said, I am going to elaborate on why free feeding should never be the way you feed your dog.
Despite what you may read on (often) uncredible internet sources, and what you may hear from people who say you should free feed your puppy so he “gets as much food as he needs”, please be advised that this advice is detrimental to your ability to effectively train your puppy, and to foster a healthy maturation process for them.
The simple answer is that free feeding isn’t beneficial for your puppy’s health, or for you in establishing a potty routine for your pup.
Yes, free feeding is the easiest and most convenient option for dog owners. However, the easiest method typically does not correlate with being the best method, and in this case, that couldn’t be any more true.
Still not convinced? Challenge accepted.
Here are 5 concrete reasons why you shouldn’t free feed your puppy:
1. It puts your puppy at risk of becoming overweight
Many puppies have eyes that are larger than their stomachs.
When Juneau was a puppy, I swear she would have eaten the whole bag in one meal if I would have let her!
Puppies typically do not have the self control to tell themselves: “Ok, I am full. Stop eating.” They will eat and eat and eat! Often times, dogs, just like humans, will eat when they are simply bored.
This can lead to obesity and as I am sure you know, obesity can lead to serious health issues.
2. When food is always available in the crate, it makes the food and the crate much less appealing
One of the key points that I teach to properly crate train your pup and associate his or her crate with positivity is to feed your puppy his meals in the crate.
For owners who choose to free fed their pup, it can drastically upset this important step in the foundational stages of dog training.
Think about the situation like this. If something is always present and available to you, it makes it much less appealing, and you probably aren’t going to want it as often—even if it's something that you typically love.
For example, if your favorite meal on Earth is pizza, and you had access to a pizza buffet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, I almost guarantee that the pizza would become less appealing after a few days (I realize that some people reading this may think not, but trust me, nobody is that pizza obsessed).
On the contrary, when something you love (i.e. pizza) is only given to you at certain times, it is just about guaranteed that you will be more excited for it and find it more appealing than in the first scenario.
The same goes for dogs! Free feeding allows for the dog to have access to the food at all times, making the food less appealing.
However, if you only feed your dog in the crate at certain times of the day, and do not allow your dog to free feed at their convenience, he or she will look forward to going into the crate to eat and will be more excited about the food!
You want your puppy to get excited for meal time and to get excited about going into the crate in order to eat. Win-win!
3. It prevents you from keeping track of how much you are feeding your puppy at each meal to ensure the puppy is getting the right amount to meet his nutritional needs.
For people serious about their puppy’s health, free feeding makes things a lot more stressful and unorganized, because you aren’t able to monitor how much your puppy is eating.
For instance, if you end up having to cut down on your puppy’s food intake due to a health reason, how will you know how much your puppy has to be fed now when you are free feeding him?
When you are free feeding, this conundrum leaves you in a very tough position.
4. It will most likely lead to more accidents in the house
Well think about it— when your puppy has a routine including timely feeds, you know that you can expect your puppy to have to poop about 30 minutes to an hour after eating.
However, if your puppy is constantly eating while being free fed, you will not know when exactly he needs to go out, which will lead to A LOT more accidents in the house.
5. It sacrifices your ability to monitor your puppy’s healthy habits.
One might ask, how so?
When your dog is not eating, it should be a blatant red flag to you as a dog owner; loss of appetite is one of the best indicators of illness in dogs.
However, when you are free feeding your puppy, you can’t really tell if your puppy skipped lunch that day or not.
Since I regulate my dogs’ portions, if one of my dogs ever skips a meal, I am immediately on high alert of watching for any other symptoms of them not feeling well, because it is very abnormal for my dogs to not be excited about their food at every meal.
However, I would've never been aware of this fact if I left a consistent mound of food available for my dogs at all times.
A bonus point for why you shouldn't free feed your pup is that it's incredibly expensive to do so!
If you're feeding your dog high quality food (which you should be), this doesn't come at a cheap price!
Therefore, on top of the detrimental health and training consequences described above, free feeding your pup will also lead to significantly higher food costs over the duration of your dog’s life.
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, all of these reasons come back to validate the point that your puppy needs to have balanced meals in order to stay healthy, happy, and well-trained!
As you move forward on your puppy parenthood journey, experiment with limiting your dog’s portions, feeding times, or both, until you find the feeding plan that works best for your specific pup.
Recently, my friend got a new Boxer puppy named "Rosie", and she was SO excited for me to meet this puppy so that I could see how amazingly trained the puppy already was.
Little did I know what I was in for...
When I got to my friends house, Rosie was barking when I rang the doorbell and then immediately began jumping up on me when I walked in the door—as a dog trainer/behaviorist, I obviously notice and examine these behaviors more so than most people!
I then let my friend take the reins entirely as she wanted to show me how “well-trained” Rosie is at only 3 months old.
Once Rosie stopped jumping on me, she began chasing the cat around the room.
My friend was very eager to show me everything she had been working on with Rosie, so she called Rosie’s name.
Rosie did not even look back at my friend, and just continued to chase the cat around.
My friend went over to Rosie and tried to grab her, but Rosie then thought it would be fun to play a game of “You can’t catch me.”
