Dogs need to be in a dominance hierarchy with everyone; if you are not above your dog, you will be below it. She uses praise, contact, play and toys to motivate puppies, but she does not recommend food training a young puppy.
The monks of New Skete have put together an excellent book that discusses puppy development and the things that should be done at the appropriate stages and why. There are always exceptions, of course, and there are many happy dogs dogs that were litter mates or otherwise puppies together out there. You should consider that a puppy has an absolute right to chew whatever they can get at in your absence. There are some products that can help make items unpalatable and thus aid in your training.
For example, every evening before the dog eats (but after you have put its bowl down), check its ears by peeking in the ear and touching it with your fingers. Brushing is important, especially for double coated or long-haired dogs when they begin to shed. During your puppy's first year, it is very important that it be exposed to a variety of social situations.
Do not commit the classic mistake made by many owners when their dogs exhibit fear or aggression on meeting strangers. The Art of Raising a Puppy has many valuable tips and interesting points on the subject of socializing puppies.
Your puppy doesn't seem to pick up the idea of whining at or going to the door to tell you it needs to go to the bathroom. If you watch a litter of puppies playing, you will notice that they spend much of their time biting and grabbing each other with their mouths.
The first thing to teach your new puppy is that human flesh is much more sensitive than other puppies and that it really hurts us when they bite. The above training methods have been modified from information that I learned from Dr Ian Dunbar in his puppy training seminars and from his excellent video 'Sirius Puppy Training' which is available by calling 510-658-8588. Puppies that cannot sleep in the bedroom for whatever reason may be comforted by a ticking clock nearby, and a t-shirt of yours from the laundry. Newborn puppies receive immunization against diseases from colostrum contained in their mothers milk while nursing (assuming the bitch was properly vaccinated shortly before the breeding took place). During this time, puppies cannot build up their own natural immunity because the passive immunity gets in the way.
Thus the importance of giving several vaccinations at 2-4 week intervals until around 16-18 weeks. IMPORTANT: The last shot should be given AFTER 16 weeks of age (4 months) to be SURE that dam's antibodies have not gotten in the way of the pup building up its own immunity (read the label of the vaccine!). Make some chicken soup (low sodium variety or make it yourself) ice cubes and give them to the puppy. Soak a clean rag in water, wring it out and then freeze it (rolling it up helps) and give it to your puppy to chew on. If you are using the latter type of puppy food, many veterinarians and breeders (particularly of larger breeds) recommend that you NOT feed it for the first year as is recommended on the bags of food. This is not a problem with the more closely formulated foods that have adult foods that are specifically labelled as unsuitable for puppies or lactating bitches. The idea is to take advantage of a rule of dog behavior: a dog will not generally eliminate where it sleeps.
Dogs that are in crates that are too large (so the dog can eliminate at one end and sleep at the other end). Dogs that have lived in small cages in pet stores during critical phases of development and have had to learn to eliminate in the cage. If the crate is too big (because you got an adult size one), you can partition the crate off with pegboard wired to the sides to make the crate the correct size, and move it back as your puppy grows.
To house train a dog using a crate, establish a schedule where the dog is either outside or in its crate when it feels the need to eliminate.
In general, consistency is MUCH more important than severe corrections when training a dog. First rule of housetraining: puppies have to go to the bathroom immediately upon waking up. With these two rules goes the indisputable fact that until a puppy is housetrained, you MUST confine them or watch them to prevent accidents. Make it aware that this is not play time, but understand that puppies get pretty excited about things like grass and snails and leaves and forget what they came outside to do! To make life easier for you later on, use a key phrase just when the puppy starts to eliminate. It is essential for every dog, no matter how big, or small, or whether you want to show, or work, or just play with, to have basic obedience training. Try to keep the first couple of days at home low key as your new puppy gets used to ita€™s new surroundings.
Before you put your new puppy in ita€™s crate for the night, play with puppy a lot and wear puppy out. She does recommend crate training and she also recommends sleeping in the same room with the puppy.
This is a thoughtful book that discusses in practical detail what you can and cannot expect to do with your puppy in training it. First they follow a newborn litter through its various stages of development and at each stage they discuss what is happening. They tend to bond to each other and not to you and that can cause serious problems when it comes time to train them. You must put the puppy where either it cannot do any damage, or you do not care about the possible damage. A crate is any container, made of wire mesh or plastic, that will hold the puppy comfortably, with enough room to stand and curl up and sleep, but not too much that it can eliminate in one corner.
You should think of it in the same way as child-proofing your house but be more thorough about it.
