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Teaching Your New Puppy Good Sleeping Habits

Bringing your little puppy home for the very first time is a special day. It might be really exciting for you, but the weeks to follow could be challenging. They might be cute and cuddly but the late night potty trips or play time might give you some trouble. I will give you a couple tips on making those midnight trips a little less stressful.

When training a puppy to have a steady sleeping pattern there’s a couple ways you can do it. The best way is to have the puppy sleep in your room, so you can keep an eye on him. Another option is to have your own dedicated area for him. If you choose to leave Fido in another room leaving a fan, music, or even a white noise machine on will soothe him to sleep. You will start to see results in a short period of time.

Some of the preparations are before you put Fido to sleep. Puppy’s tend to sleep a lot and they don’t seem to care when it is. For the pup to sleep during the evening will make him want to get up and play in the middle of the night when he is rejuvenated. Try to avoid the evening sleep. Another thing is try to stay away from food or water before bed. Giving the pup any food or water before bedtime is a guaranteed rough night for you when there belly or bladder is full. Roughly 3 hours before bed is best.

Now comes that dreadful moment, the late night potty trip. This is where the puppy usually finds out he can wake you up by whining or making noises. When this time comes to let your little pup out to go potty remember its strictly business time. Avoid talking or playing. If you tend to play around and talking to the dog at night he will think he can get more attention by making noise at night. Just keep it to a “good boy” and back to bed. Be sure to not let him sit there and bark when the pup needs to go, take him out.

If you stick to these tips and keep the puppy on schedule you will see an improvement in no time. Your pup will be sleeping through the night in no time.

Submissive Urination in a Puppy

Submissive wetting or urination is unfortunately a normal way for pups to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a puppy that is for the most part housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine on the floor by your feet when they greet you.

When it comes to puppies, submissive urination is the ultimate way of showing their respect for you and the desire for a higher rank in the pack. It occurs frequently with young pups that have not yet learned and perfected very important social skills. Submissive urination in adult puppies is more than likely a sign of insecurity. Often pups that are not socialized or unfortunately in some cases abused pups will submissively urinate. Other puppies that engage in submissive urination may simply have not been shown or demonstrated that there are more acceptable ways to show respect. Such as raising a paw for a hand shake or giving a kiss with a simple lick.

Submissive urination may be present in overly sensitive or mistreated puppies because they feel the need to constantly apologize. The root cause of this state of mind is often caused by excessive or delayed punishment. This of course will frighten and confuse the puppy without having taught him how to make amends in a proper manner. The puppy resorts to the only way he knows how to show respect and fear, by submissive urination. When your puppy submissively urinates, it is best to just ignore him. If you try to reassure him, he will think you are praising him for urinating and will in turn urinate more frequently. If you raise your voice and yell at him, he will feel an even greater need to apologize by urinating. Both reassurance and scolding will only make submissive urination a much bigger issue.

Treatment of submissive urination must be directed towards building your puppy’s confidence and showing him better ways of demonstrating and showing respect. The quickest way to accomplish this is by teaching your puppy a few basic obedience exercises. A puppy that can earn praise by obeying a simple routine of “Come here, sit, shake hands,” will soon develop a crucial level of self esteem and confidence. Therefore a more confident puppy with high self esteem who can say, “Hello” by simply sitting and shaking hands does not feel the need or urge to urinate at his owner’s feet.

Train Your Pup To Behave When Left Home Alone:

Coaching a puppy that spends a lot of time home alone could prove to be quite the challenge, but it’s not impossible. The best thing to do is to start training your pup right away. Serious habits and issues in growing dogs usually begin to develop around six months of age or older.

As the care giver of your new pup, it’s crucial for you to offer a place of comfort, safety and belonging. Puppies that are well nurtured will generally transform into a more mentally stable adult. Puppies that are denied the safety of affection and positive reinforcement will grow up fearful and filled with anxiety.

The very first point you need to establish in your new puppy, is that his new home is a place where he is accepted. As soon as your puppy feels he is secure and cherished, he’s ready to begin obedience training.

