Posts Tagged ‘Puppies’

How To Get Your Puppy To Stop Stealing Clothes

Samantha | July 28th, 2012
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Puppies are like little children in that they need constant discipline and a watchful eye to be sure that they can learn the rules of your house. Some puppies have major behavior problems, while others display the typical scenarios, such as stealing clothes and other small items around the house as if it were a game.

Puppies are notorious for stealing anything that they can get their mouths on and then run away with it. At first this little habit is cute and very comical. However, after a while it needs to be seriously addressed because as the puppy matures into an adult dog, he will think that he is allowed to eat anything in the house, including your expensive shoes and nice furniture.

There are several ways to handle a puppy that is stealing your cloths and other items from around the house. One way to get your puppy to drop something from his mouth immediately is to simply walk out of the room and shut the door behind you. For example, let’s say you are in your room and your dog grabs a sock from the corner closet and runs around the room avoiding you at all costs. This is just a game to him, nothing more. So what you need to do is quickly have him lose interest in the game by just leaving the room with the door closed. In less than 10 seconds your puppy will drop the sock and start crying for your presence.

Another way to distract your puppy from stealing clothes and other small items is to distract him by running to the door and shaking your keys so that he understands that you are going to take him outside (dogs quickly associate the jingle of keys to someone leaving the house).

Now take the dog into the yard or the sidewalk for just a few minutes. If you do this enough, eventually your puppy will be able to stop playing his little thief game anytime you shake your keys. It’s all about distraction and training your puppy’s mind to associate something else of importance whenever he attempts to break the rules.

Last but not least, as I always recommend for most common behavioral problems with dogs, get yourself a small water bottle that you can use to squirt your puppy. Of course you do not want to torture your dog by squirting them in the eye or anything like that, but a little spritz of water can go a long way when trying to get your dog to stop whatever behavioral problem he keeps getting into.

Whenever you see your puppy grabbing something and running around the house with it, give them a quick squirt and a firm “no” command. He will be so surprised and shocked that he will quickly drop anything from his mouth while learning that this is one rule he cannot break.

The Best Way To Socialize The New Puppy With Your Kids

Peter | November 11th, 2011
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Having a new puppy in the house is a very exciting and memorable experience, especially when you have children in the family. However, every interaction between your child and your new puppy must be closely supervised, especially for the first few days after your puppys arrival.

When meeting the puppy for the first time, have your child sit on the floor with her legs crossed. Slowly bring the new puppy up to her. Tell your child to lay out her gentle hands as she reaches over to the puppy with palms down and knuckles up so the pup can sniff them.

Give the puppy some time to sniff, but dont force him to do it. When hes done smelling her scent, pick him up and put him on your childs lap while she is sitting on the floor. Let your child pet the puppy, always using her gentle hands.

Your new puppy will do one of two things. First, he may stay on your childs lap while enjoying every second of being pampered. He may even fall asleep after a few minutes. Second, he will leave to walk around and explore his new environment. If he decides to explore, let him do it while you are watching to make sure that he doesnt get himself into any kind of danger.

If the puppy decides to walk around, tell your child not to chase or pull at him. Your child will likely be very fascinated with the new member of the family that she will want to grab him and put him back on her lap. Remind her about using gentle hands when petting.

Be sure to tell your child not to pull, grab, squeeze, drag, or poke the puppy. Doing so can hurt the little dog or result in him reacting aggressively to the child, which could injure or cause the child to fear the puppy.

Gently grab the puppy again and place him back on your childs lap. If he tries to bolt, let him walk around for a few minutes. Keep in mind that he may still be in shock from being separated from his mother and the newness of his surroundings, or he may just want to explore his new home.

If your child seems discouraged about the puppy continually escaping from her lap, make sure she understands that it is not because the puppy doesnt like her.

After a few minute of letting your new pup run around, pick him up again and place him on your childs lap. To make sure that he wont try to escape, bring a few of his favorite treats along with you.

When he starts to show signs of escaping, show him the treat and have your child gently feed it to him. Your child should place the treat on her palm for the puppy to lick, not on her fingertips where the puppy can accidentally nip her while he grabs for the food.