Bitter Apple and Bitter Orange (available at most pet stores) impart a bitter taste to many things without staining, etc. Small children do not understand the need for keeping fingers out of puppies' eyes or refraining from pulling painfully on their tails, among other problems. They should understand that they should put out their hands below the pup's chin, to keep it from jumping at a hand above its head.
Try Jack and Collen McDaniel's Pooches and Small Fry, published by Doral Publishing, 800-633-5385. Sometimes it takes several weeks before you consistently get a reaction when you say its name. You need to pair verbal praise with physical praise for a few months before your puppy understands and appreciates verbal praise.
Puppies need lots of sleep but since they are easily distracted, they sometimes forget to go to sleep and so will fall asleep at bizarre times: while eating, chewing, or even running.
Initially, during their first 24 hours of life, maternal antigens (passive immunity) are absorbed through the pups intestines which are very, very thin during those first few hours (this is why it is so important that puppies nurse from the mother during that critical time).
One maximizes the chance of catching the puppy's immune system as soon as it is ready to respond, minimizing the amount of time the puppy may be susceptible to infection. After that, it should be DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus). If you know that a particular dog is current on its shots and not carrying disease, then go ahead and let your puppy socialize. Your puppy will want to chew more during this period of time, but it may also be too painful to do so (hence the suggestions above).
They recommend that you feed puppy food ONLY for the first two months that you have the puppy at home and then switch to adult food. Some owners correct more severely inside, but this is extremely detrimental to the character of puppies. Since you know when your dog has to eliminate, you take it out and it eliminates immediately, and is praised immediately. Before a dog understands what you want, severe corrections are not useful and can be quite DETRIMENTAL. Understand that a puppy cannot go all night without eliminating, so when it cries in the night, you must get up and take it out and wait until it goes. Use the same spot each time if you can, the smell will help the puppy remember what it is to do, especially after 12 weeks of age.
He discusses all aspects of housetraining puppies and dogs, giving many constructive solutions for all kinds of specific problems.
In fact, waiting until your pup is 6 months old to start training it is VERY late, and will be the cause of a LOT of problems. You may feel like this is engaging in wild mood swings (and you may well get odd looks from other people); that's all right.
She provides methods to teach no, OK, good dog, bad dog, sit stay heel, come, down, stand, go, enough, over, out, cookie, speak, take it, wait and off to puppies. They stress that by expecting and improving good behavior from the start, later, more formal training goes much easier.
They discuss testing puppies' temperaments and what you want to look for, under which circumstances. Having two puppies needing house training at the same time can make that process go on for much longer. Puppies can eat kitchen cabinets, destroy furniture, chew on carpet, and damage a wide variety of other things. Depending on the breed, most dogs begin to gain the maturity to handle short stints with mild temptations when they're about 6 months old. The single most effective way to do this is by having a ready supply of chewable items on hand. You should not depend on these products to keep your puppy safe, but use them as a training aid. So keep children 6 years or so and younger away from the puppy until it is grown, for the safety of the puppy. This book is full of good suggestions for teaching both children and dogs how to behave with one another. Taking the time to make these things matter of fact and pleasant for your puppy will save you a world of time and trouble later in its life. Take it to different places: parks, shopping centers, schools, different neighborhoods, dog shows, obedience classes--just about anywhere you can think of that would be different for a little puppy. Twitching will be most pronounced for the first few months of the puppy's life, and slowly diminish thereafter. When you take a puppy from the litter and into your home, the puppy will play bite and mouth you. This will probably not stop the puppy from mouthing, but over time should result in softer and gentler puppy biting. Thus, if you scold your puppy for doing things you don't want it to do, and ignore it when it is being good, you are reinforcing the wrong things. When a puppy becomes separated from its pack it will whine, thereby allowing it to be found and returned to the rest of the group. At this time, the pups should be given their first immunization shots so they can build up their own antibodies against them.
This is at minimum: you may need to add other vaccinations appropriate to your area, such as Lyme, Heart worm (actually a preventive medicine), Rabies (most places), and so on. Then the molars in the back come out (and you'll see adult molars behind those erupting as well).
You will probably find few if any of the teeth your puppy loses, as puppies typically swallow them. Scheduled feeding gives the dog food at set times of the day, and then takes it away after a period of time, such as a half hour. Some are formulated very precisely for different periods in a dog's life, and what is appropriate at one stage is not appropriate at another.
To make the dog notice the difference between eliminating inside and outside, you must praise more outside rather than correcting more inside. Crating allows the owner to have total control over the dog in order to achieve consistency.
