Puppies I Love Puppies

getting over the cuteness and learning to deal

You may consider yourself a pro with dog training, feeding, and health, but even the best dog expert can be brought to tears from a special group of canines... puppies. These tornadoes in adorable, sweet, kissable, fuzzy little packages can take a happy, clean home and turn it into a house of horrors to rival the best carnival's. From their tiny little knives of teeth to their complete lack of comprehension of the word "No," puppies are trouble. Yet one look into that open, innocent little face and those big, loving eyes that consider you a god and you're hooked. It's an addiction, but there's really no cure besides a good education in all things puppy-related. So put on that thinking cap, because you'll need it when they get you in their furry clutches. and then breathe on you with that puppy breath.

How should I choose a puppy? The first step, obviously, is choosing the right breed for you, your family, and your environment. You may want to visit the pound or rescue shelters to look for mixed-breed pups who have been brought in off the street - mixed-breed dogs can make some of the most intelligent and well-behaved pets you'll ever find. If you decide to go with a purebred, you need to figure out which breed will work best for you. This is a common sense decision, but it should be backed by a fair amount of research. Don't get a high-energy puppy if you're living in an apartment and know you won't take it for more than three walks a day. How do you know which breeds are high energy? Get to the library! Get online! Go to the bookstore!

Talk to people! There are a vast number of ways you can do the research to figure out which breed is best for you, just don't go into puppy ownership without doing that research.

There's nothing cuter than a litter of puppies, but you can learn a lot about which pup will best fit your needs simply by how they interact with one another.

Fun fact: The most popular name for new dogs is Max.

Once you've done that (seriously, do it), your next step is to choose whether to go through a breeder or a local rescue group who can help you find homeless or rescued puppies of the breed you want. The second option often has a much longer waiting period, but you'll be helping an at-risk little munchkin who needs some love. If you'd rather have a shorter turnaround time for your pup, you have another round of research on your hands. Quit groaning! Do you want a healthy puppy or not? To find a good breeder, do a quick search for groups of enthusiasts or owners of the breed you'd like. If you find a few, you should be able to contact them and get a list of preferred breeders or kennels in your area. These breeders are usually very meticulous about making sure none of their dogs carry the negative traits, disorders, or diseases associated with the breed, which means your puppy stands a much better chance of being healthy throughout life. While their prices may run slightly higher than other breeders, the extra cost is worthwhile. Would you rather your puppy were in the care of someone who had only birthed and cared for one other litter, or someone who has been breeding for decades?

After you've selected both a breed and breeder, you'll have the fun of visiting the litter and deciding which pup will come home with you. You probably don't want the most rambunctious one in the litter, but you also don't want a dog who is too submissive and has trouble socializing with other dogs. How can you tell which is which? A quick and easy test is to pick up each puppy individually and cradle them in your arms like a baby. The pup that squirms the most is the dominant (or alpha) puppy in the litter. Cross him or her off the list. Likewise, cross off the pup who allows you to hold him in that position without any struggle at all - he is the most submissive puppy in the pack. While submissiveness may seem like a positive trait in a dog, it actually ends up resurfacing in many negative behaviors and can prove an even greater detriment than dominance.

If at all possible, take each puppy away from the litter into a quieter, secluded spot and interact with them on an individual basis. This will give you the best feel for each of their personalities and provide you with more information to make your decision. In addition, this will give you the opportunity to more closely inspect the pups and make sure they look, sound, and feel healthy before you take one home. Pay close attention to the following aspects: • Eyes: They should be bright and clear with no weepy discharge from the corners



A good breeder begins socializing puppies when they're born in order to get them accustomed to human contact as well as all of the normal sounds surrounding humans - vacuums, telephones, cars, etc. Because a breeder has the puppy for at least six weeks after birth, he or she will continually introduce the puppy to newer and more complex experience to get the puppy ready for your home and

Quick tip: Be wary of any breeder who says he or she treats puppies of breeds like Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Pit bulls differently so that they may be later used as guard dogs. Puppies should be treated similarly regardless of breed - purpose-specific training should never occur before a puppy reaches two months.