Remember to stay calm and positive and keep your voice low. This is an exciting time for everyone, an experience that will set the stage toward a happy and healthy friendship between your child and your puppy.

Training Your Dog To Dig In One Spot

Gemma | November 30th, 2009
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Dogs and especially puppies love to dig. It’s simply in their nature and for many puppies it’s their favorite hobby. Young puppies are especially likely to start digging as it is a natural way of dealing with and relieving doggy stress.

Being a puppy is quite stressful even in a quiet house. There are lots of new experiences to deal with and it’s common sense that this may cause a young puppy to get stressed. Strange smells and sounds, lack of attention and many other things may cause your new dog to dig in order to release some of the pressure they may be feeling.

The good news is that there is a way for you to allow your puppy or dog to dig and release their stress without them destroying your garden or other valuable possesions.

Follow the simple instructions below to help to train your dog to only dig in an acceptable area and leave other areas alone. These instructions will train your dog not to dig and claw in areas that you don’t want him to. It creates a place for your dog where he is free to dig without worrying about upsetting you.

1. First you need to determine an acceptable area where your dog can dig or claw as much as they want to. This could be a small patch in the backyard, local park or even somewhere in your house.

2. Make it as much fun for them to dig in this area as possible. Try burying or hiding their favorite toys in this area. Now your dog can dig and have fun trying to find their toys at the same time. Try digging along with them to make it even more fun for them.

3. Each day go back to the chosen area and instruct your dog to start digging with a command such as “go dig” or “find it”. After a while your dog should associate the command with digging in the dirt. You can try burying a dog treat in the dirt but be sure to make sure they find it!

4. If you see your dog digging in another area be sure to correct them with the “NO” command. Say it firmly but don’t yell. Then guide them to the chosen digging spot. This is exactly the same routine you would use to housetrain a puppy. Eventually your dog will automatically go to their digging spot when they feel the urge to dig.

4 Tips For Dealing With A Barking Puppy

Gemma | November 26th, 2009
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Young puppies will often bark loudly and this can be quite unnerving for a new owner. Many new puppies will bark and yelp intensely when they arrive at their new home. Although this is quite natural and should be expected, if your new best friend doesn’t quiet down after a while and is driving you nuts at night these tips may help.

One of the biggest phases that a puppy will go through is the fear of being alone. And I’m not talking about being alone in the sense of you leaving the house. Some puppies will go absolutely nuts even when you only leave the room for a split second. They just can’t bear to be alone because they are used to having their mommy or littermates around non-stop.

When faced with this situation, what you do? If you run to your puppy to sooth and caress him every time he cries, then you are only feeding the behavior and creating a spoiled dog. On the other hand, if you ignore him and let him bark his brains out, the rest of the family (especially your spouse) will become very annoyed with you for letting the barking go on.

It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, we do have some tips to help you deal with your puppy barking situation:

1. Don’t Yell

The first step is to try to ignore your puppy’s barking if at all possible without yelling at him. Yelling will either scare him from wanting to come near you or will further add to his anxiety levels that and he will continue barking.

2. Use A Teaching Lead

There is a product called a “teaching lead” which will enable your puppy to be around you at all times in the house. Use these types of tools so that your puppy can be around you while he is getting used to his independence.

3. Leave & Arrive Calmly

When you leave the house, try to refrain from long and drawn out departures. Although it’s understandable to want to pet your puppy and talk sweet to her before leaving the house, it only creates more stress because she will start to associate your behavior with you leaving her side. The same advice goes when you arrive home. Avoid big and exciting welcomes after walking through the door.

4. Use A Simple Training Aid

Try using a simple training aid to get your puppy to quiet down immediately when she is barking. A water bottle that sends a quick burst of streaming spray is a perfect idea. Or you could use a small tin can filled with a few pennies in it. When you go to leave her side and she starts barking, simply throw that can in her area. It will create a startling noise while at the same time diverting her attention.

How To Combine Playtime With Obedience Training

Alan | December 15th, 2008
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Puppies are like children in many ways. They need constant care, supervision, and a lot of affection. Having both together, your kids and your dog, especially during playtime, require extra supervision and patience. The key is to teach your child how to play with the puppy and for the puppy to understand that he needs to listen to the child the same way he listens to you and the other adults in the family.

