Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
But training doesn't just help solve or head off certain behavior problems and teach you what to expect. It's also a bonding experience in itself for you and your dog. "She has a way to communicate with you, and you have a way to communicate with her," says Young. "That's going to solidify your bond."
Positive training affects your whole relationship, resulting in a dog who's more focused on and responsive to you. "A well-trained animal starts picking up your behavior in a positive way," says Beck. "The interaction is richer, and that probably creates a bond."
Experts also say that animals taken for regular vet care are less likely to be surrendered. One risk factor they call out is if owners have too specific an expectation of the pet's role in the family. As part of that, Young warns not to expect your pet to be just like your last one that looked the same. Let your new family member be his own unique individual.
So now we know that you don't need to fall head over heels to start. Young emphasizes that the reverse is also true — an animal may not show instant love for you either.
The dog who runs up and kisses everyone may be the first to get adopted at any shelter, but lots of great dogs and cats aren't going to act that way. Lose the romantic notion that animals know you're there to save them — they may be frightened of the shelter environment, stressed from being moved from place to place and justifiably wary of strangers. "They don't know that you're their light at the end," says Young. "Until you take them out of that environment, you're not sure of the connection."
When you take a new pet home, make sure you have time to spend with them for the first several days, helping them get comfortable. "I think that's the biggest thing — devote some time out of your busy schedule to get them settled in," says Young. "That is huge for building that foundation."
And give the relationship time to develop. "The dog that you have on day one isn't going to be the dog you have on day seven and not the dog you have on day thirty," says Young.
So take the time, enroll in that class and if you've made your choice thoughtfully, chances are the love will follow.
Young says: "I've had people call me back and say, 'I have to tell you, I was really skeptical about taking this dog home, and now' — most of the time within two or three weeks — 'this dog acts like it's been here forever, and I can't imagine life without them.'"
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.