I. Puppy’s First Year
In the early days of his life, your puppy’s whole world consisted of his dam’s quiet, nurturing warmth and the close comfort of his litter mates. As his eyes opened and his hearing developed at 2 - 3 weeks, his world and his experience began to broaden - he learned to get his tiny legs under him, and he began to wrestle with his brothers and sisters.
Bit by bit, play and other interaction with his dam and siblings helped him learn important lessons about how to behave with others (as in “Hey, let go of my ear!”) We as his breeder were sure to provide loving human interaction as well. Staying with his breeder and his family group and continuing to learn from them for his first 8 weeks was crucial in helping your puppy develop a healthy, secure personality.
Now it’s up to you to give him the care he requires every day. There’s a lot involved - he needs nutritious food, plenty of attention, gently training, safe toys, a comfortable home, and proper veterinary care. He’ll give boundless love in return. This important first year of his life is a fun and exciting time for both of you!!! As he grows physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too. Understanding your puppy’s needs in the weeks and months ahead will help you give him the right start as your heathy, happy companion for life.
Stock Up!!! – Here are some basics you’ll need for your new puppy.
*Treats for Training
* Crate (to be replaced by a bigger one as he grows)
* Puppy Housetraining pads
* Bedding (at least 2 sets)
* Dog Gate(s)
* Soft, adjustable collar (and new ones as he grows)
* At least one 4 - 6 foot leash, leather or webbing (an additional longer lead useful for training)
* At least 5 - 6 safe chew toys (the more the better=–toys can be rotated)
* A soft-bristle brush
* Brush and sturdy metal combs
* Gentle Puppy Shampoo
* Good- quality dog nail trimmers
SPAYING and NEUTERING
The Pet Population Problem... Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and puppies are needlessly destroyed. The good news is that every pet owner can make a difference. By having your dog surgically sterilized, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and you will enhance your pet's health and quality of life.
What is surgical altering? During surgical altering, a veterinarian removes certain reproductive organs. If your dog is female, the veterinarian will usually remove her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. The medical name for this operation is an ovariohysterectomy, although it is commonly called "spaying". If your dog is male, the testicles are removed and the operation is called an orchlectomy, commonly referred to as castration, or simply, "neutering".
Benefits of Spaying and Neutering are GREAT!! Female dogs experience a "heat" cycle approximately every 6 months, depending upon the dog. A female dog's heat cycle can last as long as 21 days, during which your dog will leave blood stains in the house and may become anxious, short-tempered, and actively seek a male. Spaying eliminates their heat cycles and generally reduces the negative behaviors that may lead to owner frustration and, ultimately, a decision to relinquish the pet to a shelter. Most importantly, early spaying of female dogs helps protect them from serious health problems later in life, such as uterine infections and breast cancer. Male dogs are capable of breeding at 6 - 9 months of age. Unaltered male dogs are likely to begin "marking" their territories by spraying a strong-smelling urine on your furniture, curtains, and in virtually any part of the hosue. Also, given the slightest chance, males may attempt to escape from the home in search of a mate. Dogs seeking a female in heat can become aggressive and may injure themselves and people by engaging in fights. Neutering male dogs reduces the need to breed and can have a calming effect that makes them less inclined to roam and more content to stay at home. Neutering your male pet also improves his health by reducing the rish of prostate disease, testicular cancer, and infections.
What is the Best Age to Spay or Neuter? Your dog can be surgically altered at almost any age. We recommend having it done prior to age 6 months. Both operations lead to improved long-term health, prevents unwanted litters, and eliminates bad behavior problems associated with the mating instinct. One female dog and her offspring can produce an extremely large number of dogs within a relatively short time span. Don't let this begin with you!!!
Will the surgery affect my pet's disposition or metabolism? The procedure has no effect on a pet's intelligence or ability to learn, play, work, or hunt. Most pets tend to be better behaved following the operation, making them more desireable companions. Contrary to popular belief, the surgery will not make your pet fat. A balanced diet and exercise will keep your pet from experienceing the health risks associated with obesity. Please feel free to ask your veterinarian to advise you on the best diet and exercise plan for your dog for each state of its life. Contrary to what some people believe, getting pregnant -- even once -- does not improve the behavior of female dogs. In fact, the mating instinct may lead to undesireable behaviors and result in undue stress on both the owner and the animal. Also, while some pet owners may have good intentions, few are prepared for the work and mess involved in monitoring their pet's pregnancy, caring for newborns and locating good homes for all the offspring.
