Helpful Puppy Tips and Hints
Congratulations on your new puppy! Having a little puppy in the home is like having a new baby. They are much the same, they both require us to foresee and take care of their nutritional, emotional and medical needs. There are many helpful dog books out there . We have put together some common problems and ideas that we have found helpful here. If you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime.
Experts agree that the best way to handle a dog’s misbehavior is to prevent it by proper training from puppy hood on. Corrective training builds on the basic commands that every pup should learn and respond to. Look beyond any annoying behavior to the root cause, loneliness, insecurity, strange people in the house or change in the routine and try to correct it.
Crying & Barking:
Your new puppy will most likely cry for the first few days until she gets used to her new surroundings. Remember, that she has only known the comfort of mother and siblings until now. She will look to you for love and comfort and sees you and your family as her new family. This crying time will pass. You can try these methods to correct her:
A) Put her in her crate (or sleeping area) along with a small blanket or towel, a plush stuffed toy and a ticking clock. (to mimic moms heartbeat ) You may want to set this area up in your laundry room or bathroom so you can close the door and get some sleep. What ever you do, do not keep rushing in to baby her or scold her, she will figure out that this is a way to keep you coming back in. Make sure she has been taken out to potty and has eaten and has not wet herself.
B) Let her sleep with a family member. She will become spoiled to this, but a lot of people enjoy cuddling with a pet at night. She will enjoy the warmth and in the wild dogs are natural pack animals that do sleep together in their den.
C) Put something warm and comforting such as a piece of your old clothing, or a warm hot water bottle in her bed.
D) Leave the radio playing softly to soothe her to sleep.
If your puppy jumps up at you give her a quick push with the heel of your hand, and tell her “Down!“ in a sharp voice. This should be so quick that she doesn’t know where the blow came from.
A dog that slips its leash may run off and refuse to come when called. Don’t chase it! Sit down and try to coax her back to you in a pleasant voice. Or walk briskly away from her, calling her to heel. Reward her with praise and a treat when she comes.
Have a friend help you to train you pup how to behave when you open your door. If the pup is barking, stop her. Go to the door with the pup and place her beside you; tell her to lie down. Now open the door; the dog is in position to protect you if necessary. Dogs with a strong guard instinct may need leashing.
Your puppy is teething and naturally wants to chew. There are many safe dog chew and toys appropriate for her and she will enjoy having something to chew on and soothe her new teeth. Satisfy this need with:
1) Rubber toys with no loose parts that might be swallowed or rawhide chewies.
2) A soft stuffed animal.
Do not let her have an old shoe or other household things, because she will not be able to distinguish the old shoe from your best Nike’s. Watch her around household plants, some are very toxic to pets. Keep very close watch on her and do not leave her alone in a room. She could get a hold of something dangerous. There are many bones out there for dogs, but caution should be used so that she doesn’t get choked on a piece. Never give chicken or fish bones. Be very careful of pork bones as well. These are both very brittle and are a choking hazard.
Puppies have tiny bladders and can’t wait patiently for hours or even minutes as a mature pet can. If she starts whimpering and walks in circles, or sits beside the door, get her outside fast. Your new puppy will need to relieve itself often and you will have to be observant and patient with her until she learns. She will need to go out as soon as she wakes up and after each feeding. Take her to the same area outside each time so she will know by smell that this is the spot she should do her duty in. Praise her and make a loving fuss over her when she potties in the correct place.
A calm secure puppy is easier to housebreak than a nervous one. Because anxiety and fear contribute to bad behavior, resolve never to hit or holler at your puppy and “rub her nose in it”. This is unsanitary and unhealthy for her, she could ingest or inhale some of her stool and get sick and she will learn to fear you. A dog that is afraid of it’s master could possibly bite out of sheer terror. Here are some ways to housebreak your puppy.
Most professionals recommend keeping a puppy in an open sided wire crate whenever she is not being supervised, played with , fed , watered , or exercised. If the puppy’s bed is kept small, leaving just enough room to turn around she will try hard to keep it’s new nest clean.
In an apartment or small dwelling, you may want to begin this way; liberally cover a small tiled or vinyl floor area with newspapers. Confine the puppy there with its bed whenever you are going out and at night; take it there whenever she starts to circle or squat. When she uses the papers, praise her warmly. If you are not crate training you will have to watch her almost constantly for restlessness and circling. Take the pup outside or to the papers every 2 hours during the day , on demand at night, upon awakening and after any activity, including eating. Shower her with praise whenever she performs in the proper place. Which ever way you choose to teach her is up to you, we are just telling you what has worked for us and giving you some ideas. We begin our puppies with paper-training. I do not care for the “Wee-wee Pads” that have come out, most puppies want to shred them and it is a dangerous choking hazard !
Get to know the feel of your puppy’s coat, the color of its gums and the look of its nose. Observe her eating, drinking and eliminating habits. Wipe her eyes daily with a dampened cotton pad so that secretions don’t become encrusted. When it’s hot and humid, exercise your dog in the cool hours of early morning or late evening. If your pup’s foot pad becomes cracked, rub some petroleum jelly on them.
Regular grooming improves the health of your puppy’s coat. A puppy accustomed to grooming when it’s young will endure it patiently always. Feel your puppy all over, inspect her teeth and ears and feet, talking constantly. Brush out any knots with a firm brush.
