Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Hyperactive Puppy

December 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

Puppies are like children. They can get into unimaginable difficulties when their environment is not structured.

Here is a basic checklist of environmental hazards:

Puppies can open loose cupboard doors. Buy cupboard door protectors or get out the good old duct tape and make sure that the cupboards that are low either can not be broken into or do not contain hazardous elements!

Puppies can chew light cords. Arrange your home so that light cords, TV cables, computer cords, and so on, are hidden behind heavy immovable furniture or are enclosed behind barriers.

Large Breed puppies can put their front feet onto ALL the counters. Push back items that they can get into, take them off the counters, or be prepared to have your most valuable items (such as your TV remote control) dragged off and chewed!

Clothing articles can be DEADLY. I personally have known several puppies around the age of five to six months that have died from ingesting socks or chewing on scatter rugs…. fabric often balls up and creates an intestinal blockage. By the time the vet discovers it, it is too late. Don’t allow your puppy to drag around socks or old towels, take them away and substitute with a dog toy.

Common houseplants can be poisonous. Make sure you know which ones are, and keep them out of the environment where your puppy will be. You can find the poisonous ones through a quick check on the internet.

Household poisons used for insect or rodent control should be absolutely out of the question in the puppies’ environment. Simply do not apply poisons in areas that your puppy has access to, under any circumstance!

Toys should be dog toys. Left over trucks from the kids’ toy box are NOT GOOD. Items which have small parts which can be chewed off or swallowed are NOT GOOD. Likewise, most bones are NOT GOOD. Vets will tell you of the numbers of surgeries they have performed to remove bone shards from the intestines of dogs. If you must provide bones, the bigger “knucklebone” is a good choice because it will not shred off into sharp shards.

Sticks are the favorite as far as retrieving, but sticks in the mouth of running puppies are dangerous. They can jam that stick into their throat if they run into an immovable object, OR they can take out the eye of another dog or even a child. Use good dog toys for retrieving…and be sure the toys are not too small for the dog’s mouth and can not be swallowed!

Nothing “settles down” a hyperactive puppy like a good exercise session. Do not over do, and be careful that you do not demand too much of your puppy before its young bones are ready….but go on walks, by all means. And make these walks a time to teach your puppy the basics of polite manners…sitting when you come to street corners, not barking at strangers that you meet. So that means these walks must be ON LEASH. (It’s better exercise for you, that way, too!) After the “controlled” walk, a good run in a dog park, off leash, or a good swim in a nearby pond are excellent ways to burn off excess energy. The rule of thumb for walking distance for a pup is “no longer than 20 minutes” before six months of age.

Nothing is as important in the care of a puppy as regular vet checks. Be sure that your puppy is immunized at the right times, fed well, exercised well, and spends the majority of its time in a “puppy-safe” environment….and have fun bringing up your puppy!

What’s the Best Toys for Your Puppy?

December 16, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Puppy Care

Picking out a safe toy for your dog to play with actually requires more than grabbing the first brightly colored dog toy you see. There are actually several different factors that you’ll want to take into consideration as you are browsing through dog toys that will be most appropriate for your pet. A few of the most important factors are as follows:

  • The response factor that your dog may have to specific types of sounds
  • The breed and size of your dog
  • The style and type of toy that your dog prefers playing with the most
  • The age of your dog

Squeaky toys are a very popular type of dog toys that can be a great treat that most dogs enjoy. However, before buying this type of item you will want to pay special attention to how your dog responds to the noises that these toys make. The general response to squeaky noises that come from a wide assortment of dog toys will generally arouse a dog’s curiosity and provide hours of fun playtime. There are some dogs however that show nothing but fear of toys like this.

The size and particular breed of your dog is also an important factor. It can be very hazardous to offer larger sized dogs small toys because they are often too easy for these dogs to swallow. When smaller breeds are offered toys that are much too large for them they will typically become frustrated and bored very quickly. To ensure your pet is able to get a lot of playtime, excitement, and exercise from the toys you provide, make sure they are appropriate to his size.

Just as every dog is different, so are the specific preferences that many of them have. While it may be easy to grab one dog’s attention with a simple rubber ball, other dogs prefer to play with soft plush colorful toys. Pay attention to the habits of your pet and select dog toys that fit his individual likes and personality.