II. Housebreaking & Crate Training
Housebreaking your new puppy need not break you. With patience, diligence, and a calm, authoritative manner, you can teach your dog exactly where he should eliminate and where he should not.
Here’s a Play-by-Play of how to housebreak your puppy:
1) The key to success is simple: Timing is everything
2) Take your puppy outside (or to the place you wish for him to eliminate) immediately after eating, playing, or napping (approximately every 2 hours) Keeping this rigi schedule will prevent him from making mistakes in the house.
3) Some trainers recommend giving your dog a command like “Potty time!” or “Go to the bathroom!” at the moment your pup is correctly doing his business. Eventually, whenever you say that phrase, the dog will eliminate on cue.
4) Much like a little boy who dances up and down when he has to go to the bathroom, a puppy’s behavior will let you know that he needs to go, too. If he whines, paces, or runs in a circle, grab the leash and get out the door (or get your puppy to the area of elimination).
5) Mistakes happen. If you catch your puppy eliminating in the house – and he will – correct him with a firm, gentle “no” Take him for a walk and praise him lavishly when he does his business where he should.
* Always feed and water your puppy at the same time every day. If he eats at regular intervals, he will relive himself at regular intervals, too.
* Even if you’re in a hurry, don’t bring the puppy back inside as soon as he does hi business. If you do, he will learn that once he eliminates, the fun walk is over and he’ll start to “hold it” for longer periods.
* If you find that your dog eliminates in the house when you weren’t looking, and he has a remorseful, sad expression, do not punish him. Only punish and reward your pup for the bad and the good acts he performs while you are watching.
An Embarrassment Incident:
Some dogs, no matter how well housebroken, suffer from what is called, “submissive urination”. This embarrassing problem, for man and beast, usually occurs when the “pack leader” of the household comes home, and the dog, so happy to see him or her, pees a bit on the floor.
When confronted with the bewildering behavior it’s important for owners to realize that the dog hasn’t forgotten his hard-learned housebreaking lessons. Owners should not be angry or chastise their dog. This only ensures that the dog will try even harder to appease them, and as pee is the only gift the pup has to give, the problem continues.
So what do you do? No admonishments, no yelling, no finger-pointing. Instead, when you enter the house, ignore the dog for a few minutes, giving the pup some time to cool his jets and greet you in a more “appropriate” way.
Steady as She Goes:
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and every puppy moves at his own pace when learing proper bathroom habits. Some figure out housebreaking in one day, others take months. You can make the training go smoothly with consistency, allowing for frequent trips outside (or to you place of elimination) with plenty of praise); providing every meal regularly (at the same time each day) and always using a confident, authoritative, calm voice with your puppy.
Housebreaking Shopping List:
* A leash
* Newspaper or puppy housetraining pads
* Odor eliminating products
* Training treats (keep them tiny and bite-sized)
* Vinyl shower curtain
FACT: Accidents are inevitable with a pup. Patience and consistency will pay off
Keep this number in mind: 15 minutes after your puppy eats or plays vigorously, he will need to eliminate. As he gets older, he will be able to wait longer. An adult dog elimiantes 3 - 4 times a day and will learn to hold it - within reason.
Housebreaking & Crate Training:
What is Paper-training?
City residents who do not have easy access to outdoors or a backyard will have to paper train their puppy inside the home. (This also applies for weather conditions not suitable for tiny toy puppies to train outside)
1) Choose an enclosed area in the kitchen or bathroom (anything with a floor that is easy to clean) and cover the entire floor first with a vinyl shower curtain and then with newspaper or puppy housetraining pads.
2) When the puppy eliminates, replace the dirty paper or pads with clean paper or pads.
3) In a few days, take away some of the paper or pads and leave part of the floor bare. If he eliminates on the bare floor in front of you, correct him gently, and put him on the paper and praise him.
4) Gradually remove more and more paper until you have just a small spot for elimination. Then, as he learns to hold it longer, take him outside three or four times a day to conclude his housetraining.
