When selecting your dog put in to consideration your lifestyle. If you are active, your going to want an active playful dog. If you are more of a laid back relaxed type of a person than its probably best to select a small dog that is best for companionship. It is also important to get a dog that would fit in to your living space comfortably. For example, if you live in an apartment, it is probably best to get a small dog that will have enough space in an apartment. Having a budget in mind is also important. Keep in mind that your dog will need more than just food and water. Your dog will need to see the vet for prevention and wellness visits also unexpected visits for illnesses or injuries. There is also housing when you go on vacations and grooming to make sure your dog is kept up.
Dogs will be most happy living and sleeping inside your home with your family. They should have a set place to call their own. If you prefer an outdoor kennel, it should be weather and draft-proof, situated in a dry and sunny spot, be raised off the ground, contain plenty of clean, dry bedding, and have walls and floors insulated against heat and cold. Dogs are social animals and desire contact with others does not matter if it is people or other dogs. If you have an outdoor dog, be sure to bring your dog into your house daily for social interaction with his "pack" and include him in as many other social activities as possible or he will soon lose the ability to exhibit controlled, social behavior around people.
When you are the new guardian of a puppy, you should make sure the pup is completely weaned before you take him home. Start by feeding the same solid food the puppy is used to. If you wish to change dog food brands, do it later when the puppy is settled and change the food gradually so that the change does not upset their stomach. If you have puppies at home, start to wean them at five weeks of age by placing a shallow pan containing half condensed milk, half warm water into the puppies' box. See that the mother is kept from the pups for most of each day so they will be sure to try the milk in the pan. Feed five times a day and start adding rice pablum after four or five days. In a week you can soak commercial puppy food into the mixture until it is soft and decrease the amount of milk and frequency of feeding to three times daily.
All dogs need at least some basic training for the safety of the dog and other people. A well trained dog will be a pleasure to be around. Basic training should begin at six to eight weeks of age. It is best to refer to a dog training book or enroll in "Puppy Kindergarten" classes. Be patient and consistent in the training of your puppy. There are many schools of thought for how to train dogs. Voice intonation, tugs with the leash and a can with small rocks that makes a loud noise when shaken are key instruments to training. Begin with house training, leash walking, sit, stay and come. Training your dog to a flat collar and leash is of utmost importance. Not only is it the law in most areas that a dog be leash controlled, but it could prevent your dog from being hit by a car, poisoned, injured in a dog fight, stolen, impounded or lost. Remember too, that picking up after your dog is part of being a responsible dog guardian.