Always Use The Same Commands

It is important for your child to use the same commands that you and the rest of the family use. Doing so teaches your child to use the commands with respect toward the dog. At the same time, your puppy will realize that he needs to obey the childs commands, thus teaches both to respect one another.

It sounds like it can be quite a handful, but it is also a lot of fun. Combining training and playtime helps to create a closer bond between your child and puppy. Let them run together and then see how fast your child can command the puppy to stop and sit. The puppy needs to learn to sit and wait while your child to throw a toy for your puppy to retrieve. Your child can also train the dog how to roll over by rolling in the grass while having the puppy mimic him.

There are many other ways you can incorporate training and fun between your child and puppy.

Some helpful rules to keep in mind

1. Your dog should understand who the leader is. If he has an instinct to herd, dont let him herd your child. Doing so will make the dog think that he is in charge and will not obey your childs commands.

2. No roughhousing whatsoever. Discourage aggressive play at all times. Do not let your child drag, pull, wrestle, hit, or poke the puppy, even in a playful way. Your puppy may react differently and may jump and bite. At the same time, do not let your puppy jump on your child. A four year old German Shepherd can easily knock down a 6 year old child.

3. Teach your child to respect the puppy, and vice versa. Your child should learn how to properly treat the dog, which will then earn him the respect and leadership from your puppy.

4. Establish consistency. Puppies learn through repetition. Your child needs to understand that commands that we teach him are firm and absolute. If the puppy doesnt obey the command, the child should repeat the command until the puppy does what he is told to do.

5. No squeezing. Hugging the puppy too tight can result in injury.

6. Always be there to supervise playtime, especially if you have a young child and/or you have a new puppy. This way, you can easily intervene if things get out of hand.

3 Ways To Help Your Puppy Adjust To Your Newborn Baby

Sarah | November 15th, 2008
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Are you having a new baby soon? Congratulations! Bringing a brand new son or daughter into this world is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Your baby is going to make a life-changing addition to your house.

And when you already have a “little one” running around then you need to prepare him for the arrival of the new family member. Yes, the “little one” that I am referring to is your puppy. Many dog owners forget to take the necessary steps needed to help their puppy adjust to having someone else in the house that will get more attention than they are getting. Here are a few ways to help you prepare:

1. The most important thing that you can do is to allow your pup the opportunity to socialize with small children inside your house. While this may not be practical for some people, the idea here is to have small toddlers and children introduced into the house so that your puppy can understand that these little people are friendly and he has no reason to feel defensive or insecure.

Have your friends who have children come over and play with your dog in the house. If your puppy seems a little aggressive at first, a great way to help them adjust is to allow the children to carry dog treats in their hands so that the puppy can associate the treat to a child as being something positive. This will help relieve tension for the dog when your new baby arrives.

2. Dogs thrive on repetitive schedules. Your puppy is the same way. If you have gone through the same routine on a daily basis with your puppy as far as feeding times, exercise times, play times, etc. then you need to realize that the schedule may suddenly change when your new baby is born. This sudden shift in the daily routine can prove to be alarming to your puppy, especially with the addition of a new person in the house that is getting all the attention.

A few weeks before the baby is due, start changing up the daily routine so your puppy can get used to it. Perhaps change around his feeding times. Exercise with your puppy at different times each day. Maybe take a nap unexpectedly in the room in which your baby will be sleeping. Although doing these things may sound strange, you will understand the benefit that it has upon your puppy when your schedule is personally thrown way off guard due to taking care of the responsibilities of a new baby. This will help your puppy to not be so alarmed when you are doing different things each day.

3. Immediately stop any games that you play with your puppy which are on the aggressive side. For example, most dog owners love to play tug-of-war with their dogs, or play-wrestle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these dog games and you should continue them in the near future. However, it doesn’t take much common sense to understand that your dog may view the new baby as a toy which he wants to play these same aggressive games with. Let’s not have that happen!

Teaching Your Kids On How To Be A Responsible Dog Owner

Janet | November 8th, 2008
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As soon as your new puppy arrives at your home for the very first time, you should get started on the training process immediately. Successful puppy training can be a pleasant and rewarding experience to everyone, so long as you start early and remain consistent week after week, month after month, and yes year after year!

