Housebreaking a New Puppy

Although it doesn’t sound like the most appealing job in the world, housebreaking a new puppy will play an important part in bonding with the newest member of your family. It will teach you patience and leave you with a better understanding of what your puppy wants once he has learned. In addition, he will learn acceptable behavior and exactly what is expected of him to live happily and comfortably in his new home.

It’s important to remember that, just like a small child, a puppy’s attention span is very short. When you teach a young child not to hit, he likely won’t learn the lesson the first time, but instead, gradually after you’ve shown him repeatedly that it’s not okay.

Similarly, you will have to be consistent with your dog when training him. Also, when housebreaking your puppy, keep in mind that he is not intentionally being a bad dog; he just has not yet learned what behaviors are acceptable!

Start housebreaking your puppy with a simple feeding schedule. Give him breakfast, lunch and dinner, just as you would yourself. By doing this, you will be helping him become regular with his bowel movements. Once he has eaten, wait 20-30 minutes and then take him outside.

Watch how long it takes before he is able to void. This will give you an idea of how long to wait the next time you take him out. (Within about a week, you should have his schedule down.) Try to never let him eat at free will, leaving food in his bowl all day, because it will cause him to have accidents and make house training all that much more difficult.

Despite the old rules of training a puppy, you should never hit, rub his nose in his messes, or yell at your puppy. By doing this, you are telling him it is bad to relieve himself at all! In addition, most dogs respond negatively to aggressive and mean behavior and it has the opposite effect – they regress in their training rather than advance.

Instead, while housebreaking your puppy, take him straight outside when he has an accident. In addition, don’t forget the praise! Every time he “goes” where he’s supposed to, praise him lavishly, and soon he will begin to understand exactly what brings praise, and what brings that disappointed face. During the process, don’t forget that full control of the bladder and bowels won’t happen until 16 weeks of age, so don’t expect too much from your puppy in the beginning.

Also helpful in housebreaking a new puppy is to buy a stain remover/ odor relief spray. Household cleaners and sprays cannot be smelled by dogs; only those made for animals will work. When an accident happens, clean the mess and spray immediately. This will cover the odor left and your puppy will not try to mark his territory there again.

Remember that housebreaking a puppy is a big responsibility that can lead to you and your puppy sharing a special bond. Giving encouragement and lots of love will make all the time spent worth your while!

Health care

Being a pet owner is a big responsibility. Your dog’s health is in your hands. Here is a guide as to the important aspects of health care to get you off to a good start.

Taking care of a new puppy takes more than just a cozy bed and a bowl of food. While it is a huge responsibility, and can seem daunting, knowing what to expect will put you in good stead as an owner. While there are no guarantees that your dog will never suffer from an illness over its lifetime, preventative measure such as vaccination and worming and a good diet will give your pet the best chance at a healthy lifestyle.

Vaccinations are essential to protect your puppy against infectious diseases such as distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus, and the contagious respiratory disease, kennel cough. Puppies require 3 vaccinations: the first at 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks, then an annual booster for the rest of its life to ensure their immunity against these diseases.

It is important not to socialize your puppy with dogs that have not been fully vaccinated, and it is best not to walk your puppy outside of your property until it has had its 3 vaccinations, as some diseases are passed on via saliva and dog-to-dog contact or via contaminated faeces.

It is common for puppies to have worms passed on from their mother, so worming in puppies should be done regularly. Puppies should be wormed from 2 weeks of age, every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old, then monthly until they are 6 months old. After this age, they should be wormed every 3 months for life. Flea control is also important for controlling flea tapeworm.

Fleas are often brought home from outside and can continue to multiply if not controlled. There are many products available to control fleas, the most convenient are the monthly ampoules squirted on the back of your dogs neck. Many of these are waterproof also.

Dogs that have been spayed/ neutered make better pets and there is no reason to not have your dog neutered. Neutering significantly reduces the risk of females developing mammary tumors or uterine infections, and males developing prostate or testicular cancer. Neutering is usually performed at between 4-6 months of age, although this can vary from clinic to clinic.

Puppy training

Your approach to dog training has a big impact on the actual training results that you will get. As long as you have the right mindset about dog training, you can be sure that your puppy will grow into a well-mannered dog that you can be proud of. Aside from having the right mindset, you would also do well to follow the most useful tips and tricks of dog training. Here are the top five dog training tips that will help you mould your dog into a positive addition to your family.