Most pups’ nails need clipping often. Start this early too. Use dog nail clippers. Avoid cutting back to the quick-- visible as a thin pink line if the dog’s nails are light in color. If they’re dark just clip off the tip where the nail begins to curve downward.
FOOD & DIET:
Base your puppy’s meals on any good commercial puppy food. We recommend Diamond Puppy food or Purina Puppy Chow. These are both good, nutritionally sound food. You may want to try another brand, just ease her into it over a period of 10 days by adding a little more of the new food to the other gradually reducing the other day by day and increasing the new. If you just up and switch it without easing it in she may have loose stool and have stomach upsets.
A dog will happily and healthily eat the same food day after day. Most dogs love cooked eggs and can be fed one once or twice a week. Wash your puppy’s bowls often and keep plenty of fresh water available.
Table scraps are not recommended because they are not nutritionally complete for a growing puppy and can cause digestive upsets and even cause allergic reactions.
*** Never give a dog-
These are very toxic to dogs and can be fatal.
She will need to eat puppy food for her first year so she can grow healthy bones, teeth, skin and fur.
We do not recommend a steady diet of canned food only because it will gum up on the teeth and it is not as nutritional as dry. The dry food will scrape the teeth as she eats, keeping them cleaner and stronger. We recommend a daily tooth brushing with dog toothpaste or even warm water. Dogs do not like human toothpaste and it is not safe for them.
FLEAS & TICKS:
Because fleas live much of their cycle off of the pet- in bedding, rugs and crevices-- killing those on your puppy isn’t enough. If your puppy has fleas you should only use a puppy flea shampoo and other flea products appropriate for her age. If you find a tick apply alcohol to the tick and slowly but gently grasp the tick with tweezers and pull straight out, do not twist, so that the head will stay attached to the tick’s body. Dispose of the tick in a little rubbing alcohol. Clean the site where it was attached with alcohol and antibiotic ointment. Your vet has strong prescription flea remedies and drops than what is available in the stores. Some of these store type products do work but in a lot of areas fleas have built up an immunity to certain ingredients found in some products. You can wash your puppy with any type “antibacterial” dish soap such as Dawn or Joy. As long as it has the ingredient Triclosan it will kill the fleas. Leave the lather on 2 minutes and rinse. Do the head and ears first and be careful not to get it in her eyes or mouth. You may want to put a piece of cotton in her ears to keep the water from going inside. The water inside the ears is painful and could cause an ear infection.
VACCINATIONS & WORMINGS :
Your puppy has been vaccinated according to vet recommend schedule. We will give you her vaccination records with the type used and a reminder for when she is due for her boosters. You can show this to your vet and he will decide when and what she needs. Remember, she will need to be revaccinated each year so she will keep an immunity from canine viruses and diseases.
All puppies are born with worms transmitted to them via their mother in the womb and passed thru the mothers milk. We do worm our puppies on a regular vet recommended schedule with a highly effective liquid wormer, This takes care of puppy worms. Your vet will be able to continue her vaccinations and dewormings on a schedule that suits her age. Do not put off continuing her vaccination schedule, puppies are like babies and need to be immunized so they can have full protection against diseases and parasites. Putting your puppy’s health care off can be very dangerous for her.
FAMILY MEMBERS AND PETS:
Your new puppy will take a few days to get used to her new surroundings. Introduce her to the other pets slowly. Confine the residing pet to one room and let the puppy become accustomed to the others smell. Then let them meet through a child’s baby gat or a screen door. Usually the reigning house pet will boss the youngster around. Your puppy may cry when she meets new pets, but this is normal and she will be okay once she realizes that she won’t be hurt. A puppy can learn to like cats if the cat is friendly towards dogs. If not then it only takes one swat on the nose by the cat to teach her a lifelong lesson that kitty does not want to be friends.
Your puppy will love all of the attention she receives. If she plays too rough and bites just grasp her snout and tell her “NO” in a loud firm mean sounding voice.
Its old pack instincts, a pup expects either to lead or to follow. To train a dog well, you must always be the leader, the pup the obedient follower.
In training a puppy, try using three different voice levels: high voice (almost baby talk) for praise; normal voice and authoritative tone for commands; and a quick, low, and controlled voice when you make corrections.
To teach her to come on command, start as soon as you get home. Call “Come!” and reward the right response with lots of praise maybe even a treat.
Be sure your pup masters each command before going on to the next. Use the same commands consistently: com, sit stay, down ( for lie down), heel, stand. Pups do not really understand sentences.
To teach her to sit, gently pull up on its collar while tucking its hind legs underneath. Praise the pup as soon as she sits.
To train her to stand on command, hold it gently in position and praise it for holding the position for even a second or two.
To teach her to heel while walking, first coax her toward the heel position beside your left leg. Then say “Heel,” start to walk , and praise it. If she pulls ahead, give a short, sharp correction with the lead and bring her back to heel. Keep up a steady stream of chitchat and your dog’s attention won’t stray.
Accustom your dog to lying beside you for long periods before training it to stay in place while you leave it. Practice while you read, eat, or watch television.
When she is doing what you want her to do when teaching her commands give lots of loving praise and give her a little piece of dog food for a treat. Puppies and older dogs alike love to learn new tricks this way and enjoy the morsels of food.