Prepare Ahead Of Time Before Your Puppy’s Arrival

To make the process more effective, everyone in the household should be involved in training the new member of the family, including your kids. Your childs participation with training the puppy will not only give him/her a feeling of pride and value, but it is also a great way for the child to learn about responsibilities and caring for others. In addition, involving your child in training the puppy is the fastest way for the two to build a healthy friendship together, and fast!

Ways To Involve Your Child In Training Your Puppy

Keep in mind that no matter how responsible your child may be, it is not a good idea to give her the full responsibilities of taking care of the new puppy. Even if you had adopted the puppy for her, it is still your responsibility to ensure that your pet is well cared for. However, there are lots of ways for your child to contribute.

Below are some of the things that she can do to participate in caring for your new puppy.

1. Prior to the puppys arrival, your child can help pick out puppy supplies. Before you go to the store to buy the things that your puppy needs, create a checklist at home. Take her to the store and have her read the list and help pick out the supplies. Ask for suggestions on which color or shape to pick. This first step will put her in the mindset of sharing the responsibility of taking care of the new pup.

2. Your child can also help set up the puppys new living area. Have a basket where you can store the pups toys and have your child put the toys in it. She can put the cushion inside the crate and then place the food and water dish in its appropriate area.

3. Last but not the least; your child can help in giving the new puppy lots of love and attention. This, of course, should be done under close supervision of an adult, particularly during the puppys first few days home.

Getting Your Child & New Puppy Off To A Great Start

Gemma | November 5th, 2008
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Nothing is more adorable than seeing a small child and a loving puppy playing happily together. What’s even better to know, is that psychological studies have proven that people who are fortunate enough to grow up with a dog in the family household tend to have happier childhoods.

Kids who grow up with a family dog learn respect for other creatures as well as caring for them. These kids learn empathy, sympathy, handling responsibilities. They also develop self-confidence and self-esteem by knowing they are contributing to taking care of a living creature.

You Must Help

These benefits and learning experiences between children and their pets do not occur automatically. It takes a responsible and patient adult to properly introduce the child to the new puppy and teach him/her how to properly interact with this new member of the family.

At the same time, the puppy needs to learn respect and obey the child the same way as he respects and obeys the other members of the household. This way, every member of the family can have a loving and healthy relationship.

The manner in which you approach your puppy and the experiences that you give him from his very first minute in the house will create a lasting impact throughout his entire life. From the first introduction, your child should learn the proper way to treat the puppy. Your child should realize that the puppy is a baby, and in many ways should be treated like one.

Avoiding Injuries To The Puppy & Your Child

Children around the age of 7 years and younger have the tendency to get excited when faced with new situations and experiences. This excitement may not be ideal when it comes to meeting a new puppy, or a dog of any age for that matter.

Excited behaviors such as making loud noises, chasing after the puppy, pulling at him, and other aggressive behaviors will result in the puppy getting scared.

In this situation, the puppy will more likely run away instead of letting the child pet him. A very young puppy will try to find his mom and hide under her, while a puppy around 12 weeks old will perceive these behaviors as either a threat or an aggressive play and will most likely react by nipping or jumping up.

The proper way of introducing your new pet to your child is through restraint and guidance. Your child should realize that the puppy is a baby and that your child should be gentle when handling him. To better teach your young ones how to be gentle, use a stuffed animal and teach her how to pet it properly. Practice this with your child for a few days before the puppy arrives home.

Helping A Dog To Adjust After Bringing Home A Baby

Samantha | October 31st, 2008
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I was lucky – my Beagle-mix (Chloe) adjusted to our new baby well. In fact, she would scratch at the bedroom door every time my daughter, Sophie, cried – just in case I was able to tune out the walls (not a chance!).

Chloe would also leave my warm bed to lie on the couch with us during those middle-of-the-night feedings.

However, I’m not sure Chloe would have welcomed home baby Sophie with eager licks and wags had I not taken the time during those (long) nine months of pregnancy to prepare her for our expanding family.

Here are some of the same times I used, and ones you can use as well, for helping your puppy adjust to sharing the spotlight:

Create A New Routine

Babies have a tendency to run on their own schedule, especially during the early months when they still have their days and nights mixed up. Veterinarian Karen D. Willinger, V.M.D., PhD., suggests getting your dog on a schedule near what you expect it to be when the baby arrives.