The age of a dog is another important factor that should be considered when dog toys are purchased. It is common knowledge that many varieties of chew toys are usually a great toy for a puppy or young dog. However, older dogs do not have the strong need to constantly chew like a puppy does. Toys that add a little more complexity into the mix are often a good idea for older dogs. This will help to promote exercise that is so important for older dogs and they are not nearly as likely to be sniffed and forgotten as a simple chew toy might be.

As you offer a new toy to your dog, you might want to think about putting one or two of his old toys up for a while and then rotating them every now and again. This will keep them from becoming old and boring to your pet. When you give it back to him, he will feel as if he’s getting a brand new toy all over again.

Kennel Training Your Puppy

December 7, 2020 by  
Filed under Kennel Training

As you are housebreaking your puppy you will also be training him to stay in a kennel or crate. A lot of people think the kennel is a punishment for a poorly behaved dog, but that is not at all the case. The kennel is his very own space. He will enjoy it and probably spend time in the kennel even when the door is open.

Training your dog to stay in a kennel when you are not home or are asleep saves a great deal of anxiety for both you and your new pet. As stated before, dogs are den dwelling animals. The feel of a small space is comforting to them. You may even want to cover a wire cage so that he feels even more secure inside it. Dogs also have no sense of time. That is why they are always excited to see you, whether you have been gone ten minutes or ten hours. When they are in the kennel all they will do is sleep. When you are not home and they are out of the kennel they will either sleep or get into trouble. Putting the puppy in a kennel saves them from getting into trouble.

Kennel training your dog is also a great step in avoiding unwanted behaviors like digging in garbage cans, chewing on non-toys, and climbing on furniture. It also protects him from getting in a dangerous situation in your home. Dogs will eat things they are not supposed to eat or get trapped in small places very easily. Puppies are in even greater danger because of their small size and lack of depth perception, so a kennel is really a safety precaution.

There are two standard types of dog kennels, the wire mesh ones and the plastic kind. Both are good choices for your dog. If you plan to travel by plane with your puppy you might want to invest in an airline approved crate, which typically is the plastic kind. The wire mesh ones are collapsible which makes them easy to move and to clean.

When you first bring the puppy home he might not readily go into the kennel. Make it appealing by placing treats or toys inside. Again, use a simple command like “inside” or “kennel up” repeatedly until your dog goes in the kennel. Once he is inside reward him with praise and a treat. You will be surprised to find that after a while you will not even need to give the command. Your dog will pick up on cues like putting on your coat, or grabbing your keys and purse and go into the kennel on his own.

Do not be alarmed if your dog whines a little bit when he is inside the kennel. It is not because he wants out, rather because he wants you inside with him. Dogs crave your constant attention, but he needs to learn to be comfortable by himself and in his own space. You might go over and offer him a few comforting words, but do not sit nervously by him or let him out when he behaves this way. Doing that will only enforce the whining and he will train you instead of you training him.

Some people choose to place a dog bed or blanket inside the kennel to make him more comfortable. As your dog gets older and larger he might not need the blanket, especially if you live in a hot climate. But, while he is a puppy it is a great comfort item. You might even put in a piece of clothing that smells like you to give him more comfort. Some people recommend keeping water in the kennel or feeding the puppy in it. The choice is up to you, but be aware that both of these have the potential to create quite a big mess.

One of the best ways to make sure your puppy is comfortable is to keep him near you. The kennel should be strategically placed in an area that the family hangs out in most of the time. The family room is a good choice as opposed to a bedroom that is often empty. Having the kennel in the family room will encourage your puppy to sit in there while the rest of you are watching television or having other family time. If you do not like the look of a kennel consider dressing it up so that it fits with your decor better. You can easily cut a piece of wood to fit the top of it and then place a tablecloth or other fabric over it. Then it simply looks like an end table and not a dog kennel in your living room.

A puppy should never be in the kennel for more then eight hours at a time. If this means that you have to come home at lunch or wake up during the night to let the dog out, then you must do those things. Think about that time commitment before you bring the dog home. Also, the kennel should never be a place of punishment. When your dog is put in the kennel he should go in happily, knowing that you will be back and that he is not in trouble.

