1-3-2015 2-42-59 PMIt's the New Year and with another Christmas passed, I know there are families who just added a new canine family member. Whether they are young or old, it does not matter. What matters is whether or not every member of the family understands what their new addition can be like. I see a lot of families get the dog they dream of having, and then they are disappointed because the dog, be it a puppy or full adult, is more than they can handle. 1-3-2015 2-43-13 PM If the dog is a pure blood of its kind, then I would suggest looking at the breed’s history through a well-established resource, and study what the breed is known to do, what it likes and dislikes, if they are energetic, etc. If the dog is mixed and the mixture of bloodlines is known, I would study all the different breeds, and be on the look out for the different characteristics so I could best prepare for what may come. 1-3-2015 2-43-22 PMCall me crazy, but I have found through my experiences that different breeds will act certain ways, and it can be predicted at times what they are going to be like as they grow up. Knowing the breed, adding a lot of love, and spending time with the dog may help avoid some of the troubles that most dogs like to display, such as eating our shoes, thinking the couch is on the menu, or even terrorizing the cat. So it's a puppy! Here is what is to be expected: (This is only my opinion) 1. Vaccines (7 and 1 shot) 2. House Breaking (go to www.athensnowal.com and look in the Dog Barker archives for help on this) 3. Eventual trouble with chewing 4. Calling a trainer for advice Let us say the new addition to the family is an adult dog. What can be expected? Here is what I have noticed over the years: 1. Should be already vaccinated 2. Their true personality normally appears when they have been in the home for one to two weeks 3. Already house broken most of the time; that is not to say they won't have an accident 4. They tend to understand that they were saved and normally love the family for it 5. Calling a trainer for any advice and concerns For the adult dogs, my biggest concern is if they have been abused. When adopting, ask about the history of the dog. Even if they have been abused, please don't rule them out because they are the ones that need a loving family the most. Now granted, don't go out there and adopt a dog that is going to eat the family up because of what I said above. Know the limits and toleration of what can be handled, and don't over do it. Like that commercial says, "There is a shelter pet who can't wait to meet you." Also, "Opt to adopt," as Peace, Love and Animals would say. Lastly, remember the Athens Animal Shelter. There are several animals needing a home. Shame on anyone who can do something for them but instead turns their backs. God watches us all. As Proverbs 12:10 says, "A righteous man regardeth the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." By: Joel Allen

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