• Ears: Floppy-eared puppies should still have very clean, shiny inner ear areas. There should be no excess wax or black material in the ear.

• Nose: Ideally, it should be cool and wet to the touch. If the pup has just gotten up from a nap, his nose may be dry. If you notice no other signs of illness but the dry nose and he interacts well with you, you're probably safe.

• Coat: His fur should be silky, shiny, and well-maintained. No puppy available from a breeder should have a matted or tangled coat - this would indicate lack of proper care on the breeder's behalf and you should be very cautious.

Once you've made your selection, schedule a pick-up date with the breeder. In the meantime, ask for the puppy's shot records and any other health treatment he's been given, then take the information to your vet so they can begin assembling a chart for your new family member. You should try to take the puppy to your veterinarian as soon as possible after bringing him home. A general check-up and exam can help detect any illness and, if necessary, can give you enough time to return the

What should my puppy eat?

What he should eat and what he will eat are two very different topics, but you can do your best to try and regulate it. If you're getting a puppy from a breeder, he's probably between six and eight weeks old. This means that the breeder has done the hard work in getting your pup through breastfeeding as well as weaning him from milk and starting him on more grown-up food. Be certain to ask whoever has been caring for your puppy, whether a breeder or a shelter, what type of food he or she has been giving the puppy. If possible, try to stick to the same brand and type. For the first week or two, you can also stick to the same feeding schedule and amount to keep the disruption in your puppy's life at a minimum.

Some new owners think the best approach to feeding a puppy is the open salad bar approach, in which the owner leaves a constantly full bowl of food on the floor and the pup is allowed


Puppies should never be vaccinated before eight weeks of age. While your breeder may deworm the pups and treat them for other possible conditions, no vaccines should be administered before you pick them up.

or conditions you may not have detected puppy to the breeder.

Quick tip: Try to find a puppy kindergarten class in your area as soon as possible after adopting your new baby. These classes are not only great for training, they create a bond between you and your puppy and can help your pup get used to other people and dogs.

to eat as much as he wants whenever he wants. There are two problems with this. First, it teaches your puppy that if he cleans out a bowl, you'll jump to refill it. In other words, you're at his beck and call. Second, remember the obesity section? Dogs eat to survive, so your puppy will gorge himself on that bowl of food like there's no tomorrow. His food intake should be strictly controlled through regular feedings, and puppy tummies are too small to handle all of their food at once. Try splitting his feedings into at least two sessions daily. If you notice that he's easily eating the whole bowl and still seeming hungry, increase his food by a small amount (preferably H cup) each day until you get to what you feel is a good quantity.

You really can't beat dry puppy food for the best overall health benefits. Not only does it provide all of the nutrients your baby needs to build bones, muscle, and a healthy body, its crunchy texture is perfect for cleaning his teeth. If you already have an older dog in the house, you may be tempted to just feed your puppy smaller portions of regular dog food. Don't. Puppy food is specially formulated for growing bodies and gives your new family member the best start possible.

He ate my $10,000 sofa! What am I supposed to do with this dog?

Right now, nothing. You're too emotionally charged to correctly handle the situation. Step away for 10

There, are you feeling better? Okay, first question: why would you ever consider leaving your puppy alone with a $10,000 sofa? Or even a $2,000 sofa? Puppies chew. It's their job. They use their mouths for exploration, they have new teeth growing in, and they chew. In all likelihood, you left the house for a few hours and your pup got bored. To avoid future situations like this, find some suitable toys to distract and entertain him while you're

The chair's in tact now, but just wait until you turn around... Learning to deal with your puppy's penchant for destruction will help his overall health and wellbeing as well as your own stress level.

minutes, then come back.