Housebreak Your Puppy in Just 3 Easy Steps

December 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Housebreaking

You’ve brought your adorable puppy home and you’re wondering how difficult it’s going to be to housebreak him. If you follow these three easy steps, you should be able to housebreak your puppy in no time at all.

Step 1 — for the first two or three days, take your puppy outside to the same spot every hour and wait for him to relieve himself. Don’t move from that spot and don’t walk him. Let him have the length of his four-to-six foot leash. Praise him profusely as soon as he goes, and give him a few pieces of his puppy food. Make sure to pet, kiss, and hug him too, and reward him with a walk around the block. After his walk, allow him a supervised free run of the house for 20 minutes. Then put him into his housetraining crate for 35 minutes. (You should discard the crate once your puppy is housetrained.)

If you’ve waited outside for more than 20 minutes, and your puppy hasn’t relieved himself, bring him home and put him into his crate for 20 minutes (just to assure that he doesn’t relieve himself in your house), then take him outside again. Repeat this process until he relieves himself outside.

Make sure to take him out just before you go to bed. You’ll also want to take him out once or twice during the night without taking him for a walk or letting him run around the house. You may lose some sleep now, but it will save you many sleepless nights in the future.

Step 2 — during the next week, take your puppy out once every 90 minutes during the day and as needed in the middle of the night. He’ll let you know when he needs to go. During the day, if he relieves himself outside, give him 30 minutes of supervised free run and play time. If he doesn’t relieve himself, again put him back into his crate for 35 minutes. Always supervise his indoor activities, and don’t give him an opportunity to fail.

Gradually add time to his supervised free run and crate time until he’s successfully holding it for three hours during free run time, and four daytime hours in the crate. Don’t forget to take your puppy outside immediately after he leaves his crate to avoid accidents inside your house.

Step 3 — within about 10 days, your puppy should have a good understanding of what’s expected of him. But you shouldn’t stop your training efforts. If you catch your puppy sniffing around the house and squatting, shout “outside!” and take him outside immediately. Praise him outside as he finishes up. It is vital that you continue to watch him closely during his indoor free run time, so that you can catch him in the act if he has a bit more to eliminate.

It will take a little bit of work at the beginning to housebreak your puppy, but you’ll find it’s worth it in the long run.

Barking and Your Puppy

November 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Training Your Puppy

Dogs like to bark, it makes them feel powerful and in control of their surroundings. However, barking can be a nuisance that you need to control in order to keep a happy dog and household. By training your dog to ‘speak’ on command he will be less likely to do it without being instructed to do so. Barking is your dogs’ warning system, so when he barks when he wants in or to warn you, praise him for one bark. This should teach him that barking once gets your affection but barking excessively only gets him ignored.

Dogs should not be left outside unattended. While a lot of people see nothing wrong with leaving a dog in a fenced yard while they are at work or away from the house, it is not the best choice for your dog. Your domesticated dog needs you, when you are not around he will feel anxious which will cause him to bark excessively. He might even exhibit other behaviors like digging or finding ways to escape your yard. A dog that is comfortable and loved is not left outside unattended.

One of the easy ways to manage your dogs barking is to understand why he does it. Many people experience the problem of their dog barking whenever someone walks by the front window of their home. Dogs do this because they are territorial, when they bark at people walking by their intention is to scare them away. Any person who is just walking by your house will continue their walk because; obviously they are not scared of a dog that is inside the house. Your dog does not understand this concept. He thinks that because the person continued to walk, that he must have scared them away. This enforces his idea that the barking works, so he will continue to do it.

The best way to manage this behavior is to teach your puppy that his barking, in fact, does not work. You will need to enlist the help of some friends who are not familiar with your dog to teach him not to bark. Have those people walk by your house when the dog is looking. When he starts barking they should stop and continue standing in front of your house. The dog will quickly realize that his barking did not work, but also that someone on the sidewalk is not a threat.

Training a dog not to bark can be tricky, since dogs are also a good warning system should someone come into our home uninvited. There is a fine line between teaching your dog to behave and still allowing him to be protective of you and your home. When the puppy exhibits behaviors that are meant to protect you and your family, or his pack, reward him with praise. He should learn the difference between this and unwanted behavior fairly quickly.

