Choosing Your Dog

Ready for a new dog? Help is on the way!

Selecting the Right Dog for you and your familyYour choice of a new canine companion will impact your life for years to come.

Dog Gone Good Training has helped many people make the best possible choice based on lifestyle, expectations, and individual preferences.

We can help you with:

  • Choosing an appropriate dog from a local shelter
  • Finding reliable breeders
  • Temperament testing for puppies and dogs
  • Preparing for your pooch’s homecoming


When you get a new dog or puppy, you have assumed a big responsibility. Your job is to give your new friend all of the skills she needs to thrive in human society. Many human rules make no sense to our canine friends. Make it easy for your pup by setting her up to succeed. Use management tools like crates, exercise pens, and tethers to prevent unwanted behavior. Provide plenty of exercise, social opportunities, and appropriate chew toys, but also make sure that your new puppy gets plenty of rest. It’s never too early to start training, or too late!

What does your dog really want? A romp with other dogs? A trip in the car? A piece of steak? A pat on the head? Only your dog can decide what is rewarding. Many dogs dislike being patted on the head, but we humans love to pat them and thump on them. In order to motivate your dog you need to discover what he truly loves, be it a belly rub or a chance to visit with other dogs. When you control the things that your dog loves, you can easily modify his behavior.

If you want your dog’s behavior to be consistent, you have to be consistent with your own behavior. If you let your dog jump up on you to say hi, don’t be surprised when she also jumps up on your great-grandmother. Don’t play chase or keep-away games with your dog one day, and expect her to come when you call her the next. Dogs are creatures of habit. Help your dog develop good habits by maintaining consistent expectations and behaving consistently yourself.

Leadership means meeting your dog’s needs, setting clear boundaries, rewarding good behavior, and giving consequences for bad choices. Dominance and submission need not come into the equation at all. If you lead your dog will follow. If you don’t lead, your dog will step in to fill the void.

Your dog or puppy is always learning, and a good thing to remember is that “dogs do what works.” If your dog pulls on the leash and you let him drag you to greet another dog, he just learned that pulling works. It’s also true that “practice makes perfect.” Pay attention to what your dog is learning and practicing, and you can prevent many potential problems.
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