Quick tip: Many training schools now offer in-home training or "doggie camps." During the first, your trainer will help you and your puppy figure out what's happening to cause specific problems (like furniture eating). The second is a kind of sleepaway camp for your puppy - he'll undergo intensive training for 10 days, then you'll attend and learn how to keep up the training for the last few days before graduation.

gone. Even better, start crate training your puppy. If he's chewing, he probably also has some housetraining problems. Both can be alleviated a bit by crate training.

Okay, Einstein, how am I supposed to crate train a puppy? He just screams every time I put him in there.

He's used to seeing you non-stop and having full access to your home and all of your belongings. Now you're putting him in a cage and leaving the house. Of course he's screaming! One of the most important elements of crate training is making sure your puppy feels safe and happy in his crate. It should be his home-inside-home, a special place just for him, but also a place that doesn't cut him off from you. To help him make the adjustment to his new "den," you can give him a few reminders of you.

Find a pad that fits the bottom of the crate and that will cushion him and give him a nice place to sleep during the day. Now for the weird part. Place the pad in between your sheets while making your bed in the morning. If you can handle it, sleep with the crate pad in your bed. When a week has passed, the pad should have absorbed enough of your specific odor that it'll remind your puppy of you even when you're not around. Place it in the bottom of his crate, along with some carefully selected toys (we'll get to those). To help him realize that the crate is a positive place, offer him a treat once he's inside and praise him lavishly. Don't worry if he doesn't eat the treat right away - he'll probably eat it later, and the important part is that he's making the connection that the crate is a good, safe place.

. Have your puppy stay in the crate for 15 minutes each night while you're home and visible. The next week, increase it to 30 minutes while you're in another room. Continue increasing it incrementally, each time praising him when he both goes into the crate and when he comes back out. If you work full-time and need an immediate solution to puppy woes, you can try using the crate during the day, but never leave him in the crate for longer than four hours at a time or eight hours total in one day. Crates can also help facilitate housetraining, so keep reading.

Crate training

Crate training is full of challenges and issues, but it's much easier to start when your dog is little than after he's learned 3 years of bad habits.

If you decide to encourage your dog to sleep in the crate, be prepared for a few nights of crying... but don't give in. Stick with it and you'll have a well-trained dog for life.

Crate train in short spurts at first

Quick tip: This is a great time to use music. If your puppy has some soothing background sounds, he'll be less stressed about his crate time. If you don't have any CDs handy, flip on the TV so he can be comforted by the sound of human voices.

You said you were going to talk about toys. What about them?

Dogs love to play. Puppies love to play even more than their full-grown relatives, and you'll soon notice that a puppy can turn a tiny shred of paper on the ground into a full-blown adventure. Even so, your pup should have some carefully selected toys in his crate and available to him at any time.

First rule: don't get too many toys. Puppies can go into a form of information overload if they have a herd of toys at their disposal. Not only will they not have the time to learn the skills each can teach them, they'll learn that anything on the floor is theirs. You leave your shoes and clothing on the floor, don't you? See, you'll want to prevent that. Second rule: don't use old shoes or other clothing as dog toys. Think about that. You don't want your pup chewing up your shoes, yet you give him an old shoe for play time. It's a little confusing. Third rule: no tug of war. Dogs love this game, but they love it for all the wrong reasons when it comes to relating with their masters. If your puppy wins tug of war (whether you let him or not), it teaches him that he can defeat you and is therefore the dominant dog in the pact. Fourth rule: check toys for small or moving parts like bells and music chips. What if your pup gets really bored and decides to dissect his toy while you're gone? Those bells are the perfect size to be swallowed and stuck in his throat.

Toys and crates

Toys can help a great deal in crate training as long as you use the right kind. No rawhide (the little bits can get lodged in his throat and choke him)! For the best option, find a hard rubber toy that can be filled -there are several varieties - and stuff it full of peanut butter or spray cheese. Not only does your pooch get a fun toy, he'll spend hours licking the treat inside without a second of boredom!