1. Show Your Dog That You Are The Pack Leader

Dogs are pack animals and naturally look to their pack leader for guidance. Therefore, you will have to establish your role as pack leader in order to gain control over your dog’s behaviour. Pack leaders normally control the food supply, so a good way to establish leadership would be to always feed your dog only AFTER you have eaten. You should also set a feeding schedule and stick to it. You can download a copy of our Free guide ‘How To be The Alpha Dog for a thorough understanding of this important aspect of Dog Training.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement

Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement. One of the best ways to ensure success in dog training is to reward good behavior and ignore unwanted behavior. This will encourage your dog to repeat those behaviors that earn him praises and treats, and refrain from exhibiting behaviors that get him nothing in return. Be careful not to use punishment in training your dog, as this will only alienate him and make him regard you as an adversary. Rewards and positive reinforcement not only help ensure success in dog training, but also helps strengthen your bond with your dog.

3. Set Realistic Goals

You can’t ensure the success of your training unless you have a concrete goal to start with. Of course, you will have to keep your goals realistic; otherwise, you will just be setting yourself up for failure. For example, it is okay to expect your dog to master the “sit” command in two to three days, but you can’t expect him to jump through hoops within the same timeframe.

4. Learn Proper Timing

Proper timing can spell the difference between success and failure, where dog training is concerned. When you see your dog sniffing and circling around, immediately give a firm NO and then lead him to the designated elimination area. If you wait until he has done his business before scolding him, he won’t understand that he is not supposed to make a mess inside the house. In the same way, you should praise your dog or give him a treat the very moment he exhibits a good behavior. This will make him understand that he has just done something that pleases you.

5. Be Patient And Consistent

Stay calm even when your dog makes mistakes. Yelling and showing impatience will get you nowhere. Give your dog enough time to learn each command, and always use the same words and hand signals when you give these commands. Consistency and patience are the keys to successful dog training.

Useful pet tips

1. Provide The Basics.

As with anything else, prevention is always better than cure. If your puppy has enough food, exercise, distraction (often in the form of toys), and attention then he probably won’t resort to excessive barking. However, excessive Barking is very often triggered by unchanneled energy. Remember that a puppy needs about an hour of exercise each day. Exercise can mean a walk around the neighborhood, a chance to freely run around the yard, or simply playing inside the house. Playtime is a good way to take care of the need for exercise and attention at the same time.

2. Ignore when you have to.

Ok, so it’s easier said than done, but the benefits of ignoring the puppy are numerous. Yes, this might be a bit difficult, but you will just have to bear it until your puppy learns to behave properly. If your puppy has taken to barking just to get your attention and be petted, then you will have to make him understand that that’s not the way to do it. Ignore him until he learns that barking, squealing, and whining won’t get him anywhere. Take note that this could go on for days, as puppies can be very persistent. It is very important that you DO NOT give in to his demands. Let him know that YOU decide when to pet him, not the other way around. Don’t pay attention to him even just to say “no” to his barking. If you really want to stop puppy barking then you should not give him the satisfaction of getting what he wants from you, which is attention in any form.

3. Teach Him That Rewards Must Be Earned.

The most effective way to stop puppy barking and make your dog obey you is by establishing the fact that YOU are the leader of the household. One of the best ways to establish your role as pack leader is to make your dog realize that he has to earn whatever reward he wants to get. Curb your dog’s demanding behavior the moment it manifests itself. For example, do not give him his food bowl unless he sits and waits for it calmly. This should teach him that barking loudly and jumping up on you to demand food will get him nowhere, but good behavior is the best way for him to earn his food.

4. Avoid Dramatic Exits

Whenever you leave the house, just say a quick goodbye and then leave. Drawing out the departure process will only make your dog feel lonelier once he realizes that he is all alone in the house. By making your departure as uneventful as possible, you are telling your dog that it is no big deal because you’ll be back soon enough. This is a good way to stop puppy barking because it will give him the confidence that while you have left him alone for a few hours, you have not totally abandoned him.

5. Crate training.

In crate training puppies, you will of course need to find a suitable crate. The puppies should be able to move around comfortably within the crate. It is best to place the crate in the kitchen or anyother room where the puppy will still be around his family. Be careful not to place the crate in direct sunlight where it will be too hot for your puppy.