The Perfect Puppy For You and Your Family

November 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

If you’re thinking about buying a new dog, there are a few things to remember before you make that decision. Currently, millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, due in part to making the wrong decision on the type of dog to buy. Before you rush out to buy that new puppy, there are a few things to remember.

1. How much time can you devote to your new puppy? There are specific breeds, such as border collies, that require a great deal of attention and do not do well in a situation where they will be confined alone for hours at a time. Be realistic with your expectations and select a breed that is known for their patience and ability to spend a few hours apart from you.

2. Size matters. Although your new puppy may be a small bundle of joy right now, in six months you may be dealing with a monster. If you don’t have a lot of space, or if you live in an apartment, a large breed may not be the best choice. In addition to space constraints, it is also a good idea to remember that large dogs do eat quite a bit more than the average teacup poodle and if you’re on a tight budget, a smaller dog will be more economical.

3. Research breed traits. Buying a puppy should not be based on which dog is the cutest, or which breed you always thought looked nice. Take the time to thoroughly research these traits so that you can make an informed decision. Some breeds shed more than others, while some breeds have known behavioral issues. For example, Great Pyrenees dogs are very beautiful and popular, but they are bred for livestock guarding and not apartment living.

4. Research breed health issues. This is becoming a bigger problem due to improper breeding. Every breed may have congenital health issues, but some may be more severe than others. For example, German Shepherds are known to have issues with hip dysplasia, while some smaller dog breeds may have problems with their eyes.

5. Pick the right breeder. Many future health and behavioral issues can be avoided simply by choosing the right breeder. Once you have decided on the breed of dog that you would like, contact that breed’s registry for an approved list of breeders. This will save you time, heartache and money.

6. Consider a shelter pet. While shelter pets are not for everyone, they may be a good option if you do not have small children or if you do not mind getting an older dog. You can save a life by adopting a shelter pet and still end up with a wonderful and loyal companion.

Selecting a puppy is an emotional decision, but it pays to keep these points in mind before you make your final decision. Once you’re armed with the right knowledge, you’ll be able to pick that perfect puppy that the whole family will enjoy and love.

How to Pick the Perfect Puppy

November 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

If you’re thinking about buying a new dog, there are a few things to remember before you make that decision. Currently, millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, due in part to making the wrong decision on the type of dog to buy. Before you rush out to buy that new puppy, there are a few things to remember.

1. How much time can you devote to your new puppy? There are specific breeds, such as border collies, that require a great deal of attention and do not do well in a situation where they will be confined alone for hours at a time. Be realistic with your expectations and select a breed that is known for their patience and ability to spend a few hours apart from you.

2. Size matters. Although your new puppy may be a small bundle of joy right now, in six months you may be dealing with a monster. If you don’t have a lot of space, or if you live in an apartment, a large breed may not be the best choice. In addition to space constraints, it is also a good idea to remember that large dogs do eat quite a bit more than the average teacup poodle and if you’re on a tight budget, a smaller dog will be more economical.

3. Research breed traits. Buying a puppy should not be based on which dog is the cutest, or which breed you always thought looked nice. Take the time to thoroughly research these traits so that you can make an informed decision. Some breeds shed more than others, while some breeds have known behavioral issues. For example, Great Pyrenees dogs are very beautiful and popular, but they are bred for livestock guarding and not apartment living.

4. Research breed health issues. This is becoming a bigger problem due to improper breeding. Every breed may have congenital health issues, but some may be more severe than others. For example, German Shepherds are known to have issues with hip dysplasia, while some smaller dog breeds may have problems with their eyes.

5. Pick the right breeder. Many future health and behavioral issues can be avoided simply by choosing the right breeder. Once you have decided on the breed of dog that you would like, contact that breed’s registry for an approved list of breeders. This will save you time, heartache and money.

6. Consider a shelter pet. While shelter pets are not for everyone, they may be a good option if you do not have small children or if you do not mind getting an older dog. You can save a life by adopting a shelter pet and still end up with a wonderful and loyal companion.