Dr. Willinger goes on to say, for example, because babies fall asleep easily in a stroller, you can plan walks with the dog around the baby’s naptimes, walking the dog while the baby sleeps in the stroller.

Positive Reinforcement Goes A Long Way

Another suggestion from the experts is to help your dog associate the baby with good things. Before the baby arrives, have another family member bring home a blanket from the hospital for your pup to sniff, which will help acclimate it to the smells of the baby (some pleasant and others not so much) that will soon fill the house. Try giving your pup its favorite toy or treat while you bathe, feed or rock the baby.

Meet & Greet

First and foremost, never leave your dog alone with the baby! Supervision is necessary for everyone’s safety not to mention peace of mind because a newborn baby’s jerky muscle reactions can trigger a dog’s prey drive (the instinct to chase and kill animals).

When the introduction day finally arrives, take it slow. Dr. Willinger suggests keeping your dog on a leash at first, allowing it to sniff the baby while you watch for signs of fear or aggression. Signs of aggression include pinned-back ears, growling, snarling, or loud, forceful barking. In contrast, a fearful dog will whimper, tremble or quiver, and tuck its tail between its legs.

With proper preparation and positive reinforcement, both of your babies can learn to happily share the stage. Remember, Dr. Willinger says, puppy and baby interaction is all about what you as the dog owner and new parent are comfortable with.

Buying From A Backyard Breeder

Peter | October 21st, 2008
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One type of breeder that offers puppies for sale is known as the backyard breeder. These people should never be confused with the small professional breeder. The backyard breeder can be considered the bad apple in the barrel.

Low-Priced Puppies, Only $50.00!

This type of headline can be found all across every newspaper and small advertising publication throughout the country, each and every day. The puppies advertised are rarely, if ever, what they seem. Even if the puppies are from purebred parents, they are not bargains for they are usually the result of indiscriminate breeding. You can never be absolutely sure of what you are getting.

A Prime Example Of The Typical Backyard Breeder Sale

Mrs. Collins had been given a Collie a few years back. Several people commented on how gorgeous the dog was and, If you ever breed her, I’ll buy one of the puppies from you. Then Mrs. Collins moved into a new neighborhood in which her neighbor also had a pet Collie. At a certain time of the year, both dogs developed a tremendous liking for one another. Dollar signs began to register in the minds of both owners.

Approximately 2 months later, nine puppies had been born. Once the initial cuteness of the adoring newborns had worn off, Mrs. Collins discovered that she, and she alone, would have to bear the full brunt of this litter. She never factored in the high costs involved in puppy shots, food, worming medications and other veterinarian fees. Now after about 8 weeks, all of the puppies are weaned from the mother and Mrs. Collins is stuck feeding the entire group.

All of the I can’t wait to buy a puppy from you friends have conveniently disappeared. Then one day Mrs. Collins discovers that she is only allowed a specific number of dogs on the property, as outlined in the apartment rules. Now she is faced with a fact: these purebred Collies must now be dumped!

Full of worms, and not inoculated against anything, Mrs. Collins is faced with three choices. She can dump them off on some unsuspecting pet shop, take them to the animal shelter, or place an ad in the local paper and try to recoup some of her money.

So, this litter of Collie puppies end up in the Sunday newspaper. No one will know until it’s too late that the puppies will have terrible temperaments. Nobody checked the pedigrees (if in fact there had been any to begin with) to find out exactly what was behind the two Collies who had been mated.

I am using the term mated instead of bred because true breeding is a science that takes time, skill, and devotion to creating the healthiest puppies possible. Backyard breeders like Mrs. Collins have no clue as to what it takes to create a real purebred puppy. So beware of buying cheap pets from your local newspaper.

Consequently, if you are disgruntled over the high prices that professional breeders are asking for their puppies, remember that breeding and raising good dogs is not a cheap investment. Puppies must be given the best food available, including vitamins and mineral supplements. Veterinary fees are not cheap. The professional breeder knows all of these things. And all of these reasons are why buying a good puppy from a professional breeder is worth every dollar you spend.