First Steps Towards Effective Crate Training

Leave the crate door open at first and allow your puppy to investigate it freely. The next day, make the crate a little bit more interesting by placing toys or treats inside. Praise your puppy every time he decides to go inside the crate.Stay beside the crate while the puppy is inside, but do not let him out until he is done eating the treat. Crate training requires patience, and you should take care not to rush things. When you notice that your puppy is already comfortable inside the crate even with the crate door closed, try leaving the puppy inside for a few minutes each day. Soon your puppy will understand that you can leave him there for awhile, but that doesn’t mean you’ll abandon him. This should take away the puppy`s anxiety as regards being left inside the crate.
Crate training your puppyis very important. It gives you the perfect place to leave your dog whenever you have to go out, and you don’t have to worry about your puppy getting in something he isnt supposed to get his little nose into when you are not there to watch him. If you want to bring your pet on vacation, it will also be a lot less stressful for him to be carried around in a crate if he has already been trained.

In order to make sure that crate training your puppy works to your advantage, bear the following tips in mind. Never use the crate as a way to punish your puppy for bad behaviour. Your puppy will refuse to go into the crate on his own if he associates it with punishment. Always leave some treats or toys with the puppy whenever you leave your puppy inside the crate. This will give him the idea that the crate is an interesting and rewarding place to be in.

Puppy food

Soft or Hard Dog Food – Which is Best?

Sometimes, dog owners are faced with a dilemma regarding what type of dog food to provide their dogs. Dogs themselves tend to prefer the moist, canned types of food. They are more aromatic and naturally tempting to the dog’s palate than the dry kibbles that comes in a bag.

A dog’s dental health, however, relies on the dog being able to chew hard and crunchy items and dry kibbles dog foods serve this purpose well. What’s an owner to do?

Some owners make a two-pronged approach when selecting dog food for their furry friends. They will mix a portion of dry food with canned, effectively giving their dog the “best of both worlds.” If you are feeding canned food to your dog, you’ll definitely want to supplement it in some way with something that the dog can chew and crunch. Chew toys and dog biscuits or treats can help to serve this purpose.

Remember that a dog’s health depends greatly on the nutritional value of its food. A dog is only as healthy as the food that it eats, in many respects. The food you buy for your dog should meet its nutritional needs as best as possible, whether it is dry or moist.

Unfortunately, when it comes to dog food you get what you pay for. Store brands and generics tend to be made with cheaper ingredients and lots of fillers. They’ll feed your dog, but they may not be the best choices for it. The more expensive brands like Science Diet and Eukanuba, which advertise that they are “specially formulated” really, to a certain extent, are. They will have higher quality ingredients and are better suited to meet your dog’s needs.

Truly, as long as you are providing a good method for your dog to work out its choppers on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter whether you’re using dry food or moist. During regular veterinary checkups, your vet will examine the dog’s teeth and will warn you if there is any issue that needs to be corrected by providing a different type of food or some dietary supplement.

The reason that dogs need to be able to chew on hard materials is twofold. It strengthens their teeth and works out the muscles of their jaw, keeping the teeth strong and the jaws powerful.

It also provides a form of dental care. Owners should brush their dogs’ teeth at least twice a week. If this is not possible, however, crunchy foods like kibbles and biscuits act as a sort of natural toothbrush for the dog, loosening plaque and tartar and cleaning the teeth.

Choosing the right food for your pooch is important, both for your dog’s nutritional needs and for its good dental health. If you prefer to provide your dog the tastier soft, moist foods that come in a can, that’s fine, just make sure you’re also providing something to really sink his teeth into.

Puppy proofing

Preparing Your Home for a New Puppy

While excitement and anticipation may be at the top of the list when bringing home a new puppy, preparing for him should rate highly on the list. Just as you would need to prepare a home when you have a baby, pet owners also need to take special precautions when “puppy-proofing.”

Before you start preparing your home for a puppy, you should take into consideration the yard and garden. First, check fences and gates to be sure there are no holes large enough for him to get his head stuck in. Watch for litter and/or trash cans, which can be tipped over, giving your new puppy the chance to eat things that he shouldn’t.

And finally, know where you are treating your lawn and garden with pesticides, and then forbid your puppy from going there. In addition, make sure that all chemicals and other harmful products are put away out of your new friend’s reach.