This form of training should execute as a matter of routine. Training sessions must be performed in a peaceful method, which should always end on a positive note. Your pet will look forward to each session especially if you reward his efforts with a treat. Be careful not to show any frustration and anger as this could reverse any previous training success.

There is a fine distinction between a dog requiring a firm hand because he behaves headstrong and willfully refuses to obey, and a canine requiring endurance because he lacks confidence or doesn’t quite understand. The fact of the matter is very simple. Generally, all dogs want to please their owner and be your best friend.

Training sessions should ultimately last no longer than 15 minutes. A puppy’s attention span is very similar like that of a small child’s. Curiosity will undoubtedly take over. Forcing a younger puppy to endure sessions longer than 15 minutes can be frustrating for the both of you. It may also be non-productive, and sabotage all training efforts.

A puppy that is left home alone for more than 4 hours a day requires proper coaching to be taught during that time without excessive barking or other destructive unruly behavior. Your puppy’s first learning experience begins the second that he enters your home. A useful tip is to have a TV or radio on low just before you leave the house as this may provide a setting where he does not feel completely alone.

Puppy Training Tips for the First Week:

Every interaction with your puppy is a training opportunity. Training a puppy when you first bring them home is critical. It is obvious that you need certain items such as a dog bed, crate, food and water bowls, puppy chow, collar, leash, toys, etc. Equally as important, all family members must decide on routine, responsibility and rules.

Your new puppy has just been taken away from his mother and littermates. You may want to spread paper on the floor and put her food and water bowls in one corner. Scatter some toys around everywhere.

Prior to introducing a new puppy to your home, make sure to puppy proof it. Take an in-depth look at your home from the puppy’s viewpoint. As you move things out of reach, remember it is only for a short period of time. By removing these objects of curiosity from the start, it will allow you to work with your puppy on the basic training he will need to learn. Once your new puppy has learned his place, you can put your things back in their original spots.

As much as you want your new puppy to be a functioning asset in the house hold, remember that your puppy is still an animal. Puppies are product to their environment. The main instinct of dogs is to live in a pack. Your puppy will assume his new family is his pack. If your pup gets the sense that he is his own boss and can do whatever he wants, he is being taught he is the leader of the pack.

When first introduced your puppy to a crate, don’t just put him inside and lock the door. Try placing the crate in a room where the family commonly gathers. With close proximity of the crate with family, the puppy will feel he is still with the pack. Keep the crate in a place where it will stay, and simply keep the door open during the day. Most puppies are very curious, so generally they will walk inside. Others may be a little more shy with the crate, so give your pup some time to warm up to his crate. When he does begin to enter the crate, make sure to praise him. Try giving the crate a name. Repeat the crates name whenever your pup goes inside, and then give him a tasty treat.

Is Dogs Eating Grass, Harmless or a Health Concern?

For the most part, dogs are mainly carnivores, but they can and do eat plants and vegetables. One of the more common plants eaten by dogs is basic grass. Raw grass is not toxic to dogs unless it is treated with chemical pesticides and or fertilizers. So if you begin to notice this habit in your dog, don’t panic. The exact reason behind why dogs eat grass and why it makes some dogs throw up is still basically unknown.

Theories about Dogs Consuming Grass:

For years, dog owners and veterinarians believed that dogs with upset stomachs ate grass to induce vomiting or that the grass upset some dogs’ digestive systems. A study has been conducted were approximately 1,500 dogs were examined that had consumed grass at least ten times over the course of a year to get more definitive answers. The study found that less than nine percent were sick prior to eating the grass, and less than one in four vomited after consuming the grass. The researchers determined that grass consumption is most likely a trait that modern dogs have inherited from their wolf ancestors which also ate grass occasionally. Scientists believe wolves generally eat grass to help them purge internal parasites and prevent the parasites from building up in their systems.

When Grass Consumption May Signal an Illness:

Owners who occasionally catch their dogs in the act of eating grass can relax a bit once they understand that this behavior is fairly normal and usually harmless. However, it still pays to watch for any change in your dog’s general behavior and habits after he consumes that grass. If your dog becomes lethargic, has diarrhea, or shows any other signs of illness right before or shortly after eating grass, you should ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s health right away. While grass is unlikely the cause of any illness, any change in eating habits and behavior sometimes indicates a problem. A veterinarian can examine the dog to try to determine exactly what’s going on.