I couldn’t help but laugh a little at my friend, who kept telling Rosie to “come” while Rosie was running in circles around her.
So my friend went and grabbed the bag of treats, which immediately got Rosie’s attention.
My friend commanded Rosie to sit, lay down, shake, touch, and wait—and Rosie performed every one of these commands with flying colors.
My friend then said, “Can you believe how well-behaved of a puppy she is?!”
That's when it hit me.. So many people confuse and mix the meanings of 'well-trained' and 'well-behaved.'
Just because Rosie is well-trained with the commands my friend taught her, does not mean she is well-behaved.
In fact, I would definitely say that she certainly is not well-behaved AT ALL.
I explained this to my friend the exact same way, and went over all of the behaviors that I had just witnessed from Rosie, which would not be categorized under the title of a “well-behaved” puppy.
We shared some laughs, I got the approval from my friend to write this post, and most importantly, my friend learned to understand the difference between a well-trained puppy and a well-behaved puppy, and how important the latter is.
Now, I am going to give you the same explanation and advice that I gave my friend.
There are so many dog owners who are exactly like my friend—they think that the key to having a well-behaved dog is teaching the dog as many tricks as possible.
Just because your dog knows how to do a variety of tricks in order to obtain a reward, definitely does not mean that your dog is 'well-behaved'.
I am not only a dog trainer, but also, more importantly, a dog behaviorist for this reason.
Anyone can train a dog to do a trick for a treat.
The hard part is understanding their behaviors and how to change them.
As a behaviorist, I am able to understand a dog’s behavior, connect with the dog, and work with the dog in a way that is unique to him to help him achieve the highest level of good behavior that is possible for him.
After separating this distinction between behavior and training, I think that Rosie is the perfect example of a dog who is 'well-trained', but not 'well-behaved'.
Rosie did very well performing her tricks on command, but misbehaved in other areas, such as jumping up on me and not coming when her owner called her.
If I had to choose, I would most certainly choose to have a dog who is 'well-behaved' rather than 'well-trained'.
However.. the good news is you don't have to choose! You can absolutely have a dog who is both 'well-behaved' AND 'well-trained' if you're equipped with the correct skills and knowledge, and put these into action consistently!
However, one of the biggest mistakes that I've seen with my clients is the belief that simply training a dog to perform basic obedience will solve her behavioral issues.
Just because Rosie knows how to shake, does not mean she doesn’t jump up on people.
Where should I start?
First off, you need to focus on having a 'well-behaved' dog before having one that is 'well-trained'.
Rehabilitating your dog and working through unwanted behaviors is the most important, as well as the most difficult part of raising a dog. It is up to you to teach your dog what is appropriate behavior and what is not appropriate in every single area.
A new puppy has so much to learn, so it's important for you to tackle this task of teaching him what is appropriate and what is not immediately!
Focus on getting your dog to listen and respect you, on crate training and potty training, on leash walking, and the appropriate way to interact with other dogs and people before jumping into teaching your dog tricks!
Be very aware of ANY behaviors that your dog displays that you do not want him doing long-term and nip them in the bud immediately.
Many people allow their puppies to exhibit inappropriate behaviors (such as jumping up on people) just because they are only puppies and think that they will grow out of it.
This couldn’t be further from the truth!
The longer you allow your dog to perform a behavior (whether good or bad) the longer he will continue to perform the behavior and the harder it will be to make him stop this behavior.
So... FIRST work towards having an all over well-behaved dog that listens to you and has a solid base of basic obedience before moving into the more advanced tricks and commands. You'll be glad that you did 🙂
As a dog behaviorist, I have extensive experience working with dogs who have a variety of behavioral problems, and through my experience, have developed the skills to work with each dog in a unique way, to solve each behavioral issue.
For a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to raise a 'well-behaved' AND 'well-trained' member of your family, check out "The Puppy Training Handbook" Training Program!
I think the worst part about raising a puppy is thinking your puppy is finally catching on to house training, and then he or she squats right in front of you and leaves a nice puddle on your carpet.
It’s hard not to be frustrated, and think: “What am I doing wrong?! I could have sworn he or she was just understanding that outside is where we go potty!”
With my puppies and the dozens of foster puppies I have raised, I have been in this position many times, so don’t worry, you are not alone!
Let’s get this straight, your puppy WILL have an accident in the house.
Even if you are doing everything right in the house training process, I can almost guarantee you that accidents are going to happen.
Be prepared for this and do your best to not get frustrated when they do happen. One of the most beneficial things you can do for the house training process is to properly correct your pup when he or she does have an accident in the house.
So, first of all, why is your puppy having accidents in the house?
1. Your pup is confused about where he is supposed to go potty
From the moment you bring your puppy home, you should begin house training.
Choose the place outside that you are going to bring your puppy every single time.
This will help him associate this area with you wanting him to go potty and teach him that outside is where he needs to go potty. Each time you bring him to this area, tell him “go potty.”
When he does go potty outside, you need to throw him the biggest praise celebration every single time-with treats included!!
2. You are not letting your puppy outside enough
You need to bring your puppy outside more frequently. Yes, it’s going to be annoying having to go out so often in the beginning, but that’s part of having a puppy.
I recommend dog owners bring their puppies outside every thirty minutes after first bringing a new dog home. Yes, you read that right. Every thirty minutes.
Bring the pup outside to a designated area and say “go potty.” The more often you bring your puppy outside in the beginning, the more times your puppy will go potty in the grass, and the faster the house training process will be.
3. You are giving your puppy too much free roam around the house
If your puppy is just roaming around the house all day, it will be very difficult to house train him. He will go potty wherever he pleases because he can. Your puppy’s crate will be your best friend during house training.
I use the crate A LOT in the beginning of house training because it is so incredibly beneficial for house training a puppy. Puppies won’t usually go potty where they sleep, so it is very rare that a pup will go potty in his crate (as long as you are crate training properly as well!)
Get in the habit of having your pup in his crate with a chew toy, instead of roaming about the house, meanwhile giving him the opportunity to pee wherever he pleases.
Whenever you take your puppy out of the crate, bring him straight outside to his designated potty spot.
What should I do when my puppy has an accident in the house?
This is one of the most common questions we receive from new dog owners.
Good thing, because it is also one of the most important when you’ve never owned a puppy before. How you as the owner responds to your puppy having an accident is incredibly important to successful house training.
If you catch your puppy going potty in the house:
1. RUN to your puppy.
2. Say “No” and pick him up.
3. Bring him outside to the designated potty area and tell him to “go potty”.
Seriously.. run! Whenever one of my puppies started squatting in the house, I literally sprinted to the pup to try to catch him before he started going!
Even if he is already going, get to him as fast as you can and pick him up. He will stop going once you pick him up, so don’t be hesitant to pick him up because of that.
Just get him outside to his spot as fast as you can.
Is there anything else I should do?
These are the ONLY three steps to take when your puppy has an accident. This. Is. It. Despite what you may read other places, those three steps is all it takes.
Your puppy will NOT respond well to negative reinforcement and excessive scolding, and it WILL stall the house training process.
- Rub your puppy’s nose in his accident
- Put your puppy in the crate as punishment for having an accident
- Yell or aggressively scold your puppy
- Just watch your puppy have an accident and not do anything about it
- Scold your puppy for an accident you didn’t see him do
Of these myths, the last one is probably the most common mistake.
Many people will find a pile of poop or a puddle of urine in the house that they did not even notice their puppy make, get upset, and then scold the puppy for doing it.
When you do this, your puppy has NO idea what you are scolding him for. By this point, he doesn’t even remember going to the bathroom in the house!
Scolding him will NOT benefit you in any way at this point. So, unfortunately there is really nothing to do in this situation other than to clean it up.
House training your pup is obviously one of the biggest issues that new dog owners encounter.
That’s why we developed “The Puppy Training Handbook” Program, so that new dog owners have a reliable, complete resource when it comes to how to potty train their pup and just about everything else you need to know as a new dog owner!
But don’t just take it from us, check out what others are saying about “The Puppy Training Handbook” HERE and see if you’re ready to make the jump to become the best dog owner you can possibly be!
Whether you have yet to pick out your newest family member or you’re counting down the days until it’s time to bring your new pup home, preparing for your puppy BEFORE the puppy arrives is one of the most important things you can do as a new dog owner!
Are you financially prepared to raise a puppy?
One the biggest mistakes I see new dog owners make is purchasing a new puppy without properly budgeting for the multitude of recurring costs that a puppy generates.
If this is you, then don’t worry! Starting to budget late is better than never budgeting at all, so take action NOW.
Why is it important to budget for a puppy?
Well think about it, whether you’re a first time dog owner, or you already have experience raising and training puppies in the past, you’re always going to need to put in a LOT of money to support your puppy in its first year, not even considering how much it will cost you over your pup's lifetime.
This is what SO many dog training resources miss when explaining how to train your dog, merely focusing on dog training tips rather than everything it takes to effectively raise a puppy.
With that being said, financially preparing for owning a puppy is often one of the most neglected and most important factors that should enter a person’s mind when deciding whether to make this commitment!
To start, the adoption/purchase price is only a FRACTION of what your puppy is going to cost you over his lifespan.
Typically, the first year of a dog’s life is going to be the most expensive (barring any medical issues later on).
How much should I expect to spend in the first year?
I get this question a lot from serious dog owners, and the honest answer is that only YOU can answer that for yourself.
Every prospective puppy parent enters this situation with different personal goals and infinite possibilities that could occur in their first year of raising a puppy.
Your Best Solution: The Puppy Financial Planner
Instead of trying to come up with a broad answer to this important question, that takes into account each person’s (and puppy’s) individual situations (which would be nearly impossible), All Things Pups has developed The Puppy Financial Planner as an addition to “The Puppy Training Handbook” so that you can see for yourself!
Using the spreadsheet you can create a mock budget for yourself (plugging in the adoption/purchase fee, food, treats, etc.) to see how much the first year of puppy parenthood will actually cost for you!
Trust me, something can happen when you least expect it; and just like in your personal life, you want to be financially prepared for the unexpected.
So I leave you with the question, are you financially ready to raise a dog?