Archive for Puppy Training
Bringing home a puppy is always exciting, but if you already have one or more dogs at home, the puppy will face some challenges integrating into your family, the pupy intorduction section is important.
The puppy will be leaving his mother and littermates, and a familiar household. Everything about your house is going to be new. Don’t overwhelm him with the run of the house; confine him to one room, perhaps the den or kitchen.
Before you bring him home, take a fuzzy toy to the breeder’s home and have the mother, puppy and breeder put their scent on it. This will be a comfort to him when he arrives at his new home. You can also take two toys and bring one home before the puppy’s arrival so your other dogs will become familiar with his scent.
Nice to meet you
When the big day comes, don’t bring your new puppy directly into the house. Take him to the pre-selected elimination spot and give him a chance to relieve himself. Then, with the help of a friend, slowly bring each of your adult dogs outside to meet the puppy on neutral territory. Whether you have one or more dogs in residence, the house is their territory and the puppy could be considered an interloper.
If you’re not careful, you’ll set up the canine equivalent of sibling rivalry.
If you have more than one adult dog, start with the gentlest and most welcoming dog so the puppy isn’t immediately frightened. Let them interact. At intervals, bring each subsequent dog out to meet the puppy. Reward your older dogs for positive interactions with the puppy.
Once everyone is comfortable, allow your adult dogs to invite the puppy into their home.
Home sweet home
When the new puppy enters the house, take him to the room you’ve set up for him. Let your older dogs come, too, but supervise everyone. Allow the puppy to see where his water and food bowls and bed are.
More than likely you will be using a crate that you can move to your bedroom at night so the puppy won’t feel too lonely. He’s left everything that’s familiar to him and had a big day. He’s going to feel alone. You will want to be able to talk to him and calm him if he cries, and if he needs to go out, it’s important that you take him out right away. Sleeping in sweats is a good idea at this point.
Be sensitive to your adult dogs and give them lots of attention. Don’t allow them to be pushed aside while you fuss over the puppy. Good things should happen for them when the puppy is present, so whenever the puppy is in the room, the adults get a treat. Games include everyone. You want to create a positive interaction. Adults are usually pretty tolerant of puppies until the ‘puppy licence’ runs out and he’s suddenly seen as a nuisance. Sharing supervised romps and walks will make everyone happy. You want to give your puppy and adult dogs the best possible start to creating a warm, bonded relationship.
Be sure to give your older dogs some one-on-one time so they understand that they are still important. Give visitors a heads-up that, while they are coming to meet the puppy, they should make a point of paying attention to your older dogs, too. Have a treat ready for them to give to your older dogs when they arrive.
Your older dogs have always been the centre of attention. You want them to know that they still are, but there’s someone else to play with, someone who enhances their lives and doesn’t provide a total distraction for their people.
If you start out the right way, making it easier for everyone, you can look forward to happily ever after.
Puppy obedience training is important to be able to understand as when a puppy goes through certain stages in its development their behavior will also go through changes. We will look at the stages a puppy goes through between the ages of 8-11 weeks of age and how you can learn how to train a puppy during this stage.
Puppy Development 8-11 weeks old.
You have just purchased your adorable new puppy and have teaken him home. However, you must try not to get to caught up with the ‘cute puppy’ phase and should start puppy obedience training as early as possible.
You should start basic training.
Don’t allow strangers to scare or intimidate your puppy as this can seriously affect how your puppy interacts with humans in adulthood. Some dog trainers argue that this phase is so important that if you want your puppy to be a detection dog and you have not taught him the basics of the ‘fetch command’ between 8-11 weeks then they will never be able to become a detection dog.
Your puppy will want to explore his surroundings but will have a general fear of everything. Start socializing your puppy by introducing him to different objects. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior-give your puppy a treat and lots of praise. Do not be over protective with your puppy. If you give your puppy lots of attention when he becomes scared this will teach him that it is natural to be scared and when he shows fear he gets praise-never a good idea.
Your puppy’s personality will start to really develop so it is imporant to start puppy socialization with other humans and other animals. Puppy parties are a good socialization tool-but don’t start introducing your puppy to walks or other dogs until your vet says it is ok. You really need to start introducing your puppy to other dogs as this is how they learn to behave and respond to other dogs.