City Dwellers Take Note:
City slickers should take extra care when housebreaking a dog. Lead him to a variety of surfaces, like slim stretches of grass, concrete, or gravel, so he is accustomed to relieving himself there. Also, coax your dog to the curb, or at least, the edge of the sidewalk. And always remember to pick up and dispose of his waste. In many cities, you’ll be fined if you don’t clean up after your dog.
What You Should Do:
* Crating your dog several times a day is an excellent way to housebreak him. This is because dogs will try not to soil their “home”.
* Line the crate with blankets to make it cozy. You can also cover the top of it with a blanket or purchase specially made crate covers and mat sets to further mimic the “den” atmosphere
* Use the crate for naps, nighttime slumber, and quiet-time breaks for the puppy to “unwind” from family chaos.
* Buy a well-ventilated create, one large enough for him to stand up, lie down, and turn around. If the pup has a lot of growing ahead of him, use a larger crate, but section off half of it with a divider.
* Every time you take the puppy out of the crate, take him for a walk so he can eliminate – or to the place of elimination.
* Never leave a puppy in his crate all day; he needs several bathroom breaks and play and feeding times. Even though he won’t want to soil his sleeping area, if he is in there for extremely long stretches, he just might (He can’t help it) And if he does, it is because his new owner has neglected his responsibility, not because the dog has misbehaved.
* Never use the crate as punishment, it should always be a haven for your pup, not a jail cell.
TIP: Clean up your puppy’s mistakes with white vinegar or special cleaning products to get rid of the smell. That way the puppy won’t return to the same spot to eliminate.
FACT! Dogs like crates since they mimic the close quarters of a wolf’s dent, so never think that crating your dog is cruel or unusual. It is what the pros do. Here’s how crate training simplifies housebreaking, and gives the puppy much needed room of his own.
CRATE TRAINING SHOPPING LIST:
A mat sized to fit the crate
A crate cover
A divider for the crate, if needed
LIFE WITH DOGS:
How to Raise a Happy, Friendly, Confident Puppy
A well-socialized and secure puppy is a happy puppy. This means helping him early on to feel that the world is a fun and safe place to be - whether encountering other dogs, children, or strangers on the street – perhaps other household pets. Ideally, your pup will be content in any setting, and even when you’re not home. Give him plenty of stimulation, socialization, and encouragement or you will risk problems such as aggressive or fearful behavior, excessive barking, and separation anxiety.
The period between about 4 weeks and 4 months of age is a crucial time for socialization.
** Chewing, barking, whimpering, jumping on people – and of course, being endlessly curious about everything – are normal (though not necessarily desirable) puppy behaviors.
**Remember that when it comes to puppies, “out of sight” usually means “into trouble”. Pay attention to what your puppy is doing and how he interacts with his environment. Keep things positive, interesting and stimulating (Extended periods of boredom can lead to problems)
**Puppies use their mouths to explore their environments. This can mean playing rough with other puppies, which is often fine. (Dogs tend to let each other know when they’ve had enough). Still, monitor your puppy to ensure he isn’t becoming aggressive or bullying. And see that he has enough toys of his own to keep him busy, so he doesn’t get into your things.
**Kids are often scared and overexcited around dogs. Help them to encounter yours in a gentle way that gives both child and dog a happy experience. A puppy’s early experiences with children are formative and therefore most be handled with patience and care.
**Puppies exposed to many people, dogs, places, sounds, and situations (in fact, as many as possible) gain confidence, happiness, and trust. They should meet people in your home and in unfamiliar places as well. Let the encounters be diverse: tall people, short people, women pushing strollers, teenagers with backpacks, people in wheelchairs, people wearing hats or carrying umbrellas, and so on
** Your dog takes his cues from you. When introducing him to a new person or place, or when encountering loud sounds such as sirens, you should be calm and confident, and address the pup in a soothing, authoritative voice. This will reassure him that all is well and help him build confidence as he matures.
**Your puppy’s socialization is a lifelong commitment. Lay a solid foundation, and maintain it throughout his life. Let him meet and greet people and continue sharing experiences and discoveries with you. Your happy, friendly puppy will be grateful, and you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished.