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Issue #6, January 2005

 

Our article this month is going to cover general puppy care with tips and advice on caring for a new puppy. With the holidays, puppies and kittens are some of the most popular gifts given today thus this article to give you a good start on caring for your new pet.

The first and most important step in caring for a new pet is to take it to the veterinarian to get a check-up to insure there are no health risks or problems that can lead to heartbreaking results later in life. Your vet will explain any health problems and treatments if anything is found. Most reputable breeders will have health guarantees if anything is found so that you may be refunded or offered a healthy replacement puppy if you choose not to keep a puppy with health risks,

 

During your visit your vet will cover a variety of care issues such as vaccinations, de-worming, heartworm and flea and tick prevention. There are many products available at various costs. Consider all the options so you can chose the right product for you and your puppy. This makes it easier to follow through to keep your pet healthy. Other issues that you may discuss are food choices, treats and any other health issues you may have. Diet and exercise is very important in keeping your puppy healthy and happy. Be sure to take this time to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have.

Puppy Training

Your puppy explores his world with his mouth, mainly by chewing on everything or everyone. He needs to be trained on the difference of appropriate and inappropriate chewing. To begin, follow these steps when he begins chewing on an inappropriate object:

       Remove the inappropriate object

       Replace with an appropriate object

Examples of appropriate objects are toys that do not cause damage to teeth include:

       Guma Bones

       Nyla Ropes

       Kong Toys

       Laytex Toys

 

Toys that can cause damage to teeth and should be avoided include:

       Rawhide bones

       Pig Ears

       Tennis balls

       Frisbee

 

Adult behavior and habits are learned during your puppy’s play and interaction with you. Playtime with your puppy is a great time to enforce good behavior. Here are some ways to encourage this positive behavior:

       Socialization with new people (take treats with you to give to the strangers)

       Biting can be discouraged by making a loud “Yip” sound and stop the playtime until the puppy has time to calm down.

       Exposing your puppy to new situations by going out in public. The vets office and the groomers are a good start

       Use positive praise such as petting and food

       Introduce your puppy to other dogs and animals.

       Teach basic obedience such as come, sit, and stay in pleasant training sessions

       Walk away from training and play sessions when puppy gets too rough.

 

Allowing your puppy to chew on your hands, fingers, or other body parts encourage aggressive behavior in your puppy as an adult.

Other ways that encourage aggressive behavior include:

       games of tug of war

       vigorous head rubbing that encourages growling

       negative reinforcement such as slapping or hitting the puppy

 

A happy, well-socialized, dog is the result of careful training and reinforcement in the puppy’s formative periods. It is important to be consistent with training and ensure that all other family members do the same.

Basic Needs

As you will soon find out, puppies require very little for them to be happy. A soft bed and a quiet place for them to rest along with a few toys and of course lots of love and exercise to keep them healthy.

 

There are some very important needs that few new pet owners think of; grooming and spaying/neutering. For obvious reasons such as over population, diseases, and other health related issues, you should seriously consider spaying/neutering your pet. There are very few specimens that qualify for the show ring and breeding these animals deviate from improving the breed. There is also the issue of the mess and hassle of the heat cycle. Spaying eliminates this mess and hassle. Neutering the male helps to eliminate aggressive behavior as an adult and is often used to prevent as a preventative.  

Grooming is a very important aspect of your pet’s life. It helps to socialize him with other people and animals. It is also a very important part of being a healthy pet. Professional groomers do more than bathe your dog. They are trained to do other services for your pet. Clipping the hair and bathing along with clipping toenails, expressing anal glands, and cleaning out the ears are among some of the benefits your pet will receive. If your groomer doesn’t do this, find one that does. These services should be a part of your pets grooming trip because they are important. An experienced groomer can also inform you if there are skin problems present that can lead to infections and hair loss.

 

A Note on Housebreaking

 

Housebreaking your new puppy can actually be quiet easy. The first and most important tool to suceed is a kennel or crate that is sized just a little larger than your puppies expected full grown size. This will give him room to turn around in and you won't have to buy a new kennel once a month. Now be careful and resist the urge to buy a kennel that is too large. In doing so, you are setting your puppy up for failure. Most puppies do not like to eliminate in their beds and if you buy a kennel that is too large, it gives them too much room where they will find a place to go. It isn't cruel at all to keep your new puppy in a kennel, in fact they prefer it. It becomes their own personal den for them to rest and get some much needed privacy. Make sure that all the family members respect a puppies time-out when he goes to his kennel.

Now once you have bought the kennel and settled him in you will need to leave him there for about an hour. After one hour, take him out of the kennel and outside to the "spot" that he is to know as his spot to go. Encourage him by repeating the word "potty" or another word you are comfortable with to associate to him this is where he is to "go" and make sure you allow him enough time to finish completely. After he is all finished, take him inside for about 15 minutes of playtime. Reward him for doing such a good job of going outside to do his job.

Next, return him to the kennel for another hour. You will continue to do this for a few days to a week. Each time you bring him in you will want to extend his playtime by a minute or so. Not too much too soon or you will have accidents. If this does happen don't make a big deal of it, instead take him to his spot and encourage him to go outside. Never spank him or hit him for eliminating in the house. Clean the accident area well with a mild cleaner and never use amonia to clean up accidents as the odor in amonia is the same as their pee and they will associate the smell thinking this is their "new spot" to go in.
Eventually you will see that he will begin to go to the door and be able to stay in for playtime for longer periods of time. 

 

The most important thing that you can give your new puppy is love and lots of it for a life long rewarding relationship with your new friend.

This article was written by Cichlid Lover. Please do not copy without permission.

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