As a new owner you should expect crying and house soiling in the night. Your puppy will also cry when he is left alone-he is not used to being seperated and he is still a baby. Monitor fearful behavior as you don’t want irrational fears to develop into adulthood
Your puppy may start tugging and pulling on clothes and even jumping up. Understand that puppy chewing may happen-but do not allow it. A puppy soon grows so don’t allow behavior such as jumping up to happen-if he does start ignore your puppy. Remember that you are the pack leader so you need to be strong and set the House rules Try not to let anything startle your puppy at this age-watch out for fire works parties.
Although Diarrhoea is common at this age due to changes in diet-if you have any worries at all you must consult your vet.
Yo can start basic puppy training as it is a great way to communicate with your puppy and to build a string relationship-remember these golden rules when puppy obedience training:
- Be patient-remember that a puppy has a limited attention span.
- Be consistent-set the rules and stick with them.
- Positive reinforcement-always heap lots of praise on a puppy that behaves well.
- Be rational with your puppy by understanding that you are also learning how to train a puppy so will make mistakes.
- Be fair at all times with your puppy and accept that their will be accidents in the House.
Start Basic Puppy Obedience Training
- Keep pupy obedience training short and fun.
- Have lots of treats ready to give your puppy when he behaves well.
- Do not give commands in a harsh tone.
- Make sure the whole family use the same commands otherwise it will confuse your puppy.
- Practice training techniques everyday
Puppy Behavior 8-11 weeks old – what to expect
- Fearful behavior
- Play biting and chewing
- Your puppy may chase other animals
- Crying when seperated from you or the family
- Minor destructive behavior
- Jumping up
If you found this article on puppy behavior and puppy development useful-you may find our more indepth puppy behavior tips useful or visit our site on Dog Obedience Training for more general dog and puppy training advice.
It’s a very exciting day when you choosing a puppy. It seems obvious that you’ll have to feed her, and give her lots of love – but what else is involved in keeping your puppy healthy? A lot. That’s the simple answer. So lets start from the beginning.
You should never take a puppy away from her mother too early – anything much under 8 weeks is really not giving a dog a best chance in life. Sometimes the puppies in pet shops come from their mothers at six weeks – and in that case they won’t have the full immunity given by the mother’s milk.
You should always take your puppy to the vet for a checkup when you first purchase her. You need to have her ears checked, and her nose should be wet and not runny. Her eyes should be clear. Assuming all of that is good, then your vet may explain the two main issues with your pup – vaccinations and flea control.
Depending on where you live, and the laws in your state, the vaccinations required will differ, but sometimes your puppy will need a series of vaccinations and won’t be ready to be fully socialized until 12 weeks old. Do not take your puppy to play with adult dogs if you are not sure the adult dog has been vaccinatied.
Once your puppy has been vaccinated then you need to make an annual trip to the vet to keep the vaccination up to date. Many boading kennels won’t take dogs unless this is the case, so if you plan on having a holiday away from your pets at any stage, it will be vital to keep the vaccinations current.
Flea and tick control, and the control of heartworm will all depend on the weather of the state you live in. It’s hard to give accurate advice to every puppy owner but asking any dog owner in your local dog park will probably be your best bet. You’ll need to know how often they use products that kill or prevent fleas from living on your puppy.
Some dogs will also have allergies – to grass, or to flea bites so you will need to see if your dog scratches too often, or is chewing at parts of her fur. If you start to see bald patches then you may need your vet to do allergy testing. In this case flea control is probably even more important.
If you can have a dog groomer teach you how to care for your dog too. You need to know how to keep the coat healthy, the nails trimmed and the ears of your puppy clean too. Feeding good quality dog food is vital for a healthy life.
There are a few other things you shouldn’t forget as well – never letting your puppy near traffic, having a fully fenced in yard, and even consider microchiping – if it’s not legally required it’s a great way to make sure your beloved pet will always be returned to you if she gets lost.
I don’t mean to scare you, just want to put things into perspective for you, your puppy relies on you from the day you bring him home. It need you to feed it, to groom it, play with it, and love it. You are also responsible for your puppy health care over its lifetime, you need to make sure he feels and looks good, and to make sure you know when things are not right.
Your puppy health care responsibilities involves things like taking him for his regular checkups at the vet. Or making sure he takes his worming tabs, flea pills. Taking him for his vaccinations on time. And making sure he’s clean, fed, warm and safe.