Selecting a puppy is an emotional decision, but it pays to keep these points in mind before you make your final decision. Once you’re armed with the right knowledge, you’ll be able to pick that perfect puppy that the whole family will enjoy and love.

Things to Consider When Selecting Dog Beds

September 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

While it may seem like an obvious requirement to some people, there are actually many occasions where dog owners do not think of dog beds as being a necessity. Just like food, warmth, water, and love are essentials that all dogs need, so is a place he can lay his head to rest. As all dog breeds are much different from one dog to the next, the same is also true for the specific type of dog bed that each dog breed will need.
Dog Beds for Small Sized Dogs
When you are selecting a dog bed for a small dog, such as a Chihuahua, Terrier, or other such breed, choosing the right type of bed is essential to his well-being. A bed that is made out of a hard surface would not be sufficient for these types of dogs. This is simply because smaller dogs are not able to retain their own body heat nearly as well as many of the larger breeds. A better choice would be a bed that will make it easier for them to stay warm and comfortable. There are quite a few different styles, designs, sizes, and even shapes of dog beds that are made of soft plush material that is just right for small dogs. Some of the more popular choices are the beanbag styles, the donut shaped beds, and the traditional pillow type dog bed.
Dog Beds for Medium to Large Sized Dogs
Common sense will tell you that soft plush dog beds will certainly not be an appropriate choice for dog breeds that are medium to large in size. One of the biggest reasons for this is larger sized dogs tend to make a trail with their drool just about anywhere that they go. Keeping your dog’s bed clean would be a continuous job if plush fabrics were used. A much more sensible choice would be to select a dog bed that is constructed of a high quality durable plastic. A small pillow or dog blanket can be placed in these beds to make them a little cozier and require a lot less effort in cleaning.
Just as available selections of small dog beds, you will also find a wide range of varying styles in large sized dog beds. There are many sizes that range all the way up to about 50kg. The different color choices on the market today make it a cinch to blend these beds right in with the existing décor and furniture in your home.
Other Beneficial Uses of Dog Beds
While a dog bed is the perfect spot for your pooch to call his own and rest when he is tired, there are also other uses for these beds. There are many dog owners that also use them as a helpful training tool and as an area for ‘time out’ when a dog is being punished.
Keeping each of these factors in mind when selecting the right dog bed for your pets will help a great deal in making sure you select the right materials, size, and type.

Puppy House-Training – It’s Easier Than You Think

September 21, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Housebreaking

House training is something that is vital if you want to have a good experience of being a dog owner. It is a training that should stay with your dog for his whole life so it’s worth getting it right from the start. A lot of people think that this is a difficult task, that it will take months of work, but in reality it is one of the simplest things to achieve. It took me just four days to house train my puppy, to give him a command for going to the toilet that he always responds to, and with the following methods, you can be just as successful. It may take a few weeks, depending on you, your attitude, your living arrangements and many other factors, but with patience and lots of time and effort, you can have a perfectly house-trained dog for life.

This method does not entail using a crate, just regularly keep your dog in one particular area of the house, especially when unsupervised. It’s best if it’s an easily cleaned floor, such as a linoleum in the bathroom, as there will be a few accidents to start with. You cannot allow your puppy to wander around the whole house unsupervised as she will just go to the toilet whenever she feels like it without being trained to do otherwise. Make sure your puppy has a nice comfortable bed in her chosen area and that she is happy to use it. Once she establishes the bed as her own, she is less likely to mess near it. You should also ensure that she is happy in this area – fresh water should always be available, and play with her and pet her there so she feels happy, safe and secure.

The key to this method of house training is observing your puppy’s behaviour, so you must spend lots of time with her. The other important factor is to have a regular routine for feeding. Puppies usually need to go to the toilet after eating, so a routine will help you both. Check also that her food and water and the quantities are suiting her digestive system. You can’t house train a dog who has diarrhoea, so this must be sorted out right at the beginning. Speak to your vet if you can’t resolve this yourself or if there are urinary problems – it could be an infection.