Since the consumption of grass by dogs is generally harmless, there is no reason to prevent your dog from eating it. Unless he eats an unusually large amount each time or it always causes vomiting. Of course, never let a dog eat or play on grass that has been treated with harmful chemicals for pest control or fertilizers.

How to Break Common Excessive Behaviors & Simple Solutions:

Excessive Digging:

Digging occurs for many reasons. They dig cooling pits when it’s hot and warming pits when it’s cold. Dogs dig to bury and recover bones. Digging is a highly enjoyable and natural canine activity. Lack of exercise, prolonged confinement and boredom can also be the blame. Once digging starts, it can quickly become a habit.

Providing your dog with regular walks, play-time and proper training, the better chances you will not have a digging problem. But until your dog has been taught that digging up your yard is unacceptable, he should not be given free access to these areas when you are not there to watch over him. Confinement is not the solution. It is only a temporary measure until your dog can be trusted out in the yard.

Excessive Chewing:

When yelling at your dog for chewing something up, such as a newspaper, both the owner and dog are completely misunderstanding each other. We feel that when the dog has his head down and looking guilty, that he must know what he did was wrong. The dog’s body language is actually showing he is frightened and submissive. So in reality, he is avoiding punishment. He may indeed know you are angry about the newspaper, but what about the newspaper? Are the pieces not small enough or is the job not done well enough?

Whatever the dog is thinking you are mad about, it is not for the act of chewing because that is not what he was doing when you scolded him. In order for him to know you are mad about chewing the paper, he must be caught in the act of chewing.

Excessive Barking:

Barking is the most natural thing for a dog. It’s a dog’s way of communicating, like humans when talking. You cannot expect to own a dog and not have a certain amount of barking, whining and howling. Barking is simply what dogs do. You can however, train your dog to bark less frequently than he might already do.

Every time your dog barks, after two or three barks, praise him for sounding the alarm. Then ask him to, stop barking. At the same time, wave a favorite treat in front of his nose. Most dogs immediately stop barking because they can not enjoy a treat and bark at the same time. During this time, continuously praise him.

Why Does My Puppy Bite and How Do I Take Control?

Your puppies need for biting is a perfectly natural and essential phase to go through, especially when they are teething. With this being said, however, it is not acceptable to have your pup chewing on you, or anyone for that matter.

Puppy biting or nipping starts out as a bit of fun, but needs to be controlled quickly to avoid ongoing problems. Most puppies can be trained to regulate and minimize the biting fairly easily. The sooner you get started educating your puppy not to bite, the easier it will be. Remember, the younger the pup, the “softer” the bite.

Proven Techniques:

If you catch the biting, just try to redirect the biting from your flesh to a toy or chew bone. For very young puppies this method is often all you need do. As soon as your pup starts to bite your hands just let out a firm ”No!” and replace your fingers with a chew toy.

Make your puppy think he is hurting you each time he has a nip at you. This method replicates the way dogs sort out this biting amongst themselves. When puppies are biting and nipping each other it only stops when one puppy lets out a yelp. We can use this natural way dogs learn by letting out an “Ouch!”  every time your puppy bites. The trick is to startle your dog using your voice, and then pull away and stop playing with your puppy for a while. Your pup will soon learn that when he begins to bite, his friend goes away.

In bad biting cases, as soon as your puppy latches onto your hand say “No!” and quickly put your thumb inside his mouth under his tongue. Your other finger will be under his chin and pinch down, but not to tightly. This will feel uncomfortable to your puppy and he won’t be able to bite you.

If your puppy has an even more severe biting problem, try putting on a pair of gloves and apply a foul tasting substance to them. Your dog will soon understand that if he bites you, it won’t be very pleasant! This method produces a strong negative association to your dog every time he decides to bite you. Some dogs are smart enough to realize that when you take your foul tasting gloves off, it is fine to bite you again.

Teach Your Dog How to Skateboard!

Here’s a fun one!