I know, it is basic, but you’d be surprise what people miss when they are not informed about the things they should look out for. So, to avoid health complications and diseases later on, here are some of the best puppy health care practices to follow:
1. His Food.
Dogs are not picky eaters, but that does not mean that you’re free to feed them anything you want. For one, they are not built the same way we are. If you feed them table scraps, your dog might develop intestinal parasites later on.
Also, their body reacts differently from ours; for example, if you unknowingly feed chocolate to your puppy, STOP IT! It poses a lot of danger, because chocolate contain Theo bromine, a chemical which can be toxic for dogs.
Another mistake that pet owners make is to overfeed their dog. Sure, chubby and plump dogs are adorable, but I sure hope you are not compromising their health because of pure aesthetic reasons. Overweight dogs are susceptible to a lot of illnesses and joint problems. Dogs cannot handle large amounts of food and they don’t know when to stop eating; it’s recommendable to feed your dog once or twice (at the most) a day in small portions, if you’re unsure ask your vet or look on the packet of the particular dog food you buy, they usually have recommendations.
2. His Vaccinations.
When you first take your puppy to the vet he will be able to give a specific schedule and choice you have for your puppy’s vaccinations. There are some vaccinations that are compulsory, but there are those that are entierely your choice, your vet will help you decide what suits you best.
Here are some of the available vaccinations for more serious diseases, but make sure you ask your vet for more specific advice for basic vaccinations for your puppy’s health care needs.
A word of warning: Be aware of what some of the signs are for an allergic reaction to vaccinations. If your dog becomes sluggish or develops hives, or has difficulty breathing, take him to the vet immediately! Now obviously your vet is highly trained, but things happen, and it’s better that you’re prepared on the odd chance that they do.
3. His Grooming.
Coat, teeth, ears and nails, these comprise an important aspect of grooming and of your puppy’s health care. Your puppy will not only look healthy, but it will FEEL healthy too.
Coat, If he has a long or medium length coat brush it every day to avoid hair tangling and matting. For short coats, once every 3-4 days will do. Ears, Clean his ears with moist cotton balls twice a month at least. If you don’t clean your dog’s ears, it could lead to an ear infection, it’s not pleasant for your pooch, and it will cost you to take him to the vet. Teeth, Unlike humans, dogs do not need their teeth cleaned every day, thank goodness; about twice a week will do. But like humans, your dog can develop cavities if you don’t brush his teeth regularly, so make it an appointment with you doggy friend. Nails, Don’t let your dog’s nails grow too long to prevent him from accidentally scratching you or any family members.
4. Spaying and Neutering.
If you do not plan to breed your own dogs, it’s recommended you consider spaying or neutering your puppy as soon as it is ready. It’s not possible to watch over your dog 24/7; so as a responsible pet owner, try to do something about the continually growing population of dogs. Your vet will be able to advise you on your options.
5. His Status Quo.
This simply means that you should get to know your puppy’s usual disposition. This is very important because only if you know him, you’ll be able to spot if something is wrong very early, and the earlier you tackle a health problem, the more chance you have of curing it and saving yourself and your loved pooch grief.
6. His Safety.
We all love to think nothing will ever go wrong, and I sure hope it never does with you and your pup. But reality sometimes hits us unexpectedly, so that’s why I always advise my friends to take up even the most basic of pet insurances for their dog. Make sure it covers the things you feel you won’t be able to afford in an emergency, the rest you can pay for as and when you need to, this way insurance doesn’t have to be expensive.
Remember, a healthy dog makes a happy dog. If you follow these dog care practices, your dog would enjoy a longer and more stress-free life.
Ignore Attention-Seeking Barking
Your new friend will whine and cry quite a bit for the first few days. This is perfectly normal behavior for a young dog who is away from his mother and littermates for the first time. Finding himself alone in a strange place is upsetting for him.
But no matter how pitiful he is, don’t give him attention when he’s whining or barking, or you may be setting up a life-long habit of nuisance barking. Wait until he stops barking before petting or cuddling him. But how to stop a barking puppy?
One way is to make a noisemaker from an empty pop can and a few pennies. Put the pennies in the can, and tape it shut. When your pup barks or whines, especially at night, shake the can at him. The sudden noise will startle him into silence. Shake the can every time he barks or makes noise.
This method is quite effective because he’s not getting any attention from you, whether it’s good or bad. All that happens when he barks or whines is that a loud noise happens that he doesn’t like. He’ll learn quickly that nuisance barking doesn’t get him attention from you.
A very humane method for quieting a barking canine is to say “enough,” and gently put your hand around his muzzle. This works because he can’t bark with his mouth shut. He’ll try to back away, or shake your hand off, so be prepared. Hold him by his collar so he can’t get away. Hold his muzzle gently until he stops fighting you and is quiet. This shows that he’s accepted your authority.
This technique teaches your puppy that you’re in charge, and that you will enforce your position as leader. This is an important lesson for him to learn, and will help to prevent many dog behavior problems from arising in the future.
More Tips To Avoid Barking Problems
It’s helpful to teach your pup to bark on command. This may seem counterproductive, but the second part of this idea is to teach him to stop barking on command. Now you’ve taken control of the situation by letting him know when it’s appropriate to bark. Once again, he has to defer to your leadership.
Excessive barking is often due to the canine just having too much energy. Take him for long walks to burn off this extra energy, and to tire him out so he’ll sleep when you’re gone. Another plus to lots of walks is that he’s introduced to new people and new situations, so he’ll be less likely to bark at unfamiliar things.
A good puppy obedience school can be very helpful, as he’ll learn to listen to you even when there are distractions around. You should also consider a good dog training course, too.
Now it’s time to start putting these ideas into action. Stop puppy barking now, and your new friend will be a much happier and pleasant companion.
Your goal to start with is to teach your puppy how to control the force of his/her biting. Your puppy’s littermates will initiate this process and then it is up to you to continue on with it when your new puppy arrives home. This will ensure (not guarantee) that if your dog does bite someone in the future the damage will be minimized. When you have given your puppy sufficient feedback regarding the strength of his bite only then can you begin to reduce the prevalence of the biting behavior.
1. If you catch the biting problem early on it may be easy to rectify. Just try to redirect the biting from your flesh to a toy or chew bone. For very young puppies this method is often all you’ll need do. As soon as your pup starts to bite your hands just let out a firm “No!” and replace your fingers with the chew toy (or ice cube if your puppy is teething).
2. This is probably the most popular method and my personal favorite. Make your puppy think he is hurting you each time he has a nip at you. This method replicates the way dogs sort out this biting amongst themselves. When puppies are biting and nipping each other it only stops when one puppy lets out a yelp. We can use this natural way dogs learn by letting out an Ouch! or an Arrr! every time one of our puppy’s bite. The trick is to startle your dog with your voice, and then pull away and stop playing with your puppy for a while. Your pup will soon learn that when he starts to bite, his playmate (you) goes away.
3. Teach your puppy the obedience training command “Leave It!”. This method works great but is more suitable for older puppies.
4. In bad biting cases as soon as your puppy latches onto your hand say “No!” and quickly put your thumb inside his mouth under his tongue, and your other finger under his chin. Hold it there for about 10 seconds (not too tightly). This will feel uncomfortable to your puppy plus he won’t be able to bite you.
“Always Praise And Reward A Gentle Mouth And Ignore Or Withdraw From Inappropriate Nipping”
5. Again if your puppy has a severe biting problem you can try this training technique. Put on a pair of gloves and apply a foul tasting substance to them (something your dog doesn’t like). Your dog will soon learn that if he bites you, it won’t be tasty! This method produces a strong negative association to your dog every time he decides to bite you. Some dogs are smart enough to realize that when you take your foul tasting gloves off, it is fine to sink their fangs into you again!
6. For older puppies (around 6 months) this is a sure fire technique to stop puppy mouthing. Put a pinch or choke collar on your puppy and each time he bites you give the lead a short sharp tug. This correction will form an unpleasant association to your dog every time he bites you. It won’t take him long to stop. Some trainers believe this method to be fairly extreme, and I agree that you would only need to call on it in very rare circumstances – I have never needed to go to this level. I believe it’s far more effective to educate your puppy rather than inflicting punishment or trying to extinquish a behavior altogether.
How to stop a puppy from biting – these methods have been recommended to me, but I have never tried them myself:
Fill up an empty can with rocks or coins. Each time your puppy starts biting say No! and give the can a shake. Apparently puppies hate this rattling noise.
If you’re worried that you may have an overly aggressive puppy on your hands, please seek the advice of an experienced animal behaviorist or dog trainer.
Like I mentioned earlier, the most important piece of advice regardless of which training method you choose is to be consistent and provide the clear feedback your puppy needs to learn.
- Always take your dogs collar off when he is put in the crate. Otherwise the collar can get caught on the crate which can have disastrous consequences.
- Ensure that you aren’t asking your puppy (or older dog for that matter) to hold off from going to the toilet for longer than she is physically capable.
- If your puppy does have a toilet accident inside his crate obviously punishment is not an option, but you should be angry at yourself. Immediately clean up the mess including the use of an odor neutralizer.
- Be careful when crating your puppy in hot weather. Be especially careful when you have your puppy crated in your car, temperatures can become extreme inside cars and in a very short period of time.
- Except for overnight and one off occasions you should never crate your dog for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. Why have a dog if you have to confine him for such long periods? Perhaps a goldfish would be a more suitable pet?
- Dogs love their exercise, particularly nice long walks with you. So if you are going to crate your puppy or older dog they will require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. This can also include some obedience training sessions.
- Never release your puppy from his crate (unless the situation is getting dangerous) if he is causing a fuss by whining, barking or being destructive. If you give in to these demands you are actually rewarding and therefore reinforcing this undesirable behavior.
- Don’t fall into the trap of only crating your puppy when you are about to leave the house – the crate will begin to be associated with you leaving if this is the case.
- Good luck with your puppy crate training – as long as you follow the above plan with consistency and patience I’m sure you’ll achieve great results.
I find that the tips outlined above are more than enough to get most puppies comfortable in their crates. If you are having trouble with a difficult or nervous pup try this puppy crate training exercise to shape the desired behavior.
1. Place the crate in an area where you and your puppy spend time together – leave the crate door open.
2. Any time your puppy shows any interest in the crate (like a look) praise him/her and throw him a tasty treat. Repeat this over and over.
3. You’ll find that your puppy soon becomes very interested in his crate. This step asks more of your puppy. Don’t praise and treat only a glance at the crate now, wait until your pup walks over towards the crate, then enthusiastically praise and reward with a treat.
4. Repeat Step 3 many times and then make it harder again for your puppy to earn a treat. Hold off with your praise and treats until your puppy actually steps in the crate now. Repetition and reinforcing the desired behavior is the key.
5. Now your pup should be popping in and out of the crate to work for his treats. Now you hold off with your praise and treats until your puppy goes into the crate and sits down.
6. The final step is to have your puppy step inside the crate, sit down and then you will close the crate door (only for a few seconds to start with) and feed some treats through the door.
7. Attach a cue word to this process such as “bedtime” or “go to crate”. Say your cue word every time your puppy steps inside the crate – he will soon associate the word with the act of getting in to the crate.
Your puppy’s first impression and experiences with the crate are all important. We need to introducing the puppy to the crate and set it up so your puppy views the crate as a positive object right from the start. You goal is for your puppy to love the crate and choose to use it himself rather than as a contraption he associates with isolation and loneliness.
1. Drop a few tasty treats in and around the crate and let your puppy clean them up. Be sure to give heaps of encouragement and then praise if your puppy bravely steps into the crate.
2. If your puppy has a favorite dog bed or blanket put this inside the crate to encourage him and to make it more homely for him.
3. Feed your puppy all of his meals in the crate (door still open).
4. With your puppy outside the crate place a chew toy inside the crate and close the door. Your puppy will literally beg you to let him at it! Open up the door, let him in and praise his efforts (this method has proved very successful for my dogs).
5. When your puppy is not around tie a chew toy (like a stuffed kong) inside the crate and leave the door open. Let him discover the “treasure” and leave him inside to enjoy the find.
6. When your puppy is comfortable in the crate close the door and feed some treats to him through the mesh. To start with just leave the door closed for 10 seconds then gradually increase the duration. Don’t increase the time too quickly, if your dog becomes distressed or whines you are moving too fast.
7. Build up the amount of time he is in the crate slowly, first when you are in the room, then step outside the room for a short time. Your puppy’s first really long stretch in the crate is ideally overnight with the crate in your bedroom.