So here’s the procedure, once you have everything in place. Think of a command word that you will use every time you see your puppy about to go to the toilet or when you want to encourage her to do so. When she wakes in the morning, within half an hour after eating and before she goes to sleep, you should take her to her toilet area (this will either be some newspaper on the floor or a convenient area just outside the back door in the garden) and give her the command. The likelihood is that, if you are patient enough, she will go to the toilet and you can praise her for doing so in the right place. When a puppy is young, they have little control and a small capacity for urine and faeces in their system, so you should take her out every two hours so she has the opportunity to go if she wants to.

When you are spending time with your puppy (and you should spend a lot time with her at this point in her life) you must observe her and become familiar with her behaviour when she’s about to go to the toilet – mine looks agitated and walks around with his knees slightly bent just before he goes, sniffing the ground in circles. Once you know this, you can pre-empt your own puppy’s need, and either pick her up or call her quickly to her toilet area. Once your puppy is in the toilet area, give your toilet command in a friendly encouraging tone. If she walks away from the toilet area, lead her gently back there and give the command. If your puppy is really averse to going in that area, look for a reason why – there could be a good reason that needs addressing.

When your dog successfully goes to the toilet in the correct area, praise her and maybe give her a favourite treat. Each and every time she does as you’ve asked, in the toilet area, praise her enthusiastically. This is positive reinforcement and is the most important aspect of this training method. Soon, your puppy will look at you or whine when she wants to go to the toilet. You must be there, ready to respond quickly otherwise she will have an accident. If you are using newspaper in the house, this can be gradually moved outdoors, so that she understands that that is the new toilet area.

DO NOT chastise your dog when she gets it wrong. She will not understand why you’re telling her off and it will only confuse her. You should also be careful to clean up any accidents with a detergent that removes the smell – dogs like to mess again where they have left their scent and you need to discourage this through thorough cleaning practices.

So, to re-cap, spend lots of time with your puppy, learn her pre-toilet behaviour and pre-empt it. Lead her to her toilet area and give the toilet command. Praise her abundantly when she goes on command in the right place. Keep her living area clean, comfortable and fun to be in for both of you. Above all, be patient – house training does take time and your dog has a lot to learn at this stage of her life. She need lots of love, lots of fun and games and lots of encouragement.

Basic Puppy Training Techniques

September 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Training Your Puppy

There are a number of important guidelines that you need to keep in mind when teaching your puppy the basics about good behavior. Exercising the right training techniques is what will make or break your training regimen with your dog. Follow these five important guidelines and teaching your puppy will be easier than ever.

1 – Be Gentle – Your new puppy is going to be extremely sensitive at first, and as a result will not be able to handle anything that is too stressful on both an emotional and a physical level. Although learning generally quickly takes place, now is the time where your puppy will react poorly to stress or being trained too rough. If fears are picked up too easily during the training process, then it may inhibit the puppy’s ability to learn, so make sure to be gentle but firm in your training.

2 – Keep Things Brief – Puppies have even shorter attention spans than children. Your puppy is only going to learn when his or her attention is on you, and you will not see the results that you are looking for when your puppy is tired physically or mentally. Make sure to be brief when putting your puppy through training activities, and then you can move on.

3 – Exercise Patience – Expecting overnight results is only going to frustrate you and cause your training regimen to lose its focus. Relax, and understand that things like this will take time, and puppies learn in spurts. Puppies also do go through brief memory lapses so do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed if your puppy seems to forget some of its training from one day to the next. Exercise patience when it comes to training and you will be just fine.

4 – Exercise Simplicity – Teaching your puppy should be done in a step by step process if you want to attain the best results. This is the best way that your puppy will learn. Exercise a simple, step by step approach and your puppy will learn more quickly and will enjoy the process more thoroughly than if you were to employ a more intensive training regimen.

5 – Build Confidence – Confidence is the core of every healthy adult dog, and confidence begins with building confidence in a young puppy. Building confidence in your puppy is not hard at all to do; all you need to do is spend positive time with your puppy as often as you possibly can. This will help to build self confidence in your puppy. You should not always be in training mode when you first get your puppy, but instead sometimes you should step back and play with your dog, having fun with him or her in the process. Training is important, but above all else your dog needs to know that you are friends.

These five fundamental training foundations are vital in preparing your puppy for an effective training regimen and will drive better results when properly integrated into your step by step puppy training process.