Next, you will need to investigate your home and pretend that a small toddler is coming to live with you! Like toddlers, puppies will find everything new and exciting. They don’t know when something is dangerous or can’t tell if that “interesting” remote control will get them into trouble.

In addition, when preparing your home for the new puppy, you should keep these tips in mind:

* Be sure all electrical and cable wires are either in a space your puppy will not be or hide them under rugs or carpets. Do not keep wires where your puppy could chew and gnaw on them.
* Just like a toddler, your puppy will explore every element, including low cupboards. Just when you thought having a puppy was easier than a child, he will learn to nudge those cupboard doors open! Consider installing locks or sort through them keeping only safe objects in low areas.

So far, so good, right? Well, that’s only if you remember that in reality your puppy has the mind of a small child. Soon you’ll be getting ready for afternoon walks to the park, 3 a.m. trips to the bathroom, (more officially, outside) and lots of cuddling. So, while preparing your home for your puppy, think of him as a member of your family. Buy him a bed made from plastic, which is more resistant to chewing. Line it with comfortable bedding – washable of course – and then place it in a special place just for him. Make sure it is placed where he will be safe and comfortable.

Preparing your home for your new puppy is a lot of work, so you may consider buying a puppy pen until everything is taken care of. Just like a baby’s playpen, a puppy pen will offer an area for him to play without roaming the house. By doing this, you are also saving your furniture and other objects from being chewed on. (Don’t worry – he’ll eventually grow out of this!)

Another important thing to think about when preparing your home for your puppy is whether there are any stairs in the house. If you have an open basement or second floor, use baby gates to confine his run area to prevent harm. Babies and puppies alike are not aware of danger and don’t realize that they could fall down steps and hurt themselves.

The most important thing to think about while preparing your home for the new puppy is that, just like a child, it will need cuddling, attention… and there will definitely be a lot of wet kisses!

Puppy vaccination

Although your new puppy will likely squirm and maybe even cry when getting his shots, it is just as important for your dog as it is for your children or yourself. In fact, by keeping up on your dog’s vaccinations, you could be saving his life.

Vaccinations are injections of a small dose of a disease, which will prevent your puppy from developing that very disease. Just like immunizations in children, they are required by health departments and are the right thing to do for your dog.

Two different types of vaccinations exist. They are a Killed Vaccine and a Modified Live Vaccine. A Modified Live Vaccine is a live disease being injected, after having been altered by the drug company to be unable to cause the disease it is protecting against. In a Killed Vaccine, the virus itself has been killed before any injection occurs.

Once vaccinations are given, your dog’s immune system will recognize the presence of a disease and will then create barriers or reinforcements (antibodies) to fight it off, should it appear. These barriers only last from six months to a year, which makes regular appointments extremely important for your dog.

A few of the more commonly heard of diseases that affect dogs are often at the top of a vaccination list. These include: Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Rabies and Corona Virus.

Regular vaccinations can prevent your dog from contracting these diseases; however, you should still be aware of what they are. Canine Distemper is caused by a virus that attacks the body and can be damaging to the dog’s central nervous system.

50 percent of dogs who contract this disease will have a fatal outcome. It mainly affects middle-aged dogs. Puppies and older dogs are usually safe from contracting it.

Another vaccination, which is important to your dog’s health and should not be confused with the human disease, Hepatitis, is Infectious Hepatitis, which is a life threatening viral disease. It is transmitted through urine, saliva and feces. All ages of dogs are at risk for this disease. Luckily, it’s not contagious to humans.

Vaccinations for Rabies are probably the most commonly talked about vaccine. The disease itself is the most well known in animals and can quickly affect humans through saliva and bites. Aggression, excessive salivation and erratic behavior will follow the onset of rabies, although it may not be as clear as “Cujo”, the famous rabid-infected dog in the movies.

Another disease that is commonly confused and which is important to be vaccinated against is Corona Virus. This disease affects young dogs and is usually mixed up with Parvo, which is a totally different type of disease. Corona Virus is contagious and is passed through feces ingested by another dog, causing trouble with the intestinal system. This disease is usually treatable before Parvo sets in.

As you can see, many diseases can affect, sicken, or even kill your precious family member. Vaccinations are extremely important to yours and your dog’s health and it is your responsibility as a dog owner to have regular visits with the vet. For all the happiness he brings to you and your family, he deserves to be healthy.