Posts Tagged ‘Puppy’

How To Stop Your Puppy Chewing & Nipping

Janet | November 27th, 2009
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Everyone loves puppies when they are being cute and well behaved. But sometimes they act out in bad ways and aren’t so well behaved.

In order to to keep your house a safe and peaceful place your puppy has to learn how to properly behave in the human world. It is your job as their owner to show them how to act and what is acceptable behaviour.

Given a little time and effort even the most difficult puppy can be trained to stop chewing and nipping. It’s just a matter of getting the right technique and repeating it successfully until your puppy learns how they should behave.

How Can I Stop Nipping?

Nipping is quite natural for puppies during their playtime. Puppies will often nip when they get excited and you may be tempted to let it go but shouldn’t. Nipping is a really bad habbit that needs to be stopped right away. If you allow your puppy to nipp at your skin you are setting them up for problems later in life. If your puppy thinks it’s okay to nip at human skin they may end up biting someone in the future.

The trick with nipping is to divert your puppies attention elsewhere. When your puppy starts nipping try to get their attention onto a soft chewable toy instead of your hands. It helps to have toys that are easily chewable and attractive from a dogs point of view.

Experiment with different chewable toys to find one your pup really likes. There are many colorful and soft chewy toys available in pet stores. There are even chew toys with treats inside which will reward your pup for chewing the toy instead of your hand! Your pets favorite chew toy may even turn out to be an old sock or other household item. Just be sure that it’s safe for the puppy to chew and that they like chewing it.

When Can I Train My Puppy?

Puppies can start learning very early. You can start to train the average puppy as young as 8 weeks. If you are consistant in your behaviour this will send a clear message to your puppy. If your puppy bites you during play say “no” in a firm voice without shouting and back away from them. If they start to bite again, simply move away from them and go to a different room of the house, closing the door behind you.

You shouldn’t leave your puppy alone for longer than a minute. This will be long enough for them to get the message. Leaving them alone for a brief moment teaches them that if they bite you then the attention stops. Some puppies may reduce the strength of their nipping but not stop altogether. If this happens then continue to say “no” and move away. Eventually they will learn to associate nipping with you a lack of attention. They know if they nip and bite that your attention will switch off.

What About Chewing?

Chewing is another habbit that can cause problems especially with puppies. Puppies seem to have an unstoppable urge to chew just about anything they can get their paws on. When a puppy is teething they chew to soothe their aching gums and it’s something they should be allowed to do.

However, what you allow them to chew is really up to you. Once again it’s a matter of redirecting their attention onto a favorite chewy toy instead of your shoes, chair legs or other household items.

Make sure that your puppy has a good selection of chewy toys to chew on. Get them used to chewing on these toys from an early age. It’s really important to place all these toys within a confined area with your puppy. If your puppy is allowed to roam the house they will probably go from one object to another and this includes your shoes!

Try to develop a small and secure area where your puppy can move about in but where they can’t access the things you don’t want them to chew. Fill this area with all their chewy toys so their attention is focused on only their toys.

Whenever you see them chewing on something they’re not supposed to say “no” in a firm voice and replace the item with a chewy toy. Instead of trying to grab the item out of your puppy’s mouth and ending up in a tug of war, simply play with their chewy toy and give it all your attention. In that way they should lose interest and drop your shoe or other item in favor of getting the chewy toy which you are playing with!

Problem Dogs Are Created

Gemma | November 25th, 2009
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Your dogs personality is largely created between the age of 2-4 months. During this time the environment in which your puppy lives is really important and needs to be closely monitored. An eight week old puppy arrives into their new home and has a completely blank chalkboard.

Whatever is written on that chalkboard will determine the personality and character of the puppy. Unfortunately, it is purely a lack of knowledge on the part of the dog owner that is responsible for what later turns out to be a “problem dog”.

Dogs are not born problem dogs. They are either allowed to become that way, or are made that way as a result of the puppy’s environment. The responsibility rests solely and squarely upon the shoulders of the person who owns the dog.