Generally, when imagining a skateboarding dog, you might be thinking of a movie or commercial. So, what would it take to make this a reality for you and your dog, you ask yourself? To teach your dog a head turning trick like this will require patience, a handful of treats, determination, and a dog who listens well. So get your dog, grab a skateboard and get outside. Don’t be surprised to get some attention from this, who knows, you may even draw a crowd.

For Starters:

Try to get your dog to show some interest in the skateboard. Let him investigate by sniffing it and climbing on it. Try encouraging him to sit and stand on the board by giving him a treat. Try not to force your dog on to the skateboard. Work at it and he will begin to associate this with fun. Shaping your dog to do this can be complicated because the skill of riding a skateboard won’t just come naturally.

First, decide exactly what you want your dog to do. Do you want him to mount the board and just ride along or do you want him to use his foot to move? Give your dog an idea of what he’s up against by letting him watch as you ride around. Keep an eye out, he might be chasing after you.

How to Get Things Rolling:

Aim to avoid doing this in the streets. Use sidewalks if possible, just as a safety precaution. Set the skateboard in front of your dog. Place one paw on the board. Offer him a treat if he cooperates. Place second paw on the board until the dog is completely on. If he stays, then reward him with another treat.

Although, getting your dog to stay on the skateboard is a feat of its own, getting him to feel comfortable while moving, may become quite the task. On your first few attempts, try to keep a slow and steady pace. Then push the dog as far as he we will allow.

Try not to do more than 4 attempts a day. More than that can result in you and your dog getting burnt out. This can be a positive and fun experience for you and your dog. The both of you may get frustrated at times along the way. When this happens, just take a deep breath and come back to try again later on.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tips to Tricks For Your Pup (Part 1)

Tricks help your dog to learn. If your dog can learn tricks, then it can learn obedience and good manners. Go ahead…have some fun and teach your dog a new trick!

The best way to teach your dog a trick, is to make it fun. Use praise and small treats to reward your dog.
Practice new tricks only a few minutes at a time. You never want your dog to get bored when learning new things.

Shake Hands
Start by having your dog sit. Say, “Shake hands,” and take his paw with your hand. Hold his paw and say, “Good dog!” Let go of his paw. Do this a few times every day.
TIP:
After a while, say, “Shake hands,” but don’t take his paw. See if he raises his paw by himself. If not, keep showing him what to do by saying, “Shake hands,” and taking his paw with your hand. Your dog is not slow; he is just learning!

Turn Around or Turn Left
Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Let your dog see a treat in your hand. Stand still and say, “Turn around”. Lead the dog’s nose around to the left (clockwise) with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he’s facing you again, say, “Good dog!” and give him the treat.
TIP:
After some practice, hold the treat in front of you so your dog can see it and say, “Turn around,” but don’t lead his nose. See if he is ready to turn around by himself and get the treat. Pretty soon, he will turn around faster than you can say ‘Lassie!”
If you choose to use the words, “Turn Left”, use them all the time. Don’t use “Turn around” sometimes, and “Turn Left” other times. Be consistent.

Twirl or Turn Right
“Twirl” is the same trick as “Turn Around” (see above), but this time your dog turns to the right (counterclockwise), instead of to the left.
Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Stand still and say, “Twirl”. Lead the dog’s nose around to the right with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he’s facing you again, say, “Good dog!” and give him the treat.
If you choose to use the words, “Turn Right”, use them all the time. Don’t use “Twirl” sometimes, and “Turn Right” other times. Be consistent.

TIP:
After your dog has learned “Turn Around” (or Turn Left) and “Twirl” (or Turn Right), you can put them together and have your dog look really smart. First have your dog “Turn Around” (turn to the left), and then say “Twirl” (turn to the right). Be careful, though, don’t get your dog dizzy!
Be sure to teach Turn Around and Twirl separately. Wait until your dog has learned the first one very well.

Crawl
Start by having your dog lie down. Hold a treat just in front of his nose and say, “Crawl.” If he starts to stand up, say, “No, down…crawl.” Pull the treat away, keeping it low, near the ground and say, “Craaawl.” When your dog moves even an inch or two without standing up, praise him and say, “Good dog! Craaawl.”

TIP:
Your dog must know ‘Down’ ‘ before he can learn this trick.