The puppy will begin to eliminate on command, and this can be especially useful later, such as making sure the dog eliminates before a car ride or a walk in the park.
If no accidents occur (ha!), then the dog never learns it has an option other than going outside. Instead, concentrate on general behavior, getting its attention, introducing things that will be important later in a fun way, and some other preliminary things, such as discouraging it from lagging or forging on the leash (but not making it heel!). She talks about canine language and talks some about mental games you can play with your dog such as mirror games, and copying your dog and having him copy you, chase games and even playing rough with your puppy. This implies that you would not introduce a second dog before the other six months old and properly trained. Other solutions include fencing off part of the house, say the kitchen or garage or building an outside run. Consider the analogy with a baby, where you keep it in a crib, stroller, or pen if you are not holding it. This means that the puppy can cause you to be uncomfortable when mouthing or puppy biting you, but can not cause severe damage.
Ignore the bad things (or stop it without yelling or scolding) and enthusiastically praise it when its doing what you want, even if it's as simple as sitting and looking at you, or quietly chewing one of its toys.
Others are generically formulated and are supposed to be OK for any dog under any conditions. The nutritional formulation (especially the extra protein and calcium) can actually cause problems in puppy development.
In addition, the dog is always supervised in the house, so the dog is always corrected for eliminating indoors. One way to think of it is that without basic obedience, you and the dog don't speak the same language so how can you communicate?
It also needs positive as well as negative reinforcement: how would you respond if people only ever yelled at you when you did something wrong?
Most training methods rely on the foundational relationship between an owner and his dog, and this book provides some ideas on establishing that relationship while the puppy is still young. They then launch into a series of useful chapters: housebreaking, preliminary obedience, laying the foundations of training, understanding (reading) your dog, how to become the pack leader, basic training, discipline, and general care.
If you can get through the puppy stages without having your pup get a shock from chewing a wire you are doing a great job! If you are consistent about this, the puppy will get the idea that only the things you give it are to be chewed on!
If the puppy continues to whine, try giving it a toy or chew toy and then simply ignore any continued whining.
This is why pups should be given a shot every few weeks (2 - 3 weeks apart and a series of at LEAST three shots). Since it is very common for puppies (even from the best breeder) to have worms from the dam's dormant worms, you must take care to have your puppy checked regularly when young. Therefore, until they are about four or five months old, you can only encourage good behavior and try to prevent bad behavior. But with basic obedience, you can tell the dog what you want it to do and it will understand you and do it.
You'd be amazed at all the activities you can do with your dog once you and the dog learn the basics!
Tie the puppy down in sight of people eating dinner to prevent begging and nosing for food (if you put it in another room, it will feel ostracized and begin to cry). When puppy proofing your home, get down on your hands and knees (or lower if possible) and consider things from this angle. If you want to take the pup in an elevator, let it try it on its own, but firmly insist that it have the experience. But it is very important: you will wind up with a puppy that pays attention to you and is happy to do what you want, if it understands you. If you don't reinforce the whining by comforting it (other than to take it outside -- which is OK), it will eventually learn to settle down.
In general, vaccine antigen cannot stimulate the puppy's own immune system until the maternal antibody level is below X. Another way to think of it is getting your dog to be a Good Citizen: it doesn't jump on people, or run off, or indulge in other obnoxious behaviors -- because it knows what you expect of it. It is better to let them cry it out during the day instead of the night when you want to sleep. Your favorite dog food and supply store (unless it's a pet store) is a good place; dog shows are another. But for other dogs, such as dogs with gastric problems or older dogs, frequent small meals may be better for them.
These are packed even higher with extra nutrition, etc, than the puppy really needs, since the original formulation was already sufficient for the puppy. The growth rates are not the same and so the connections are strained and if the dog jumps wrong or is playing too hard, the connections can be torn. The most important things are watching the puppy and, of course, crating it or otherwise restraining it when you can't watch it.
You want the pup to learn about the world so that it doesn't react fearfully to new situations when it is an adult. If a small child falls on your adult dog and sticks a finger in the dog's eye, you should not be surprised if the dog bites. This typically happens in the front shoulder and requires surgery and several months of confinement to repair. This is how the other puppies in the litter let each other know when they have crossed the line, and it is a good way to get the puppy's attention and let it know that biting is not acceptable. If you do a good job teaching your puppy bite inhibition, you should get a grab and release without damage. During this time, even if you vaccinated every day, you would (in this theoretical discussion) not be able to stimulate immunity. Yet you are below that level of maternal protection at which infection can be effectively fought off.
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