Most obedience classes will not accept a puppy for training unless it is six months or older. This is quite understandable since most trainers know that the average dog owner just doesn’t have the necessary patience to cope with puppy training.

It is unfortunate, however, that by the time a dog reaches six months of age, he has already become a “problem dog”.  Obedience training may or may not help. In too many cases, it does not – not by that age.

Just last month a local standard Schnauzer was put to sleep upon the request of the owners. Every member of the family had been the recipient of at least one serious bite from the dog. The dog was only eight months old – still a puppy as far as dog trainers’ are concerned.

The first bite occurred when the puppy was just 12 weeks of age, its final bite at eight months of age. In between, the bites became progressively worse, yet not one single member of the family could bring themselves to properly discipline the dog. They “loved” their dog too much and thought it would be too mean to discipline the animal.

Mistaken kindness can be a bitter and unneeded cruelty. One must remember that when a dog is placed in a dog catcher’s truck and taken to the pound to be murdered, the blood is on the soul of the dog owner, who thought so little of his pet that he failed to demand respect, and therefore keep his pet under control.

It’s Only Natural…

The natural instinct of the canine is to try to assume dominance within the pack. The pack in this case is you and your family. The fact that he will test you periodically and try to assume control does not mean that he doesn’t love you.

Neither does it mean that he doesn’t respect you. However, if you are permissive and weak, thus allowing him to achieve dominance, his love and respect for you will quickly wane. You then become inferior in his eyes and are destined to be “owned” by your dog.

The Small Professional Breeder – Part 2

Alan | October 18th, 2008
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Shopping for a new puppy through a small professional breeder is one of the best choices you could make. These breeders offer much more personal help with questions and interests than larger breeder organizations do, and with more respected care for their puppies than you could possibly imagine.

However, as mentioned previously, small breeders are absolutely meticulous with choosing the right family for their pups. Do you have any children? If so, how many do you have and what are the ages? are example questions you will be asked. And these questions are important to the devoted breeder, as in many instances, very young children are unintentionally cruel to small puppies.

The small professional breeder will also want to make sure that the children, no matter what ages, will not be solely responsible for the puppy’s welfare. Youngsters’ interests wane quickly. As great as their intentions, basketball practice or a new boyfriend can readily replace the constant attention first given to the family’s new puppy.

Do you work? Who is at home during the day? These should be self-explanatory. No puppy should be left alone all day to fend for itself. It certainly cannot be expected to housetrain itself, or teach itself the necessary do’s and don’ts of family membership.

How many dogs have you previously owned? This is the clincher. If you have owned quite a few, be prepared to explain what’s become of them. If, for one reason or another, they have disappeared in rapid succession, it isn’t too much for the breeder to expect that his puppy will join their ranks and turn you down as a customer.

What Difference Does It Make? What Business Is It To The Breeder?

The answer is: PLENTY! If he was on his hands and knees helping his female give birth to the litter, helping her rub life into their little bodies, up nights feeding them with an eye dropper to make certain each pup got its fair share of food then yes, the small breeder will make it his business to make sure that the life he helped into this world is destined for a good home!

The small professional breeder is seldom in the breeding business to make money. They may make money boarding, they may make money with grooming, or even handling dogs in the show ring, but they know there’s no profit in raising two or three litters each year. They firmly believe that the litters they raise are absolutely the best specimens of their favored breed.

You Are Getting The Best Of The Best

By careful and selective breeding, these small breeders have attempted to eliminate any and all known faults, and to improve certain characteristics of the breed. Truly, theirs is a labor of love. You may have to pay a lot more for the puppy you select, but trust me when I say this; the small professional breeder has invested more time, love, and attention in the puppy then what he is being paid for, guaranteed!

One Last Note About Small Professional Breeders

Some small breeders do not like doing business at a distance. Do not be disappointed if you hear: Oh I’m sorry, we do not ship puppies but if you’d like to come and see us, we’ll be very happy to meet you.

In essence, these breeders know that puppies are trusting little bundles of love and they feel that it is their responsibility to do everything in their power to guarantee the most loving and permanent home possible.