Just like babies, puppies love toys that stimulate several of their senses. Try to find toys with rough, durable exteriors that also have noisemakers and fun textures. Having a decent variety of toys that can be constantly rotated - only keeping two or three out and available to your pup at a time - can help your puppy learn and expand his mind. Because they keep your pooch entertained, they're an important part of crate training. Make sure your puppy has at least one toy in the crate with him regardless of Fun fact: 94% of &

dog owners say that the length of time he'll be crated. their dog makes them smile at least This encourages him to entertain once a day.

himself and not act out in boredom.

Toys like this one - with bright colors, easy to grip surfaces, and fun textures -paired with proper playtime techniques can help your puppy's sense of discipline and mental capacity.

So what about housetraining? I've been trying for weeks, but it doesn't seem to be getting through. Housetraining, like many other responsibilities of dog ownership, is a matter of common sense. If you think logically about the situation, you can probably figure out on your own what's best for your puppy. But we'll give you a head start to save you some time.

Many people start their puppies off on newspapers since it's the time-honored way of training a dog. Unfortunately, it's not the best way. Let's think about this - every time the dog starts to go to the bathroom indoors, you carry him to an area of spread-out newspapers and encourage him to go there. You even go so far as to praise him for using the area. What are you teaching him? In his mind, the praise and encouragement means that he should be using newspapers for his needs. Now, unless you don't mind having your Sunday paper stained in more ways than one every weekend, there are a few better ways you can go about this.

The primary focus in housetraining should be timing. Your puppy will need to relieve himself at very specific times throughout the day, including when he first wakes up, 30 minutes after drinking water, 60 minutes after a meal, and before bed. For ultimate accident avoidance, make sure he's getting outside at four-hour intervals. This should help you naturally catch the times at which he's ready to eliminate, which means that you get more opportunities to praise him for doing things properly than you will to discipline him for accidents. Once you're outside, consistently take him to the same spot and wait for him to do his thing (housetraining involves a lot of waiting). Every time you arrive at the spot, use a special key word or phrase, like "Do your business," "Out," or one of your choosing. Say the word or phrase emphatically and in an upbeat voice. Hold your ground... literally. Your puppy will want to explore his surroundings, watch the butterfly flitting by, cock his head at the birds, basically anything but what you want him to do. Be patient. Continue using the phrase at 30-second intervals. When he finally gets bored with the activities around him, he'll get to work. As he eliminates, continue using the


There are many reasons a dog may urinate inside besides not being properly trained.

• Urinary tract infection: Check the urine for an odd color and call the vet if you think this may be to blame.

Pet store/puppy mill puppies: Here's hoping you didn't purchase your pup from one of these sources, but if you did - or if you adopted the dog from someone who did - then your pooch doesn't have the same "won't pee in my own bed" instinct as other dogs.

• Submissiveness: Your dog sees you as the king or queen of his life... letting go of his bladder is his way of showing you that.

Either of the second two conditions will mean that you'll need to have some in-depth conversations with a trainer.

Quick tip: Puppy papers, available from your pet store, are popular with some pet owners. Unfortunately, they have a similar effect as training your pup on newspaper and can just stretch the training period out even further.

phrase, but be even more positive about it. Praise him, pet him, and generally celebrate the event. Then do it all over again in four hours.

Sound like fun? Didn't think so. For extra help, try crate training. Once your puppy is accustomed to the crate, he can stay in it for four hour periods. Take him out immediately after letting him out of the crate. Because he won't soil his sleeping spot, your regulation of his time will become much more manageable very quickly.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

This is for people who want to potty train their dog NOW. Discover The Ability To Finally Potty Train Your Dog In No Time! I'm going to get right down to it... If you've found this page, either you or someone you know has a puppy that needs to be potty trained. Maybe you've tried a ton of various methods you've read about but have had no success. How can some people potty train their puppy with hardly any effort?

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment