Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 6/25/2017

You may be considering adding a new member to your family: a dog. But you may also be struggling with whether or not to get a puppy or adopt an adult dog. Both a puppy and a dog are a large responsibility and an adjustment to your life. Letís take a look at what to consider before you make that decision. Rescue or Full-Bred: Rescuing an animal is one of the most amazing things that you can do in life. You are saving a life. If you are someone who wants to change a dogís life then rescuing is the way to go. Most of the time though, shelters do not have puppies. Depending on the shelters you are looking into adopting from there could be puppies or there could be dogs of all ages. No matter the age, adoption is making a difference in that dogís life. But be prepared to likely adopt an older dog. But also be prepared to put in work. Often times these dogs have been tormented. They may be sad, skittish, and standoffish. Or they may be perfectly happy. Either way, its important to be prepared. If you really want a puppy then you will likely be interested in full-bred. But be ready to pay the price, as full-bred puppies donít come cheap. You may have to search the U.S. for a breeder that breeds the type of puppy you want. Itís important that you look into any and all breeders that you are considering and find out their reputation. Only buy a puppy from a breeder that is reputable. Time: Both puppies and dogs require your time, effort and attention, but puppies require much more. If you really want a puppy then itís essential to make sure that you have the time to give. Puppies require more vet visits, more love, more attention, and more work. They require training by either you or a professionaló which are both time consuming. When adopting an older dog these things have already been dealt with (most of the time). If you are looking for a little less work to begin with then adopting an older dog is the best option for you. But, regardless of age, your dog will always require your time. If you donít have an adequate amount of time to give then a dog may not be the best option for you. Regardless of whether you get a puppy or a dog, itís vital that you are prepared for whatís in store. A dog is a member of your family and should be treated as such. Being prepared will make the transition to having a dog that much easier.





Posted by Diane Stone on 4/9/2017

The benefits of owning a dog are immense, but the importance of training them effectively and from the beginning can't be overstated.

Assuming you're adopting a healthy, happy puppy from a reputable breeder or pet shop, then training should only require some basic knowledge and a lot of patient repetition.

Well treated puppies and dogs are not only eager to please their owners, but are often quite intelligent and relatively easy to train.

If you're not an experienced dog owner, there are several options for making sure your dog gets the proper training it needs.

  • Dog obedience classes are often available locally through pet stores, dog daycare centers, and individual trainers. In many cases, dog owners actively participate in the classes so they can learn the training and behavioral modification techniques they'll need to use at home. It's generally a good idea to research two or three local dog training services before deciding on the one that would best serve your needs, your training goals, and your budget. Since dogs are like members of the family, it's important that you feel comfortable with the dog trainer's personality, their level of experience, credentials, and rapport with you and your dog.
  • How-to manuals, training videos and websites are available for dog owners interested in taking on more of a DIY approach to dog training. You can pick up a lot of free tips and training techniques from articles, blogs, and free videos online, but apply the same quality standards to an online expert that you would with an in-person trainer. They should be experienced, patient, professional, and credible. In most cases, it's pretty obvious whether those qualities are present, especially when you've viewed online videos from several sources and have points of comparison.
  • Network with other dog owners you know to compare notes, training techniques, and behavior modification tips. In general, dogs respond favorably to patient repetition of verbal commands and visual prompts, enthusiastic praise when they get it right (positive reinforcement), and, of course, dog treats.
Among your first training priorities will be house breaking, having your dog come when called, and teaching them to sit on command. Although occasional house breaking accidents may occur, the sooner your dog understands the necessity of letting you know when they have to relieve themselves outside, the better it will be for your floors, your furniture, and your family! Side note: Crate training is a method many dog owners swear by.

There are effective and ineffective ways to train your dog and curb undesirable behaviors, so it pays to do some online research, get a dog training manual or DVD, take classes with your dog, and/or hire a professional dog trainer. If you just try to train your dog based on logic, general knowledge, and intuition, both you and your dog will end up feeling frustrated with the process and the outcome.





Posted by Diane Stone on 10/23/2016

Puppies can be a great addition to any household. They're cute, cuddly, loyal, and can grow to be a loving family member. However, when they are still small and untrained, puppies can wreak havoc on your home. There are also items that you should be aware of that could affect your puppy's health In order to protect your house, and dog, from any permanent puppy damage, follow these tips.

  • A new puppy will be curious, so make sure to remove most items that are within reach, and not nailed down, to prevent them from becoming too destructive, or making themselves sick.
  • Believe it or not, some common, household plants can prove very toxic for dogs. To protect their fragile stomachs, familiarize yourself with these plants (see this article from Pet Education). Remove these plants from your home, or put them in a place where they cannot be reached.
  • Puppies will eat pretty much anything, so you will need to keep them from getting into your food, garbage, and cleaning supplies. Keep cleaning supplies in high cupboards, or use child locks on your lower cabinets, to prevent a nosy canine from getting in and using your bleach bottle as a chew toy. This same tip can go for food. Particular foods that can harm your dog include grapes, raisins, chocolate and coffee. For your garbage, try finding a locking garbage can, that way even if it gets tipped over, he cannot get into the bag and eat things that he shouldn't. For smaller, bathroom trashcans, try to keep them up high and out of reach.
  • Close off stairways with a baby gate, until they have fully mastered going up and down the stairs safely.
  • To prevent the puppy from chewing on wooden legs of furniture, spray them with a disinfectant with a particular scent or smell that may deter them away from this object. Just make sure it is non-toxic! Vinegar may work just as well.
  • Keep cords and wires well out of reach. These can be a potential fire hazard, as well as could seriously injure the pup. You could bundle them together with clips, or get cord protectors. Also, anything on the floor level that is plugged into an electrical socket (i.e. phone charger, air-fresheners, etc), make sure to unplug those, as they could electrocute the puppy if they attempt to chew on it.
  • Make other spaces in and around your home puppy safe, as well. Your garage has many dangerous chemicals and objects that a puppy could easily get into if they start roaming around. Make sure everything is up high, or locked up tight.
  • For your yard, make sure you get rid of any plants that could be poisonous to dogs, as well as any yard decorations that are eye level to them and could get chewed up. Make sure your garden chemicals are not hazardous to animals. If they start chewing the grass or plants, they could become ill. To protect your wicker lawn furniture, try typing cloths around the legs to prevent your dog from chewing them.
As much as your home and the quality of your material possessions are important, your dog's life is of much greater importance. Make sure to keep them safe, and your home less chewed up, by taking precautions before you bring Fido home!




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