Speak
Choose a game that your dog loves to play, like catch with a ball, or hide and seek with a toy. Then get him excited by saying, “Let’s play! Want to play?” and show him the ball or toy. Jump and act silly so he barks and then say, “Good dog, speak!” Then play the game as his reward for learning “Speak”.

TIP:
You can’t make a dog bark, but you can get him happy and excited so he wants to bark. After a while, your dog will bark when you say, “Speak.”
Caution! If you have a dog that already causes trouble because of his barking, you might not want to encourage this behavior. If you decide it’s ok to teach it, be sure to teach “Quiet”, too.

Take a Nap
Have your dog lie down on his tummy. As you gently roll him over on his side, say, “Take a nap.” While he is lying on his side, keeping his head on the floor, say, “Take a nap.” Don’t give him a treat. Encourage him to stay there for a couple of seconds. Then say, “Ok” or “Wake up!”, let him stand up, and give him his reward.

TIP:
You can use the treat to lure your dog into a lying down position. Don’t give your a dog a reward while he is lying down. Give him a treat after he has completed the trick.

How to Teach Your Dog to Play Fetch?

Fetch is a game we take for granted. Yet fetch is the most perfect of all dog games. It’s easy to learn. It’s easy to do. Fetch is great exercise for your dog (even exercise for you, if you walk or jog to a park to play). Most important, fetch is all about give and take (quite literally); you and your pup are working in tandem.

You know the drill: You throw the ball, your dog brings it back. You throw the ball, your dog brings it back. You throw the ball… But what do you do when your dog seems completely unfamiliar with the game of fetch, when all those other dogs seem to know instinctively how to play?

Although some breeds do have a natural instinct to play fetch—especially retrievers bred through the ages to fetch things, and herding dogs who have a sharp eye for objects wandering away from the flock—not every dog comes pre-programmed with this behavior. Why, some dogs seem to be thinking, would you throw something across the yard just so I have to run all the way over there and get it? And if I do, will you promise not to do that again?

But playing fetch can be fun for you and training your dog. It’s also a great way for dogs to get their important daily dose of exercise.

Assess your dog’s Fetch I.Q.

Find a toy he really likes. Wave it in front of his face to get his interest. Toss it a few feet away and say, “Fetch!”  What does he do?

If he runs to the toy, picks it up, and brings it back, congratulations. Your dog knows how to fetch. Go play!

If your dog doesn’t seem to have any fetch instinct, the first step is to teach him that he’ll be rewarded for paying attention to the object you want him to fetch. (For this guide, we’ll say you’re teaching him with a ball. It may be another toy or a retrieving dummy.) Stock up on your dog’s favorite treats. Hold the ball out to your dog. If he sniffs it, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this several times. Then, put the ball on the floor and say “Fetch.”  If your dog sniffs it or picks it up, praise him and give him a treat. Keep practicing until he understands that he has to sniff or pick up the ball to get the treat.

Now it’s time to teach your dog to pick up the ball. Wave the ball around in the air to make it more enticing. As soon as he takes it in his mouth, praise him. If he won’t take the ball, try smearing it with a little peanut butter or meat paste. When he reliably takes the ball in his mouth.

Now, you need to motivate your dog to give back the ball. Get your dog to take the ball. Praise him, then offer a treat. He’ll have to drop the ball to get the treat, so be sure you are there to take it. Praise him. Practice this a few times. When he reliably takes the toy then drops it for the treat.
If your dog isn’t very interested in treats, you can also use two balls and entice him to drop one ball for the other.

Now you are ready to try a small-scale fetch. Show your dog the ball. Toss the ball a few feet away from you and say “Fetch!” If he doesn’t go to the ball, try throwing it closer, or handing it to him again. When he does go to the ball, call him back to you, treat in hand, and trade treat for toy. Repeat, throwing the ball a little bit farther each time. Before you know it, you and your dog are playing fetch…just like all those other dogs!

Every dog is different, motivated by different things and tempted by different variations of the game, but for many dogs, there will be a point during this dog training exercise when they suddenly understand what playing fetch is all about. At this point, the game is its own reward and you can save the treats for teaching your dog the rules for the next fun game.